THE CLOCK OF GOD, Part 1, TRUMPETS OVER BABYLON

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming, yes, it is near." ---Joel 2:1

CHAPTER 2

Eden -- A Brief Moment in Paradise

"For he it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord God Almighty is his name." Amos 4:13

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In order to understand the end of the world, we need to go back to its beginning -- to the start of creation itself. That takes us to the Book of Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gn.1:1).

The word 'heavens' here is plural. This shows that more than one heaven was formed in the process of creation. Paul verified this when he said that there are actually three heavens. (2 Cor.12:2).

According to scripture, before any creation existed here, all was darkness and God's Spirit hovered over the water. (Gn.1:2). This means that before there was earth or sea or sky, there was water -- not H2O per se -- but the kind of 'water' that forms the primordial substance of creation itself.

Into the darkness of this water, God sent His voice: "God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light." (Gn.1:3). We can see this explosion of light in two ways. One, literally, as the 'Big Bang' which created our universe, and then metaphorically, as an event more basic -- a flash that occurred far earlier and formed something even more fundamental -- the heavens themselves.

"God said, 'Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two'." (Gn.1:6). This division, the Bible says, formed the three heavens of scripture -- two made out of 'water' and another composed of a kind of deep space which the Bible calls a 'vault' or 'chasm'. "God made the vault and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault." (Gn.1:7).

As soon as He had created it, God quietly put the body of waters that lay above the vault (the substance of the third heaven) away for safe keeping. This was a crucial moment in the earliest phases of the creation. It gave God the means for our rescue later.

This hidden heaven is the place Paul described when he talked about the the highest heaven of all. It is a heaven that neither Satan nor any other angel has ever entered. It is inside this hidden and pristine 'upper waters' that God is creating the kingdom which Jesus will rule.

No further reference is given in the Book of Genesis to the mysterious body of
creative waters that lay above the vault of heaven.


The Lower Sea

Everything else in this scripture relates to objects formed below the third heaven -- to the vault itself, for instance which is the heaven in which God and all the angels currently reside (a place we might call the 'second' or 'middle' heaven).

Below that lie the lower waters -- the waters that lay beneath the vault and which now constitute our own earth and sky (Gen.1:9).

This is the lower sea. Within these lower 'waters' floats the visible 'heaven' above our heads -- a vast collection of stardust that includes every planet, solar system and galaxy in our universe.

The lower waters not only house all of physical creation, they also contain a spiritual realm that is invisible to our eyes. We can see this invisible part in our own division of body and soul. Originally body and soul were meant to exist in the same substance, but sin created a division between them. So God split them apart in order to manifest the exile.

Understanding this split is crucial to the comprehension of bible prophecy and all the codes on which it is based. While this division is not much different from the way God split the creative waters in the beginning, in this case it divided only the lower sea. And it happened, not for glory, but for sin.

In the code of scripture the lower waters are referred to as the 'nether sea', or simply 'the sea'. This spiritual ocean, once created in the perfection and light of God, is now a darkened and chaotic malestrom of churning mist -- the domain of Satan's kingdom -- the part of creation that Satan corrupted -- a corruption which took away its immortality.

Sin brought such corruption into the lower waters that God was forced to refashion a part of this 'sea' into a material existance opposite of His true nature. He brought this second part into existance with an explosive blast.

Blinding the vision of science to see beyond it, the immense power of this cosmic explosion created the stars and planets we now see in space.

If one were to visualize all this in terms of blocks of modeling clay, it would be as if God took one block of clay that no one knew about and locked it up in the attic of His house; and then took a second block of clay (a block scripture calls the 'lower waters') and placed it in the basement of His house .

The block of clay in the attic (the third heaven) He kept safeguarded and out of sight.

But using the block of clay in the basement, God fashioned our own earth and sky -- the creation of the first-born. This is the portion Satan contaminated -- the block in the basement.

To prevent this contamination from spreading, God split the basement block of clay in half. "Did you not split Rahab in two...?" (Is.51:9). "By your power, God, you split the sea in two and smashed the heads of the monster in the waters." (Ps.74:13).

This division created the material universe and made one part of the lower waters invisible to its other part. Satan had been blocked.

