I always existed, as pure thought and energy. Alone and completely self-sufficient, I needed nothing outside myself to eternally exist.
Yet at some point I chose not to be alone. I created immortal beings with the ability to think, learn, reason, make decisions, travel, and do work. Not identical to each other and none like myself, I made hierarchies of these creatures and gave them personality, power and purpose. Communication. Fellowship. Worship.
For their habitation I created a place outside myself, efficiently designed to best serve their purpose and mine. The dimension of heaven.
To facilitate communication, fellowship and worship, I made a space for myself within their habitation, creating one without danger of damage or destruction from my presence.
Sounds okay, yes? God, angels, heaven. Seems complete to me.
But it wasn’t, in God’s mind. Something more remained to be created.
For whatever reason, God desired fellowship with a being “in his own likeness.” Angels did not meet that criteria, no matter that they had free will, could love and obey and worship him for eternity. (Some chose otherwise; that was their right to do, and the consequences of their choice have been and will be played out.)
To facilitate the existence of this next being, the material universe, constellations, galaxies, solar systems, stars, planets, moons, movement, light and dark matter were created. Time and space.
The habitat came first, then the human beings. Once again, God made creatures with the ability to think, learn, reason, make decisions, travel, and do work. And free will. But with a critical difference: beings created in God’s image and imbued with God’s essence… zoe: God’s life; eternity.
Meditating on this one day, I asked: Why give them eternity? Why wouldn’t creating these personalities in God’s own image be sufficient? So we live for a while and then die, so what? We would never know the difference, how could it matter?
Ah, but that’s the point. God’s own image is eternal. Without zoe, it’s not his image.
Fast forward through the timetable of temptation, rebellion, sin, Christ, cross and redemption, to what I believe is a relatively near-future item on God’s agenda.
A headquarters for God in all his personas – Father, Son, Spirit – combining the dimension of heaven with the dimension of earth.
Before that happens, earth will undergo drastic remodeling, perhaps a thousand years of reconstruction. The powers (dunamis) of the present heavens (air, sky, everything from the dirt up) will be shaken (vibrate, waver). The original language in these verses from Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 is interesting.
What is in the air and sky that has power? Space station. Satellites in orbit. Planes, cell towers, television signals, radio waves. Electrical wires. Skyscrapers.
There will be no visible sunlight or moonlight, and stars (meteorites ?) will fall to earth. Volcanic eruptions caused many months of darkness in times past; that could happen again. The very atmosphere will be different. Will the air still be breathable?
Shaking of the entire planet will occur, as well as demolition of the elements — that word elements actually means order. Anything constructed will be de-constructed. Men will be in great anxiety and anguish over what is happening in the skies and oceans.
To survive in the next planetary form, human beings may need to evolve considerably. They may need God’s genetic makeup in their very cells.
Jesus told the disciples that this “generation” (sometimes translated race) will not pass away until all these things have happened. Generation? The word is genea, from which we get genetics. He said that heaven and earth will pass away, but his words will not.
He is the Word – the communication of God – and his spirit inhabits, genetically alters, certain human beings. Human beings who thus may survive, and thrive, on a reconstituted planet, to which one day Creator God will move his headquarters, and occupy space within his creation alongside the beings he created.
It is fascinating to suppose.