SEEKING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
FROM THE BIBLE TEACHINGS OF
TED A. ROBERTS
The 2nd Heaven Church
Ephesians 4:13The 2nd Heaven Church is not a big secret, and yet it may actually be hidden from many folk's understanding. The modern church is actually a very complicated thing if one were to study to the very depths of its inner workings (for instance, see MY BOOK on this subject). The misunderstanding of the church's structure has led many to believe that we "don't" even need the modern church at all, and others are against such a notion, saying that we do. The truth, however, may actually lie in-between both statements . . . How? . . . Well, there are actually some folks who don't need to come to church on a weekly, or even on a monthly basis who are actually keeping up with God on a daily basis, and are witnessing to folks in their everyday lives, and can service without the use of a modern church building (i.e. a church "setting), and there are others who cannot survive without it; who need a natural man over them (many times called a pastor) to tell them "how" to serve the Lord . . . But, in my own personal experience, I have found that the church building/church service has to serve as a middle ground between both ideas . . . Why? . . . Because, and for those who need help in finding the Lord, the building/service serves as a way to find many folks who need such help, as we are likely to find many who come there as ready to hear a message that'll save them. I mean, if they are seeking such help, what better place to come? Therefore, the church building serves as a common ground for both factions to meetup, and to where help can be administered. However, and as I have come to hear (again, see MY BOOK on this subject for more explanations), church "systems" can also be a way for man to usurp unmerited authority. And, that's true enough! But, and as for those folks who stay away because of such "fleshly men," the people who are trapped inside still need help! . . . Again, it's a complicated business, but a solution "can" be found; as (and, for a third time) I have expressed to the best of my ability, and of a solution, in my book on this topic; of which is called: "The Church and the Five-Fold Ministry: Should we put our trust in man?"
Now, and as far as the "2nd Church" itself is concerned, I do not see this as a new natural church building that we are to start building in the current church's stead, but is rather a "spiritual" place that we can obtain to right here and now (called "heavenly places" in the Bible - see, for instance, Ephesians 1:3 and Ephesians 2:6). And, it's to be found, not necessarily "outside" of the current church, but can be found inside of it too. Basically, it's a place of adulthood in Christ, of where we have put-away childish things in our lives and have become mature in the Lord. A place, that is, which is considered, in the Bible, as to growing into the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
But, even so, why call it a "2nd Heaven" Church? As to that, I will quote from one of my written books to illustrate. But, it's a place of where we have left 1st Heaven's thinking and activities behind us, and have reached, instead, into a deeper realm of living and understanding; of which reflects, now, the 2nd Heaven. For, and as I'll explain in this quote, the 1st Heaven, even though technically gone forever, is where we perform 1st Heaven worship in our church routines! It's what I personally like to call a "First Heaven Experience."
This following quote is from my Full Commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Romans (click HERE to be taken to that book's page - but, please come back here to finish this current thought! . . . Here goes:
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
It would seem, with this verse, and of those that will follow, that we’ll simply be speaking of the Old Law of Moses again. But, in all actuality, it’ll go much deeper than just that; for, such a thought (that is, of having to be loosed from the Old Mosaic Law) is merely the beginning of where Paul will be going with these thoughts, and of where I will follow him. Therefore, and during this chapter, I will be presenting some new ideas that I have not yet advanced. But, in order to do so, I will have to speak on both the 1st and 2nd Heavens; and, whilst doing that, I will give an entirely new perspective on what those could be within a very deep, metaphorical understanding; because, thus far, I have only been building the bridge to reach points such as this; but, now, we must advance on; for, surely, somebody just may be thinking that they would have no need to hear Paul on this account (concerning the Old Law), for we, right here in our modern times, aren’t stuck within the confines of the Old Testament World, and therefore have no need to hear such ancient words. But, you’d actually be mistaken if you truly think so . . . Why? Because