It is this split which created the exile -- body in one substance, soul in another. Because of this division, we who are in the physical part are now blind to the real substance of God.

We can see physical things but we have no receptors to see things that are made of spirit. Where we do see spiritual elements, it is only because God has replicated images of them in material form.

When we look out into space, for instance, we can see that all the planets and galaxies in the physical universe are separated from one another by gigantic chasms of blank space -- and that is the way it is in the separation between the heavens themselves.

A vast chasm exists between the upper waters and our own lower waters -- a chasm not even the angels can cross.

God is spirit and by imprisoning man in physical form, He has made it impossible for us to see His face or even to understand the nature or certainty of His existence.

How God could do all this is inexplicable and totally mysterious. But one thing is clear, almost everything in the house of God exists in a spiritual dimension we have no 'eyes' to see.

Not all spiritual elements are good. Satan and his angels are spirit. And it was in this spiritual plane that all the great warfare took place which resulted in Satan's defeat and his imprisonment in the lower waters.

We should not confuse the spiritual realms that exist above the lower sea with the elements of the sea itself. Because God divided them to block wickedness, the lower waters now have both spiritual and material natures. That is why Satan's warfare still rages within us.

The material part of the lower waters is the universe we see around us and which came to be as a result of the separation between man and God. "To God belong the earth and all it holds, the world and all who live in it; he himself founded it on the ocean, based it firmly on the nether sea." (Ps.24:1-2).

The hidden spiritual half of these lower waters (the nether sea) probably once housed the Garden of Eden, because while in it, Adam and Eve could see God (who is spirit).

Therefore, it was different than the world we now occupy where angels and other spiritual things are invisible.

And where it once contained the garden, now all it houses is that garden's wreckage -- the prison of souls for instance, and the dominions and powers of Satan. Called the Abyss, it now sits incurably ruined.

Our souls, since they are spiritual, exist on one side of this split and our bodies lie on the other. The fact that, despite this split, the two remain somehow attached as a single unit is one of God's greatest mysteries, and it is a key mechanism in our salvation.

That is because this mysterious union between body and soul can be cut apart by baptism in the blood of Christ, ridding us of our contaminated clothing and providing the means for our soul to unite with the Spirit of God, and in that way obtain a body that is eternal -- a body Jesus called 'the wedding garment'.

Paul said that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Neither can a soul that has failed to unite itself with the Holy Spirit. Our escape from Satan's prison depends completely on our robing ourselves in God's garment of salvation.

The codes in scripture are very clear in this regard. It was the splitting of the lower sea into its two individual parts that provided God the means for our rescue.

"God drove back the sea...and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to the right and to the left of them." (Ex.14:21-22). See also, Ex.15:8, Neh.9:11, Ps.18:16, Ps.74:13-14, etc.

The banks of water represent the two halves of the nether sea. On each side, towers a hidden spiritual wall of water and running through the middle of it, the material universe.

God formed the earth and galaxies in the benthic depths of this divided creation so that His people could have a way to walk to safety across dry land, and so escape the malestrom of Satan's mists and darkness. "Reach down your hand from above, save me, rescue me from deep waters, from the power of foreigners..." Ps.144:7.

By parting the waters of the lower sea, God has been able to lead us out of sin and transport us to the upper waters where He has built His new kingdom.

It is important to understand that the parting of these waters was not initiated by Moses, but was reenacted at the Exodus so that we could see its relationship to our divine escape in Jesus Christ. Perceiving this relationship allows us to comprehend one of the most important prophetic codes in the Bible.

The entire nether sea and everything in it is doomed. Both halves of the lower waters (both its visible and invisible parts) are going to be consumed in what John calls 'a lake of burning sulphur' when God's day of Judgment comes.

This lake of fire will be born out of the incineration of the lower sea itself. It is the torching of these waters that will destroy Satan and the first heaven forever, and along with it, everything that is evil.

Because Satan has made it perishable once God has rescued us out of this existance, all of it will pass away. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea." (Rv.21:1).

When the Lord first created the lower sea it was good and there was no evil within it.

