Having covered a wide scope of how to apply the blood and what the blood has done for us, we are now ready to delve into a deeper discussion of what the blood is. To do so, we have to venture into that part of the river of life that man cannot pass over but must swim in. I freely concede that this can be a daunting task. As one who has looked at this water while standing in the river only waist deep, I must admit that the shore looks much safer (and easier to comprehend)! But the Spirit of God beckons us as deep cries out to deep. It is my prayer that as we examine these truths together, your faith in the life and power that reside in the blood of Jesus Christ will increase.
The truth of the body of Christ is often referred to as a “mystery” in the New Testament. The Greek term is musterion and means “a hidden spiritual truth.” In the Greek religions it was used to describe the deeper beliefs that were shared only with initiates. It isn’t a mystery as we typically think of it, like a who-done-it. It is a known truth that is revealed at a select time or to a select people. The body of Christ is one of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that is given to us to know. The bride of Christ is another. And though these are truths that we see “as through a glass darkly,” we still need to pursue an understanding of them. This is best done in the Spirit, for our natural minds will rebel against these concepts.
We are spiritual creatures in material bodies. Meditate on that for a minute or so, and then tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor! Angels are spiritual creatures in spiritual bodies. I doubt they have much of a problem believing in spiritual realities. They do scratch their heads and wonder about us quite a bit, though. Animals are earthly creatures in earthly bodies. Aside from one extraordinarily gifted donkey, I doubt that any of them ever concerned themselves about angels or any other aspect of the spirit realm. Mankind —we get to wonder about and crave after the spirit realm while fighting with our physical beings all the while.
The Greeks struggled with this apparent dichotomy of man. One pinnacle of their philosophical endeavors is encapsulated in the name Plato. In Plato’s world view, the material realm contained no eternal truth. Truth was embodied in ideas or perfect paradigms. In other words, concepts were real, the material world was not. This philosophy was birthed from the bedrock of a culture that had come to believe that the material world was evil and the spiritual world was good. It then went on to define the spirit realm as a purely conceptual place full of only ideas, not people or things. This led to a Western culture that typically views spiritual truth divorced from physical understanding.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…
Though it may seem wise to totally discount the material realm in the pursuit of spiritual truths, it goes against our wiring. God gave us components of both worlds so that we could learn one from the other and manage the other from the one. He placed us in a creation that we could see to teach us about Himself who we can’t see. Our penchant for viewing spiritual realities as incorporeal or ethereal concepts blinds us to the impact His eternal power has on the physical realm.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
The world about us is composed of invisible realities. This goes beyond molecular and atomic structures. Though the microscopic world is invisible to the naked eye, it becomes visible and measurable with sophisticated scientific equipment. But even with all the high-tech sensors and multi-million dollar particle accelerators, the foundational fabric of the material universe still eludes us. At each stage that science felt it had found the elemental building blocks of material things, a new substratum was discovered shortly thereafter. Thus we moved from molecules to atoms; from atoms to neutrons, protons, and electrons; from subatomic particles to sub-subatomic components such as quarks, gluons, and muons. Below these, scientists now propose one-dimensional strings. And what makes up the strings? We’re still looking!
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
A day is coming when the Lord will roar from the real foundations of this universe. At that time, the façade of the material world will crumble away to reveal the unshakable realities upon which it was plastered. Now, a façade isn’t fake in the sense that it isn’t real. It simply isn’t as substantial as what lies behind it. For instance, you wouldn’t say that the plaster on a wall wasn’t real because it wasn’t brick, but we all know the brick to be more substantial than the plaster.
In our general mental imagery, we tend to view the world we see as the brick, the atoms we can’t as the plaster, and the spirit realm they all reside on as air. If we believe in spirits at all, we think that they can pass through walls because they are less substantial than the brick and mortar, that they weave their way through the loose plaster of the molecules. The truth is that spirits (angels, demons, and yes, the spirits of men) can walk through walls because the wall is smoke, the spirits are real.