we’re ‘still’ stuck in the Old, Mosaic Law? . . . Well, yes, and no . . . What do I mean? . . . Well, even though, technically, and as I’ve already spoken on before, the Old Law had vanished into the New Law of Christ, and has been fulfilled; and even though that Old Law is no longer in existence (again, ‘technically’); some folks (well, actually, a lot of folks) still retain a shadow of that Old Law within, not only their lives, but within their worship practices as well. This thought connects, and has everything to do with modern-day church rituals, and of fleshly acts of worship practices, which many are still doing today – which is basically, and simply, worshipping God with the carnal man instead of the spirit-man, in worshipping God in flesh and lies as opposed to worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth; and that, by doing so, we’ve not only watered down our chances of having ‘better’ worship experiences, but we have truly either placed ourselves back into an Old-Law-type-world, or we have never left it to begin with; and are, as a result, still only asleep; but, hopefully, are asleep in Jesus, rather than being in the horrible alternative of being asleep in first man Adam – where fleshly rituals and formalities reign supreme. This type of fleshly worship and lifestyle I personally call a “1st Heaven experience” . . . But, really, what does the 1st Heaven have to do with all of this? Well, that’s one thing that I wanted to get into during this chapter, so that I can make that statement a lot clearer; and, not only, but I needed to go ahead and bring it up now anyway, for in getting closer to the end of this chapter, we’ll run into this topic once more. Therefore, if we go ahead and cover this now, we’ll already be prepared for what’s coming-up ahead. But, in order to do this (in explaining my take on both the first and second Heavens), one must understand that by me doing so, I will not be tearing-down any other doctrines which speaks on these two Heavens in a different manner; and, of which topic, the Bible definitely speaks on:
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven [a “2nd” Heaven] and a new earth: for the FIRST heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
But I will, once again (and, as I’ve already explained in other scriptures that I had presented with a different take), I will be coming at these Heavens from another point of understanding, and will jump toward the “spiritual/metaphoric” deciphering of them. For, in this sense (again, in the metaphorical sense), I am seeing the 1st Heaven being synonymous with the 1st Covenant / 1st Testament; or, it was the days of the Old Testament – which was beginning its ending-processes when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist – of when the Holy Spirit had descended upon Him in the form of a dove (see Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; and John 1:32). For, this was just before Jesus began to preach a New Testament message (for, He had to fulfill the Old first [Matthew 5:17] before He could preach the New). This is why I believe that Jesus was in Heaven (that is, in 2nd Heaven – the beginnings of a New Covenant) when speaking with Nicodemus…
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he [Jesus] that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which IS [present tense] in heaven [whilst still on earth].
…because, Jesus got into the 2nd Heaven before anybody else did (again, He got in with the descending of the Holy Ghost at John's baptism before saying this to Nicodemus) – and, all the other New Testament saints got in on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 (i.e. the launching of the New Covenant for mankind), but they couldn’t get in beforehand; for, Jesus had to create the way-in for all others to follow. Though, idealistically, the 1st Heaven/Covenant/Testament really ended when Jesus literally died on the cross, saying that it (i.e. the Old Testament/Heaven) was finished (John 19:30). Why? Because a New Testament cannot commence until the Testator dies – remember Hebrews 9:16-17 saying so? For, the death of a lamb, and the spilling of its blood, commences a New Testament (Hebrews 9:18). This is also why the 1st Heaven had died by that time, as well, as it so says in Revelation – within the scope, once again, of “metaphoric” representation . . . So, let’s view this verse again, but with a few more inserted thoughts:
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven [a second Heaven] and a new earth [which, and in continuing within our metaphoric-outlook, this new earth is the Inward-Man body – which is born within this new Heaven – because, the old, first earth, is our old, natural, earthen body – 2nd Corinthians 4:7]: for the first heaven [an old covenant] and the first earth [the fleshly man who had ruled and reigned in the night-season inside that old Heaven] were [now] passed away; and there was no more sea.
