Between Heaven and Earth

Between Heaven and Earth

You will begin to notice a theme once God decided to separate light from darkness. On the first day, He went on to create distance or space between heaven and earth. In Genesis 1:6 (NIV) God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”N34

What exactly is a vault?

In Merriam-Webster, a vault is defined as a structure forming a ceiling.MW26 So in Genesis 1:6, God permitted a structure to be created between the waters. I want to pause there for a second and point out something really cool.

Did you notice that God said between the waters?

What that means is that waters of heaven and the waters of earth were together. The first thing that God did on the “First Day” was permit or decree that the waters of heaven and the water of earth be separated.

What is the difference between the waters of the earth and the waters of heaven?

Jesus explains that in John 4:7-26.

A woman of Samaria came there to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

The woman answered, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband. So you have spoken truthfully.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you all say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Yet the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”M237

We learn two critical things from this story, the first is that everyone who drinks this water from the earth will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water which Jesus gives them will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.

We know what Jesus is the light that came to be when God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Likewise, when God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness, God saw the same thing with the water of eternal life and that’s why the waters had to be separated.

An interesting thing Jesus said in John 4:13-14 is, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”M238

Did you notice that Jesus said, that the water He shall give him will become in him a well of water “springing up into” eternal life?

The word “springing” is derived from the word “spring” which in Merriam-Webster is defined as to grow like a plant, to issue by birth or descent, to come into being, to make a leap or series of leaps, to release or cause to be released from confinement or custody.MW27

From these meanings we can see what Jesus was saying, is that the water that He gives us will help us grow, make leaps and cause us to be released from the custody of death into eternal life.

Isn’t that amazing! We don’t get eternal life immediately from drinking the water which Jesus gives, but it becomes like a well of water that begins to fill us, so we can reach eternal life.

Jesus did not hide the water from anybody and has made it available for everybody to seek and obtain. Just look at what Jesus says in John 7:38. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.”M239

Did you understand what Jesus said?

He who believes in Me, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.

HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, OUT OF HIS HEART SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER

We don’t have to wait till we get to heaven or even wait till we meet Jesus; all we have to do is believe in Him.

Now, the second important thing we learn from the story of the Samaritan woman is when the woman said to Him in John 4:15-16, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”M240

Did you notice Jesus did not give her the water but asked her to call her husband and come back?

Jesus knew that the person that she was with now is not her husband, but as they were together, he was her husband on a technicality. He was her husband by what is called a “common law spouse” in some countries.

To understand why Jesus did not give her the water and requested her to go bring her husband, which He knows she doesn’t officially have can be found in Ephesians 5:22-24 (NIV).

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.N35

Let’s take a look at what Paul was saying, because I’m pretty sure that would not go down well with the women of the generation we’re living in today.

The first line; wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord, is not something that a lot of women will agree to, or think is right or even fair. I’m not going to debate that.

What I am going to do, is try and explain what Paul meant and why he said what he said. The next few paragraphs will prove to be very insightful.

Paul asks that wives submit themselves to their husbands just as they do to the Lord. The first question that really every man and woman should ask themselves is how do I submit myself to Jesus today?

The word submit does not mean to offer a prayer. The word submit as defined by Merriam-Webster is to, yield oneself to the authority of another, to yield to governance or authority, or to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.MW28

In short the word submit means to surrender oneself to the authority of someone else. What Paul is asking wives to do, is surrender their authority over to their own husband just as they have surrendered their authority over to Jesus.

The next question we need to ask ourselves is, have we surrendered over authority of ourselves to Jesus?

We may have surrendered our life, our problems, our desires to Jesus, but have we actually surrendered the authority of ourselves to Jesus.

It’s a big deal and a scary feeling when we do that, but that’s when we can become one with Jesus. Let me explain further.

In Ephesians 5:23 (NIV) it says, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.N36

Let’s illustrates this statement in a simple diagram so it’s easily comprehensible.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 begins to explain how we all fit together. For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. The body is not one part, but many.M241

It is the coming together of each part that makes up the body of the church of Jesus Christ. What’s important to understand is that the body isn’t made up of similar parts but of different parts. Every part no matter the function belongs to the body. No part is greater than the other nor can the rest of the body function without one part. 1 Corinthians 12:15-20 explains all this.

If the foot says, “Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear says, “Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. If they were all one part, where would the body be? So there are many parts, yet one body.M242

At times, we may have questioned why this person (body part) is needed in the church. We may not see the need for an individual or several people and may find that the church may be stronger without them. At those moments, we should remember the rest of the chapter and what it says in 1 Corinthians 12:21-26.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body which we think are less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor. And our less respectable parts are treated with much more respect, whereas our more respectable parts have no need of this. But God has composed the body, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacks it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have the same care for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.M243

Each part serves a unique purpose and each has been given a gift. For us to understand the next part of scripture we first have to keep in mind a few more passages of scripture.

