We all feel it. There is a reality that exists beyond our senses. If Sagan was right and the cosmos is all there is(*1) — and all this complexity and value is evolved from a bunch of mess, then why does every culture in the world speak to this issue of a spiritual realm? Why don’t cultures recall legends of sub-human ancestors? Why do so many cultures have legends of monstrous dragons (Leviathan) that terrified the world of men as recorded in the Book of Job?
Think of the Created realm like a vapor bubble in the depths of the ocean. The propeller on a military submarine is a very expensive item because it’s designed to not produce these vapor bubbles when the blades spin through the water at high speed. (See ScienceDaily and National Museum of American History) When the blade slices through the water, a vacuum is left on the trailing edge of each blade. Water cannot replace this empty place instantly, although the water above is bearing down with incredible power. Despite this pressure, tiny bubbles of water vapor are created as the sea water actually boils for just a fraction of a second. However, as soon as the blade moves out of the area, the vacuum gets filled as those millions of tiny vapor bubbles are crushed by the weight of the water overhead. This is called “cavitation” — the sound of Rice Crispies in milk (the snap, crackle, and pop) betrays the location of the speeding submarine to listening ears.
The spiritual realm is like the ocean depths. It is a sea of pressure around us and the cosmos is the anomaly. Our Universe exists as a transient bubble which has been Created. But prior to that, space was provided within the spiritual realm for the cosmos to exist.
(see the site by Lambert Dolphin, Physicist, for the metaphysical explanation of how this is achieved in a series of articles)
The God-Man is now “sustaining the universe by his word of power” (Hebrews 1:3).
The pressure of the spiritual realm is bearing down on our universe with a crushing power. We are the anomaly. We are the bits of dust: the transient and alien Creation of “stuff”. We live at the bottom of this preeminent sea: the intangible and eternal reality. This is Grace: that God, being thrice Holy, permits you and me to so often behave badly here in this place which has been providing for us all these generations. We need to remember that this Favor is temporal — even tenuous. When the Plan of YHVH for this universe has runs its course,
Rev 6:14 ESV – “The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
The word “vanished” in the original Greek is “apochōrizō“. The prefix apo means”separation” and the root of “chōrizō“ also means “separation”. Chorizo includes the root which is often translate “divorce”. The idea here is clear that the physical space which the Creation needs for a place to exist will be denied. When God ceases to maintain this space, His cosmos will cavitate.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise (rhoizedon, a rushing roar) and the elements (stoicheion , atoms) will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)
And all God’s people said, “Groovie!” Everything God does is Good and correct. When you are baptized (drown as it were in water), you are giving testimony that Noah’s Flood is the best thing that can happen to Sin and Sinner; to realize that the destroying waters worked salvation for those who escaped from an evil world-order (cosmos), because “the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)
You and I have a spiritual quality, since we were made in God’s image — Fallen though that be. And with the Fall, Adam “unplugged” from his communion with God who is Spirit. Now, the Jewish tradition guesses that God did not kill these new sinners because He didn’t want to do this ugly work on the Sabbath. YHVH was true to His word and both the Man and the Woman died spiritually on the day that they ate thereof. However, it was Adam and Eve who killed themselves as spiritual suicides. As a repercussion, with slain human spirits cut off from the Living God, the human souls of each person slouched toward Death in an ugly digression from purity. Although the spiritual ruin was immediate, the decay of the soul was a process. It took time for Man to develop the four-letter-words, to learn to gamble, to learn to cheat at gambling, to learn that smoking cocaine is more effective than sniffing it, etc. Finally, both died physically.
There are no “innocents” anymore, not even the babe in arms. But there will be innocents; they are in the making.
God’s Plan for you is to reverse this Fall and to lift you up. Because the Messiah has lived the Perfect life (under the Law) and never violated the Holiness of God, His crucifixion was considered a Wrongful Death in the Court of Heaven. There has been One death too many in the history of the world. But because the Value of that Life was of infinite Worth, that Life can make atonement for each and every of the limited number of sins in the world. For each and every sinner in the world. We need to take time to think about how great a salvation YHVH has made for us. These few paragraphs are the distillation of hundreds of hours of study (and the efforts of many scholars through the generations) in the field called soteriology, the study of salvation.
The Spirit of God resurrects your Fallen human spirit the moment that you place your hopes in the Redeeming Life of the Messiah. Being in the spiritual realm, you will not “feel” it, although the Spirit may reveal His affections to you in a lovely way that cannot be explained. Only following that does the process of your Sanctification begin, as you learn to reverse those issues of your soul that make you foolish and opposed to God and man. Finally, when the Day comes, you will be made physically perfect: an event called Glorification. And in that Day, YHVH will perfect what issues remain in your soul: there will be no folly left in you and all of your thoughts and actions will be Inspired by God’s Holy Spirit imparted to your already perfected human spirit — which will be transmitted through your human soul (which is being perfected now) — and out into the World.
You and I enjoy a better relationship with God than Adam ever could in the Garden. He “walked with God in the cool of the evening” because he had never turned away from God. Adam daily MAINTAINED that relationship with God through obedience. You and I, being sinners Redeemed, KNOW the God of GRACE, an aspect which neither Adam nor the angels understood. God, let that knowledge break our hearts just right!
The Lord is not near to being finished with this Creation. Messiah will return, this time not as the Lamb, but as the Lion. He will reign as the King of Kings from Jerusalem for 1000 years, and every nation and nationality will work together in harmony and bless the God of Israel. But then it’s over for this cosmos.
Rev 21:1-7 ESV – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
A new cosmos will be provided. This scarred planet, full of bones and haunting memories will be no more. That place on I-15 where I saw an older man fall asleep at the wheel, crash, and die will be no more. The places in the world where you have suffered will be no more. All these former things will pass away. What will remain, forever, will be love and favor and goodness between one another and our Maker/Redeemer.
Carl Sagan was a vociferous and philosophical “scientist” who made a significant impact on the culture of the 1970’s and 80’s who preached an optimistic Humanism which was very popular and “dumbed-down” for public consumption. His querky mannerisms caused many to believe that he must be one of those odd-ball genius types, but those characteristics were likely due to his habitual use of cannabis. Wisely disavowing the term “atheist” as being a “stupid” word, Sagan was more of a “pantheistic agnostic” who opined that his notion of God was “emotionally unsatisfying”. One can be certain that his opinion has not changed since his death in 1996.