And, though, the old man doesn’t actually pass away immediately (as we’ve already seen in the last several lessons; and, also, just as first man Adam had physically continued to live-on after he ate the forbidden fruit, but had died “spiritually” instead), the old man’s days of ruling and reigning on the throne of our hearts DID pass away, along with he being king in the night-season during our “First Heaven Experience;” for, and even though there really is no more 1st Heaven (again, that is, in this metaphoric sense, the actual days of the Old Testament are no more), we actually bring it back ourselves (or, that is, a form of it) when we worship God in flesh and lies instead of in Spirit and Truth – as I will continue to explain during this chapter . . . But, and getting back to the metaphoric outlook for Revelation 21:1, and of the different way to view this verse (in accordance to the pathway that I have already been trying to pave herein), I see the “initial” passing away of the “actual” 1st Heaven (but, not this “First Heaven Experience” that we today make a form of) to, historically, have completely been destroyed for all the earth occupants on the Day of Pentecost – when, also, the New Heaven/New Covenant commenced for mankind (all those born-again saints, in the upper-room, in Acts 2, then arriving into the 2nd Heaven) . . . So, and with all that in mind, let’s now look at and consider this verse:
Revelation 6:12-14 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Please bear with me as I give the “metaphoric” outlook to these verses, too – which, though it will differ from what you may have already heard, and of what has been viewed, perhaps, more naturalistically; for, and just as I had shown for Genesis chapter 1 in an earlier lesson, verses in the Bible can sometimes be “pivoting.” That is, we can read it once and gain a naturalistic outlook; and, then, re-read the same verses with a more spiritual, metaphoric look the second read-over. Therefore, and with that in mind, please allow me to quickly analyze these three verses in a deeper way, as I shall speak on the things that I had highlighted therein (in bold lettering) – which have much to say to us – and, of which we see end on this note: “…the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together…” That is, the departing of the 1st Heaven – as was that Heaven so identified to be the first Heaven in Revelation 21:1 “the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…” And, also, during this entire process, please notice that if an actual date, on the earthen time-scale, can be attributed to these events (of chapter 6 in Revelation), and that date (in this spiritual analyzing) can prove-out to have been in earth’s past, then we’ll have an actual time-setting for the departing of the 1st Heaven; for, once again, as it can be seen, at the end of the verses that I just quoted (in Revelation 6:12-14), the Heaven then departs away, just like a finished scroll when it’s done being read (which, of course, I’m attributing to the end of the Old Testament era, as if IT were the scroll that was finished being read) . . . So, let’s begin . . . First, I connect the earthquake in verse 12 (of Revelation 6) with Jesus dying on the cross, and of the literal earthquake that had followed, since it was an event that had occurred immediately after – not only his literal death – but, more specifically, that it was a literal reaction to the Old Testament actually coming to an utter end; for, not only did that Old Covenant end with his death on the cross, but, too, the veil in the Temple had ripped, from the top to the bottom, allowing man access into the Holy of Holies (even if in metaphoric symbolism), opposed to having no access (save for the high priest alone, and only once a year) during the Old Testament world.
Matthew 27:50-51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus [firstly, of what He had naturally shed at the cross (initially making the way possible), and, secondly, of the “spiritual” blood (i.e. the Holy Ghost) entering-on inside of us, making this access complete], By a new and living way [in, now, a New Testament setting], which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil [though demonstrated naturally with the veil of the Temple, but spiritually, of He making the way possible with His literal sacrifice], that is to say, his flesh [which had died upon the cross].