The Book of Genesis describes how God went about forming His creation and all the life within it, including Adam and Eve -- forming all of it in goodness out of the substance of the primordial water which lay below the second heaven.

During this period, scripture says that God discussed the creation of man with others: "Let us make man in our own image." (Gn.1:26). This immediately raises a question. Who was with God when He first created man?

The first thought of course would be Jesus; but there were also many angels around Him, and a group of powerful beings called 'Elders'.

John in the Book of Revelation said that when God comes at the Last Judgment He will be accompanied by a hundred million angels and thousands upon thousands more than that. "...there were ten thousand times ten thousand of them and thousands upon thousands..." (Rv.5:11).

In addition to all these angels, John saw in his vision that the 'Elders' he described will sit circled around God on 24 thrones at the time of judgment. (Rv.4:4). These elders were mentioned briefly in the Book of Isaiah who wrote of Jesus that "his glory will shine in the presence of his elders." (Is.24:23).

All of this indicates that there is a definite hierarchy in the kingdom of God -- one of great age and very holy. It also shows that God had been the head of an immense established community in heaven filled with angels and beings for an infinite period of time that extends far back before any of the things that relate to this world ever happened.


Satan, the Fallen Angel of God

We are inclined to think of God's chain of command in human terms where those in higher offices lord it over those beneath them. But this is not how it is in heaven. Jesus said that the heirarchy in heaven is a reverse of our own.

Within the rules governing this heavenly gradient, God appointed an angel named Satan to rule over His new creation, giving this being great power over the administration of the nether sea.

Within God's pyramid of authority were a number of angels who were called 'God's Sons'. Satan was one of these 'sons'. "One day the Sons of God came to attend on God, and among them was Satan." (Job.1:6).

Satan, in fact, seems to have been one of the highest ranking angels in the court of God. We will show later how the codes of scripture define this relationship when we examine the prophecies in the Book of Esther.

All of these beings -- Satan and the angels under his direction -- were a part of a heavenly contingent already in existance at the time of the world's beginning.

This is clearly evident by the fact that Satan's rebellion was made manifest at the Garden in Eden. This means that Satan and the angels who followed him in his rebellion all existed at the time the Garden and Adam and Eve were first formed.

When Satan rebelled, he plunged the lower waters -- the whole new creation -- into the contamination of sin.

Immediately, God threw the entire creation into isolation to prevent the imperfection that had contaminated it from spreading.

Since there was an ancient heavenly civilization that predated the creation of this world and Adam and Eve, just where the Bible picks up the story we do not know. Scripture does not probe very deeply into the creation of the ancient ones and all the angels.

Instead, it concentrates on the apostasy of Satan and mankind's escape from the captivity of his rebellion. Scripture seems to be structured almost completely around mankind's escape from Satan's grasp.

By allowing both darkness and light to coexist from the beginning, God showed that He had no intention of legislating righteousness by force, even in heaven. Since in the scriptures light and darkness are always related to right and wrong, even the angels have been left free by God to choose between the two.

Satan, in his freedom, decided on his own authority to rebel and leave the way that God had commanded.

He apparently convinced a third of all the angels in heaven to join him. "A huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns appeared. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them on the earth." (Rv.12:4).

The rebellion of Satan and those who collaborated with him brought death into the creation. This is because sin and death are intimately related.

The Bible shows that when Adam and Eve chose to defy God, all of mankind was instantly plunged with them into sin and made subject to the death that enwrapped them.

It would seem that the resulting disaster is sure proof that God should have prevented Satan from making that choice in the first place, but God is perfect righteousness and had He restricted Satan's freedom to choose in any way, He would have compromised, not only His own perfection, but that of heaven as well.

As it was, He had an answer to it -- a solution which would save everybody Satan tried to destroy.

What made the devil rebel is not known. Perhaps Satan felt that God's mercy would prevent Him from annihilating the creation He had just made -- and that this impasse would cost God His Kingship.

But God had not revealed all of His secrets to Satan. He had built into the creation hidden barriers to rebellion.

The meaning of the upper waters (that part of heaven which lay above the vault, and which was set aside at the beginning) was unknown to Satan, so it represented an entirely new creative base -- one where new heavens and a new earth could be rebuilt in perfection because no contamination existed there.


