“And God called the firmament Heaven.” Gen 1:8 NKJV
I mentioned yesterday that the Hebrew word, “shamayim” translated “heaven” by our english translators actually refers to several different types of heaven in the Scripture. Here in Genesis 1:8 “shamayim” is used to describe the location of the “raqiya`” or what theologians refer to as the firmament.
The firmament was a protective covering around the Earth that supported a layer of “water” above it. This layer turned back all of the sun’s harmful effects while allowing its warmth and light through to make the planet a super terrarium. This firmament made plant life to grow in abundance all over the planet and caused animal life to live long and strong. The firmament collapsed with God’s judgment in the flood (see Genesis 7:11). Without it man’s life-span was reduced to one tenth of its original length almost directly after Noah’s life; This truth brings us to the next point I want to focus on regarding Heaven. It is a place of protection.
When man fell from grace all Earth fell with him. As the Scripture says, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it…” Rom. 8:20 NIV
Earth became a vale of tears, death and pain. What was meant to be a paradise became a prison. The provision for man became his poison lending to his death.
God’s realm of Heaven was not so affected. So while death rules in this place, it is forbidden in God’s presence. So until God judges this realm and terminates the reign of sin and death, Heaven has become the “gools” for believers forced to play Satan’s game of “death-tag”.
Just as the firmament soaked up all the sun’s harmful rays before the flood so the Heaven of Heavens soaks up the harmful effects that death pours out upon our flesh. For those who hold the promise of Heaven as theirs, immortality is a benefit; So death holds no fear.
The truth I have accepted is that death is not the end of life. It is the doorway into an even more glorious life than I now live!
Sadly not everyone has received this protection.
In Heaven part 4 we will discuss how to be sure of your place in protection.
I remember entering Cornerstone for the first time. I felt like I was home, a home I had never been in before. I can only explain it as a blanket of Love, Peace, and Joy all in one wrapped around me. How much more will I feel at Home when I enter Heaven? Thank you, Pastor J, for your series on Heaven it brings back all of those first impressions of Cornerstone. It makes me long for Heaven all that much more but more than that I hope and pray that others will seek out our Lord and Savior so they too will feel His love as I do.
I can still remember the first time I walked into church and felt the Spirit, Debbie. It was over thirty years ago but I can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. I think until that moment I had never felt the love of God! I knew I would never be the same. I was greatly changed. I cannot wait to see what changes await me when I see Jesus face to face! 🙂
Heaven is a doorway . . .beautiful, Pastor J! God bless you for sharing some of this with us!
And it is indeed just the doorway. I want to discuss this truth more in future posts.
In the paragraph where you state that “God’s realm was not so affected” you later quote the word “gools”. Did you mean ‘ghouls’, ‘goals’, or ‘goods’. I’m assuming you meant ‘goals’.
Anyway, all blessings of the Lord be upon us all, amen.
Yes “goals” is also an appropriate term. “gools” is a Massachusetts colloquialism. When we were little and we played tag we always set aside a safe spot to which we could run and not be tagged. But inorder for the spot to work you had to yell out “my gools one two three!” The safe spot became known as “the gools”.