But, even so, was there really an actual, “literal” earthquake demonstrated for Revelation 6:12? For, wouldn’t that be just too far of a stretch, though? And, too naturalistic of a thought when it’s surrounded by heavy metaphors that I’m trying to present here? Well, if this is really true (that is, that this earthquake bespeaks of the natural earthquake that had occurred when Jesus died on the cross), then this will simply give us an actual time-frame of when these events took place within the metaphoric scope of understandings that will follow that thought – for, and as I had already just explained, that natural occurrence had actually ushered-in very deep symbolic events; namely, and first of all, unlimited access unto the Holiest chamber – of which had only previously been allowable for the high priest alone, and only once a year. For now, we have a full 24-hour, 7 days a week access; but, only by the blood of the Lamb. But, not just the red blood that He had shed at the cross – which hinges more on the historical – but, of the Holy Ghost, which the natural blood had represented in symbolism – and, of which now hinges on the metaphorical. For, and even if one only sees all these things for our future (that is, of what I will be expounding upon for Revelation chapter 6, in verses 12-14), then I will repeat that I’ll only be showing the metaphoric time-frame of these verses, which actually bespeaks of things in the past. But, still, let us continue with that verse’s dialog to see if we can really make this connection sensible . . . So, next (and also in verse 12 of Revelation 6), The Sun became black and the Moon became as blood. Peter, in the book/letter of Acts, said the fulfillment of that was actually during his own day:
Acts 2:15-20 (a summary) For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But THIS [what they were then witnessing] is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God [i.e. the last days not being the end of the planet, as we’ve already learned, but the end of the Old Testament World – the ending of the 1st Heaven], I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh [i.e. The Holy Ghost outpouring on the Day of Pentecost, that is – of what Joel had prophesied about in the Old Testament]... [and then, in verse 20 – with Peter continuing with the things that Joel had spoken on, and had prophesied about for Peter’s day and time, and of which all the witnesses that day were actually seeing being fulfilled before their eyes] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come…
That great and notable day being the besieging of Jerusalem in this instance; which had ended, as we’ve seen, with the city of Jerusalem and the great Temple being destroyed in AD 70 by the armies of Rome – the terrible judgment of carnal Israel, because of all their decadent deeds during the Old Testament era, up until they had crucified Jesus, and who were against God; see Isaiah 2:12; 13:6; 13:9; 34:8; 46:10; etc. Therefore, the events spoken of by Joel the prophet were to take place prior to the terrible day of the Lord (i.e. the Wars of the Jews with Rome) . . . Jesus Himself is the Sun in these Revelation references (that is, the Sun that had become darkened – as we’re fixing to see how). But, first, let’s connect Jesus with the Sun before doing so:
Revelation 1:16b …his [Jesus’] countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Matthew 17:2 And [Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
You think these verses to be some sort of coincidence? Jesus is compared to the Sun because of His New Testament messages: New Testament Light; New Testament enlightenment.
John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [the enlightenment of God through Jesus, the Sun], that all men through him might believe. He [John] was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Matthew 4:16 [Because Jesus finally came to earth] The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
However, this Sun/Light, as bright as it is, still could not be seen by those 1st Covenant religious leaders (i.e. the main ringleaders of Jesus’ crucifixion – see Mark 15:13; Luke 23:23; John 19:6a; John 19:14-15; and Acts 2:22-23).
2 Corinthians 3:14-15 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
If those men couldn’t even see through the veil of Moses, in the reading of the Old Testament, then how much more with Jesus, and the reading of the New Testament? Therefore, the Sun became as black as sackcloth of hair to their sight. They had no spiritual eye to see. And, though, that may not make any sense at the moment, we must see where these verses, of Revelation chapter 6, will end-up leading to:
Revelation 6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come [again, when Rome surrounding Jerusalem’s walls for war]; and who shall be able to stand?
Whomever one thinks these men to be, it’s quite obvious that these were the “bad-guys” of the story, and not those who could actually “see” the Sun. That is, it’s not those who have an actual eye to see, nor an ear to hear, nor of having a heart that can understand God and His ways. In fact, it was Jesus who had pointed this type of thought-out concerning those religious leaders of his own day and time – of they being so blind that they could see no light:
John 9:39-41 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
And, if this true – in that these “bad-guys” of Revelation 6:15-17 were those blind religious leaders of Jesus’ own day (again, looking at all this in the “past” for Revelation’s “metaphoric” fulfillment of these particular verses) – then those kings of the earth, the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, were those historical Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. – the religious leadership of Jesus’ day, of whom usurped unmerited authority in God’s name; see Matthew chapter 23 for Jesus’ take on their tyrannical ways – whilst the bond and free men were simply their followers who had supported them . . . In fact, and as we continue viewing Revelation 6:12-14 (our main verses for these present thoughts), we will continue to actually see those religious leaders of Jesus’ day and time being represented by its words. But, before doing so, let’s also, and quickly, speak of the Moon; for, when something bleeds out, as did the Moon, in Revelation 6:12, it loses all of its life (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11 – blood being the life of anything alive). This Moon, also, is a lesser light than the Sun – but, only when it’s illuminated, at first, by the Sun – therefore, the Moon represents the Old Heaven; the Old Covenant; the Old Testament; and, because it had bled, it finally died when it lost all of its blood; again, the dying of the 1st Heaven.