Adam and Eve and the Fall Into Sin

After Adam and Eve had consumed the forbidden fruit offered to them by Satan, God turned to those who were with Him and said, 'See, the man has become like one of us with his knowledge of good and evil. "

"He must not be allowed to also stretch out his hand and next pick from the tree of life, and live forever. So God expelled him from the garden of Eden. He banished man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life."
(Gn.3:22-24).

This prevented man in his sinful state from becoming eternal. As a consequence of this banishment, while Satan and his fellow fallen angels were doomed, mankind still had a chance for redemption.

The first thing Adam and Eve discovered when they ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge was that they were naked.

At first they tried to make clothes for themselves "...they realized they were naked so they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths" (Gn.3:7).

But God showed them that the kind of clothes they now needed, only He had power to make. "God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on." (Gn.3:21).

This clothing is the key to the banishment.

The 'skin' we wear today is the same kind of skin that God make for Adam and Eve to wear -- flesh and blood -- the clothing of the exile.

The banishment, then, was mankind's exile into the material world where God is invisible. Since matter cannot see spirit, man in the flesh cannot see God. "No one has ever seen God; it is only the Son who has made him known." (Jn.1:18). .

The Bible decrees that we can 'see' God only by voice. ...you heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice." (Dt.4:12). Not an audible voice, but one that we hear in our hearts when we read the words God spoke.

When we read the Gospel, Jesus comes alive and we can hear Him speak and in this sound, see God. This is the whole meaning of God as 'Word'. (John 1:1).

It could be argued that those who saw Jesus saw God, but only a handful of people ever saw Jesus in the flesh.

For the untold billions who were born after he was crucified, there has only been a voice -- so it is singularly in this voice that most of the world has been able to see God.

We do not even have a photograph or a painting of Jesus. Even the image on the shroud has been proved false. This is why Paul said, "Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now." (2 Cor.5:16).

Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. This is why God found it so important to discuss with us the clothing of Adam and Eve.

Until they rebelled, these two had lived in a world that was in the same substance as God, but when they sinned, God split their world into two opposite but co-existing natures -- banishing them (and us) from His sight and presence.

The result was a long lived spiritual soul clothed in a short-lived body of material flesh -- a soul made in the image of God, clothed in a prison of chaos and exile.

While this division would seem to border on science fiction, it is an issue that Christianity has had to deal with from the very beginning.

In the early days of the religion it was thought by many that this meant that flesh was evil and the spirit good. But that idea was quickly discarded when it was shown that the sovereignties and powers of the underworld are not flesh and blood either -- Satan and his angels are all spirits.

Flesh is made evil only when the spiritual dominions of Satan enter it. (Spiritual dominions which can be thrown out by the power of God).

Instead of being evil, then, flesh and blood is simply a weak and temporary existence that marks the foreign outpost of God's exile. In essence then, flesh is Babylon.

Flesh and blood is part and parcel of the exile -- and that exile is the ultimate meaning of Babylon.

With the banishment of man into the material world, God brought mankind into contact with death. Nothing material can last very long -- it all begins to dissolve the moment it is created and eventually it falls apart.

The human body has a life of only about 70 years. That is because the flesh is not made in the image of God -- in fact, with its short life and decaying nature, it is just the opposite of God's image.

The soul, on the other hand, which is made in the image of God, lives much longer. For this reason, the soul does not die with the body, but returns intact, after the flesh dies, to a spiritual repository on the other side of the curtain dividing the world.

The flesh, then, is an outer garment that covers our true nature -- a nature we can understand only in terms of soul -- a nature we cannot see because of the blindness caused by our exile.

Jesus proved this when he told the Jews that no one who had died in the past was really dead: "...for to God all men are in fact, alive." (Lk.20:38). Since the flesh dies and returns into the dust of the earth, what remains alive is something altogether invisible.

This means that, hidden from our eyes, somewhere in the lower waters (somewhere in the dungeon of Satan), a vast storehouse exists, holding all the souls Satan has taken prisoner. One by one, through the power of God, this storehouse has been yielding everyone who has ever been born on earth.