The first is from Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.M244

Next, we need to remember what is said in Ephesians 2:8-10. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them.M245

What is it that God prepared beforehand for us to walk in?

The answer is in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31. 

Now you are the body of Christ and members individually. God has put these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly covet the greater gifts.

Yet I show you a more excellent way.M336

If you’re still looking for the reason as to why a wife should submit to their husband, the reason can be found in Ephesians 5:31. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.M246

The man (son) first leaves the body part where the father and the mother together are one and he is a part of. Then forms a new part of the body, with his wife and together they then become one.

A new part of the body of the church, where the head of the church is Jesus Christ and the head of the body of the wife is the husband.

To truly understand this, we have to remember that in the beginning there was no separation between man and woman. The separation happened because in Genesis 2:18, the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.M247

In Genesis 2:21-24, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. Then He took one of his ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

Then Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she will be called Woman, for she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore, a man will leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh.M248

In Mark 10:2-12, the Pharisees came to test Him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and to divorce her.”

Jesus answered them, “Due to the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.’ So then they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

In the house His disciples asked Him concerning this matter again. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”M249

What’s interesting is that Jesus points out that hardness of the heart was the reason Moses permitted a divorce as it was not the will of God.

Because hardened hearts caused Moses to permit and write into law the certificate of divorce. Likewise, how much harder are our hearts today for the government to draft new legislation that is against the will of God.

HOW MUCH HARDER ARE OUR HEARTS TODAY FOR GOVERNMENT TO WRITE NEW LAWS THAT ARE AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD

If a hard heart between a husband and a wife leads to divorce, can you imagine the hardness of people’s hearts today that leads many to ask for new laws?

It is the lack of understanding and hardness of hearts that are leading people to ask for new laws. The inability for us to love one another takes us down a different path. A path of laws instead of love. In Ephesians 4:17-19 is says, therefore, this I say and testify in the Lord, that from now on you walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, excluded from the life of God through the ignorance that is within them, due to the hardness of their hearts. Being calloused they have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.M250

Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”M251 says the Lord in 2 Corinthians 6:17.

For this is said in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord.M252

Did you notice that Lord Himself will come down from heaven and we who are alive will be caught up from the earth to meet the Lord in the air?

The air which is between heaven and earth is the vault that God created on the first day. God first decreed the separation of the waters of heaven and earth and then created a separation by creating the sky, which is the air between heaven and earth.

It was after the decree was issued in Genesis 1:6-7 (NIV), when God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.N37

On the second day of creation, God said in Genesis 1:9 (NIV), “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. N38

When God said “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,” the water did what it was told. We see something similar in Luke 8:22-25 when one day Jesus went into a boat with His disciples, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. As they sailed, He fell asleep. Then a wind storm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger.

They came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?”

Being afraid, they marveled, saying to each other, “Who then is this Man? He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him.”M253

If you notice that after Jesus had rebuked the wind and the raging waters, He asked His disciples “Where is your faith?”

What was the faith they were supposed to have?

Was it that nothing could happen to them because Jesus was aboard?

Or were they supposed to have faith so that they could have rebuked the wind and raging waters themselves?

To me, is seems like Jesus was telling them they should have had faith for both. But what does faith really mean?

In Merriam-Webster faith is defined as a belief and trust in God, a firm belief in something for which there is no proof, faith is also described as having loyalty to God.MW29

If I were to summarize the meaning of faith, it is belief and trust in God with loyalty for which there is no proof.

FAITH IS THE BELIEF AND TRUST IN GOD FOR WHICH, THERE IS NO PROOF

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you.M254

Faith the size of a mustard seed will not only cause mountains to move but nothing will be impossible. All too often we think that having faith that big will allow us to move mountains. What we forget is that moving mountains was just one example of what can be made possible from the impossible.

Therefore, faith it doing the impossible. In Genesis 6:13-22, God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Now I will destroy them with the earth. Make an ark of cypress wood for yourself. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. And this is how you must make it: The length of the ark will be three hundred cubits, the width of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. Make an opening one cubit below the top of the ark all around; and you must set the door of the ark on the side. Make it with a lower, a second, and a third story. I will bring a flood of waters on the earth to destroy all flesh, wherever there is the breath of life under heaven, and everything that is on the earth will die. But I will establish My covenant with you; you must go into the ark—you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Bring every living thing of all flesh, two of every kind, into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal, and of every kind of creeping thing of the earth will come to you to be kept alive. Also, take with you of every kind of food that is eaten and gather it to yourself, and it will be for food for you and for them.”

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.M255

All Noah needed was faith that was strong enough to do the will of God. It was the faith that Noah had in God, which made him not only do what seemed impossible but also something that was incomprehensible at the time. In all fairness, that very task seems even more impossible and incomprehensible today.