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant [a New Heaven], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away [i.e. during the 1st century AD].
Therefore, the Moon, again representing the lesser light (i.e. the Old Testament; and, perhaps even Moses himself, who had given the Law of that Old Testament) was only a reflection of the greater light, of Jesus, who came to give greater Light to the world by His own testimony (Matthew 4:16 and John 1:4-5;3:19); and, then, the Old Testament was ready to roll away like a scroll when it's finished being read at the end times; i.e. the ending of that Old Testament world . . . Next, the stars of heaven fell unto the earth (Revelation 6:13a): Stars, in some scriptural instances, are metaphorically compared to ministers. That is, and in this case, it was, again, those bad ministers of the Old Covenant falling from their place in the 1st Heaven, falling back to the earth – or, specifically, back unto carnality; or, back to the ungodly ways of the world. We find that, in Jude, men are referred to as stars – especially when Jude is talking about these same men that I myself am speaking on: the religious leaders of the 1st century AD; who either couldn’t accept Jesus for what He is, or who had rejected His doctrine for their own self-gain.
Jude 1:4 For there are certain MEN crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [prophesied about during the Old Testament], ungodly men [who fell to earthen matters of carnality], turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [verse 11 – speaking of these same men] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  These [same men] are [not going to be, but “are”] spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you [showing us a present-tense people during Jude’s day], feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water [without the Holy Ghost within them; John 7:37-39; Isaiah 44:3; and 1st Corinthians 12:13], carried about of winds [winds of man’s own doctrine; Ephesians 4:14]; trees whose fruit withereth [fig trees with either unripen figs (green only), or of having no figs at all – as I’ll speak more on in a moment], without fruit [no fruit of the Spirit about them – which those figs represent symbolically; see Galatians 5:22-23 for the Fruit itself], twice dead, plucked up by the roots [dying the death of Adam – the second death]; [verse 13 – these same men are] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever [i.e. blackness of darkness of the New Testament Sun].
Learning that men can sometimes be compared, metaphorically, in scripture to “stars” (for they, as natural stars had guided ancient ships to port during the nighttime, should really guide folks to God during those people’s night-season) is a key that can unlock other truths from the Bible for us, too . . . However, these 'stars,' of which Jude spoke of wandering (again, wandering away from the truth), not only fell from their place in the 1st Heaven, but they fell smack-dab unto carnality and ungodliness. And, then, if that wasn't proof enough, Revelation 6:13 continues to say that these stars, that fell unto the earth, were cast down "even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind..." Oh, the picture that forms for us here! Can we not see the Mighty Wind of Acts chapter 2, verse 2, being represented here – i.e. the Holy Ghost – when it came into the house where all the saints were gathered to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost – to be born-again saints?
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Again, these aren’t just coincidences of terms; for, it had put those upper-room folks into the 2nd Heaven – where Jesus Himself had first gone after having the Holy Spirit descend upon Him at John’s Baptism; and, also, as He told Nicodemus, He was already IN Heaven whilst still upon earth; meaning, specifically, the 2nd Heaven . . . But, not only did the Holy Ghost experience on the Day of Pentecost put those folks into the 2nd Heaven, but (and, going back to those blind religious leaders of Jesus’ day) that Mighty Wind had also blown those bad-guys away from their place in 1st Heaven – knocking them down to the earth; or, earthen, carnal matters: “…the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” And, too, the picture of the fig tree is brought before us, as well. Do we not remember Jesus desiring to see some Good Fruit on the fig tree and found none? And, then, He cursed the fig tree because it could produce no Good Fruit:
Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Far from believing that Jesus simply had a bad temper – in that if He didn’t get His own way, He went around destroying things that got Him angry – we should rather see that He found no "Fruits of the Spirit" (again, from Galatians 5:22-23) amongst the ministry of the First Covenant. Nor, of the blind people that they were taking down with them:
Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
But, let’s continue with comparing Old Israel with the Fig Tree:
Hosea 9:10b I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the FIG TREE at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
Luke 13:6-7 He [Jesus] spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years [i.e. the approximate time of Jesus' ministry on earth] I come seeking fruit [of the Spirit] on this fig tree [amongst this 1st Heaven ministry], and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? [which did eventually get cut down in AD 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed by the armies of Rome].