God has raised each of these souls (ours and everyone else's) up in a temporary body, one by one, bringing each of us to life on this earth to see the saving light of Jesus Christ -- each person brought before that light to make a choice whether to follow Jesus or the world.

After we have made our decision, God returns us to the other side of the curtain to make room for those who are in line behind us -- so that they can have an opportunity to make the same choice.

Those who choose to come to Jesus are cleansed and given new robes to wear, and when their earthly bodies die, they are brought to a place just underneath God's altar. (Rv.6:9).

Those who have not yet been born on earth are still in the storehouse -- still waiting for their turn to come to earth and pass through this holy examination which will give them a chance to shed the contamination of Satan which now marks them for death.

All of these souls were created in a single instant long ago when God formed the creation at the beginning.

No End can come until God has emptied this storage place in Satan's dungeon and everyone in it has been given a chance to choose Jesus, and with Him, the clothing of the new kingdom.

The new garment that God gives to those who choose Jesus is called in scripture a 'wedding garment'. It is the clothing of the new kingdom of heaven, and is the new eternal body that the Holy Spirit has built to house our soul.

The soul is made eternal by this new clothing. The food that creates it is the Gospel that Jesus preached.

In the Old Testament, using the metaphore of allegory, Ezekiel gave us God's description of the luxurious nature of his heavenly garment using world terms:

"I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness...I bathed you in water...I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. "

"I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil."
(Ez.16:8:13).

This is the perfect beauty that Israel almost lost when it fell into Satan's hands. (Ez.16:30). And it would have lost it forever had Christ not restored God's clothing through the words He preached.

When Satan corrupted God's creation, everything that existed within it fell under his sinful control, allowing him to become the figure which Jesus called 'the prince of this world'. The extent of Satan's wicked princely reign stretches to the ends of the lower waters -- encompassing both sides of the spiritual curtain.

His kingdom involves the entire lower sea. (Job 7:12). That is why our souls were in his possession in the first place. This possession is the captivity we were caught in, and the light of Jesus Christ is the key which unlocks our chains and sets us free from Satan's bondage.

According to John, once everyone has been given the chance to escape to freedom, God will destroy Satan and the kingdom which he corrupted in a fiery pit of burning sulphur. (Rv.20:13). It is that event which marks the true end of the world.


The Land of Eden

The Bible shows us, then, that before there was Babylon there was Eden -- the world which came before ours -- the world that God destroyed. (2 Peter 3:5-7). It was a world where people could live much longer than a hundred years. It started as a garden in paradise, but ended up a wasteland.

Because it grew up outside of faith, the corruption of Eden was almost total. And that is why God covered it in the waters of the flood.

We will describe this flood and the codes that are attached to it in the next chapter.

Scripture shows that Eden's corruption was so vast that only nine exceptions to it existed in the history of its civilization: Enoch, and the eight people who were saved at the time of Noah.

Enoch was a type of the rapture in the land of Eden. "Enoch walked with God. Then he vanished because God took him." (Gn.5:24). He lived in the land for 365 years and then ascended directly into heaven. "

It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not have to experience death."
(Heb.11:5). Because he pleased God, Satan and his battalion of evil angels had no power over him.

There is something very special about Enoch -- his holiness, his companionship with God and the fact that his life of 365 years (a year of years) relates symbolically, like Jesus, to our sun.

What that importance is, we can only speculate, but it is as if Jesus, Himself, had been planted there and then divinely removed because the creation in Eden was too faithless and evil for Him.

Enoch was unique because every other person in Eden was filled with corruption and violence -- a violence which came to a peak in the days of Noah.

When the wickedness of that first world reached a certain point, Noah and those who were with him were warned by God to get on an ark and to load it up with the seed of the world and to seal the ark behind them. Once they had complied, God destroyed His first creation in a deluge of waters.

Except for that tiny group of people (Enoch and Noah, and Noah's immediate family) everyone else in Eden perished in the chaos of the watery darkness that had suddenly enveloped their land from on high.

Severing Himself from the creation and returning to His own heaven, God abandoned the lower sea, leaving behind a shattered world swallowed up in the chaotic turbulence of divine punishment and facing eternal disaster.


Next
Chapter 3,
"The Return of God"

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