Therefore, when we put all of these verses together (again, Revelation 6:12-14), we see that they (from a metaphoric point-of-view) form a picture of Revelation’s past; for, Revelation doesn’t only speak of the future, but it also speaks of the recent past, as well:
Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen [witnessed in the past], and the things which are [current events of John’s day], and the things which shall be hereafter [futuristic events].
These things John was certainly a witness to; that is, things from the recent past, such as Jesus’ ministry; His crucifixion and Resurrection; the events of the Day of Pentecost; and of what took place during the 40 years that had led up to the toppling of the Temple in AD 70. In fact, John, as history tells us, lived up until approximately AD 100. So, why not speak of events from the recent past in the book/letter of Revelation? Do we imagine that such events (again, Jesus’ Resurrection, and the Day of Pentecost, etc.) were small, isolated affairs in Christian history? I dare say that the Day of Pentecost was one of the most significant events of the New Testament. Why? Because, it was the day on which a whole New, spiritual World commenced. I’ve already said that, by Paul’s own words concerning Jesus, that the New Testament ‘officially’ began when Jesus had both died and rose again (see, again, Hebrews 9:17). And, then, logically, other folks didn’t get in themselves until the Day of Pentecost; for, that’s when the Holy Ghost finally descended in its fullest form, bringing those folks into a whole new, spiritual Kingdom (a Second Heaven). Therefore, I contend that it’s not only possible that Revelation speaks on things of its recent past, but that it would be mighty strange if it didn’t because those events helped shape the future of Christianity; and, laying-out what had happened in the past would set the book/letter of Revelation up to speak also of future events, as well. But, on the other hand, if what I’ve just covered isn’t those verses’ metaphoric interpretations, then we have a wondrous coincidence on our hands! However, if this truly be the case – in that I have seen these things accurately – then we can see actual proof that the First Heaven was synonymous with the Old Testament Covenant, and a closing-out of the Old Testament – all starting with Jesus dying on the cross: which the earthquake had painted a historical picture for us in Revelation 6:12, helping us to place such an event in actual history; then, as 6:12 continued to demonstrate, the Sun and Moon event of Peter’s day (which he himself was a witness to) shows us that not only was the Sun shining brightly, but that it was blindly being seen (or, unseen) by the adherents to the 1st Covenant, who couldn’t and refused to change with the times; they just simply couldn’t accept Jesus. Then, it demonstrated the bleeding-out of the Old Covenant, in the form of the bleeding Moon – helping us to further understand the passing of one Heaven, and gaining another. Or, from an Old Covenant to a New. Verse 13 then continues this picture in the form of those Old Covenant Ministers, as stars, falling down to the earth. And, not only, but they fell just like a fig tree that casts its unripen figs, to the earth, when it’s shaken of a mighty Holy Ghost Wind. How can this not be a picture of the Old Covenant/Heaven passing away whilst the New was coming into effect? Then, to top it all off, verse 14 called this event the passing of the Heaven . . . We therefore see that the closing of the Old Testament happened at the same exact time that the 1st Heaven departed . . . Again, is that just a mere coincidence? . . . Therefore, and in my humble opinion, I feel confident that we can connect the 1st Heaven with the Old Covenant; and, by doing so, we can be justified in saying that if a person reflects the Old Covenant in their worship practices (again, by doing “carnal” ordinances that actually “reflects” [in fleshly usage] of what had been done in the Old Law during their own outward, formal, ritualistic practices), then that’s why I say that folks who still do so today are living within a “First Heaven Experience.” This also carries on-over to our understanding about folks who are simply ignorant to God’s understandings and ways, and are only carnally minded. Therefore, and just like the folks that we had spoken on, of who have no understanding, and are living within the confines of the night-season, of being Asleep in Jesus, all of them are within the confines of the Moon – which not only rules-supreme in the nighttime, but all of them are within the confines of lesser understandings, and all within a First Heaven Experience. It all means the same thing: Nighttime, being asleep, blind to God’s ways and truths, etc. And, by understanding it all in this way, then Paul’s words, here in this book/letter of Romans, can certainly be for us today – just as well as it had been for the folks to whom were boldly clinging onto the actual Old Law during Paul’s own time . . . So, and in conclusion, if we are ONLY throwing all of Paul’s words, here in Romans, to have effect only on folks of the past – just for the Jews and Gentiles of that day and time – and saying that it has nothing to do with us, at all, on any scale today, then we’ll be missing out on a deeper understanding of all of what Paul was meaning . . . And, so, and in having said all this, let’s look at our very first scripture again, and tie it all-in together:
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the [Old] law,) how that the [Old] law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Again, this can reflect both the original Old Law itself (which had actually, and technically, gone-away with Jesus dying on the cross – being replaced by the New Law; though, a lot of folks back then just didn’t know it yet!), and, also, it can reflect folks who were still trying to cling onto it after it was gone, by they throwing themselves within the confines of naturalistic worship and naturalistic understandings of God’s Word. But, also, and even if folks today aren’t necessarily trying to throw themselves into that Old Law (though, some actually do so without knowing it!), people still do it anyways by throwing themselves into both naturalistic worship and naturalistic understandings of God’s Word . . . But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad thing to do, though . . . What? And, how is that? . . . Because, it’s really God Himself who causes folks to go within the confines of a “First Heaven Experience” to begin with . . . Okay; now, let’s think about that one for a moment! . . . But, pray tell, why? . . . Well, it’s because this is also the naturalistic world that God had created for mankind to come-on into when they come into His Kingdom for the very first time – within the nighttime – of being buried with Him in baptism. It’s a state of existence (of being asleep) that He has ordained for ALL OF US to live in when we first come into His church world. Which, today, we just call being a baby Christian; for, who, truly, would know everything – especially the deeper things of God – without first having to go through much training in His Word and Ways?
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him [that is, if we are asleep]. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit [awakening us]: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. [13-14] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth [that is, these are not the words of the nighttime], but which the Holy Ghost teacheth [words of the Daytime]; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man [our old carnal-selves] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This, however, does NOT mean that we must go and embrace the Old Law of Moses when we first come into God’s Kingdom, or if we feel that we lack understanding on a deeper level, because that Old Law really has passed away – even though the night-season does reflect it on many levels – for, it also is a naturalistic world for the Old Man to live; being, again, a form of that Old Law in that it’s a naturalistic world which mimics the Old one in many forms and reflections. The goal, of course, is to get ourselves loosed from it so that we can embrace the better things and ways of God.
Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead [asleep] wherein we were held; that we should [now – after a greater experience in God] serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
That is, so that we can resurrect on the inside of ourselves . . . All these things, of course, will be covered (with Paul’s own words) during the course of this present chapter. Therefore, if all of this doesn’t make complete sense now, then that’s okay, for it will be covered, step by step, and scripture by scripture, as we plod along in chapter 7 of Romans. What I’ve been doing thus far is setting up the ground-work so that Paul can explain these things better than I can . . . But, still, I want to first say a little further on our current verse:
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the [Old] law,) how that the [Old] law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
We actually have to die in order to be loosed from the “shadow” of that old law – but, not a second death, such as all those in Adam will die; but, rather, to become dead to the Old Law (or, that is, from the “image” of that Old Law [which, indeed, is a law of “naturalism”], in both our understandings and in fleshly rituals), so that we may live in the Daylight with Christ – as we’ll also see later-on, beginning in verse 4 of Romans 7 . . . or, that is, in modern terms, and for us today (as opposed to this original message to the Gentiles of the 1st Century AD), that we have to die to the ways of the First Heaven Experience . . . So, the key to having such a Law to NOT have dominion over us (to lord-over us), is to become dead to it ourselves.