The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. (NIV84)
God is spirit [John 4:24], as we are made out of energy/matter.
1 Corinthians 15:42–44
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (NIV84)
There exists today an almost universal misconception concerning the solidly of spirit. People think that it is wispy and insubstantial, but this truly not the case. According to the above Scripture the spirit body is imperishable, glorious, and powerful, while the natural body is perishable, lacking in honor and weak. Cartoonish images of people sitting on clouds playing harps with halos above their heads help reinforce this error. God is spirit, and he created the natural universe, so clearly the spirit is more substantial than the natural. The spirit is eternal while the natural is only temporary. By any logical reasoning, “eternal” is more substantial then temporary. Think about it.
Looking back at [1 Corinthians 15:42-44] we see two kinds of bodies. We see the natural body, the human animal, and we see the spiritual body. Now, I want you to understand that we are talking about bodies here and not about persons. You, my dear friend, are a “spirit being” that is hidden within an animal body. You are not your body. Your are not your brain. You are a spirit being that was created in the image and likeness of God himself [Genesis 1:26-27].
1 Corinthians 15:53
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (NIV84)
The “spiritual you” that is presently clothed with a natural body will not remain in a natural body, because the natural cannot exist in heaven [1 Corinthians 15:50], so you must be clothed with an immortal imperishable spirit body.
Please understand that the concept of being clothed here is only a metaphor. God is explaining to you the fact that you are an individual person now, and that you will remain an individual person in heaven. The idea, or image, of you being a “you,” and that you are clothed in a body, is giving your natural brain an image that you can see and understand. You are a concrete physical person that can be seen and touched and you exist as a person. It that same way, you will exist in heaven, but with an imperishable body that can never become ill, weak or old [Revelation 21:4].
Now, I want you to see that the imagery goes one step further. This imagery must be understood spiritually and not literally. The image is that your physical body must also be clothed, and your spiritual body will also be clothed, but these clothes are more than simple coverings. As a human person you know full well what clothing is and what it is for, but understanding the spiritual significance is not so simple.
Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (NIV84)
Here we see a picture of God clothed with splendor and majesty. This does not mean that God has fancy clothes. These are spiritual words conveying spiritual truths.
2 Chronicles 6:41
“Now arise, O Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness. (NIV84)
Spiritually speaking God is clothed with attributes and qualities of being. We could also, accurately, say that God is clothed with Love, or Scripturally we can say that God is closed with…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23]. What are you clothed with, spiritually speaking?
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (NIV84)
This is a picture of Adam and Eve right after they were created, that is, before they sinned. This is actually a very interesting passage. This passage must be understood spiritually (like all passages, actually). Spiritually speaking they were complete innocents, I am not talking about what was in their brains. In their hearts, that is, in their spirits, that is, in their souls they didn’t know good from evil. Spiritually speaking they were very much like the angels in heaven, especially before Lucifer fell and convinced a third of the angels to follow him.
In heaven, before man was created, there was a rebellion of sorts. The angels in heaven didn’t themselves know what good and evil were either. Prior they only knew good, but then evil came into existence through the pride of Lucifer, and death resulted, that is, separation from God. I don’t want to digress very deeply into what was happening between the two camps, but a very brief explanation is in order. God is Selfless, and everyone in him is Selfless too. Selfless Love binds all together. Lucifer, and those that thought he had a point, abandoned Selfless Love in favor of Selfishness, that is, the philosophy of the person is more important than the whole. Lucifer saw himself as being more important than anybody else. That is the quick and simple explanation. This must be contrasted with God who does everything he does for the benefit of the whole. God is the most powerful and knowledgeable being, but he portrays a Divine meekness of sovereign power in mercy and grace for the sake of his creation, while Satan is, by comparison, is lower than low, and yet acts like he’s top-man.
When the first man and first woman were created they were beings of selfless love too, and they had no history of selflessness, or anything else for that matter. Now, it is important to understand that while they were innocents they were not ignorant like new born babes. They were adults with full adult thinking, but they were also innocent of good and evil. They knew more of spiritual truth than any person today. Think of a beautiful and brilliant young daughter of a rich and powerful man that has been taught all her life by the best tutors available, but has also been sheltered from all evil, and as a consequence knows nothing of evil. As long as she remains in her father’s house and lives as he directs, she has everything she could ever want. This imaginary woman is very much like Adam and Eve before they ran away from home. Understand me, please.
Now, this woman decided that she wanted to be her own person, so she deliberately broke her harmonious connection with her father and “go it alone”. Now on her own, what does she know of evil? What does she know about surviving in the dog-eat-dog world. Understand that we are talking about a spiritually knowledgeable and sensitive person here, not a street savvy urchin that knows when to attack first to survive.
What you must understand in this is that there is a very big difference between understanding spiritual truth and understanding the ways of the world, that is, the ways of evil.
Spiritually speaking this imaginary young woman was naked but didn’t know it. She was with her father and her father watched over everything for her. She lived in an ideal world free to explore any and every thing, without worry.
And then immediately after the first man and the first woman partook from the tree-of-the-knowledge-of-good-and-evil (in disobedience to God’s instruction) we see this next verse.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (NIV84)
Again, you must think of this with respect to their spirits. This is not about their nude bodies. They were nude, yes, but until they partook from “the tree of knowledge,” they didn’t know of their nakedness.
Everything is determined from your point of reference. One person might look at an apartment and think that it is the Taj Mahal and another think is an absolute dump. Point of reference is everything. The Bible is difficult for many people to read and understand because they are looking at it from the wrong perspective. Everything important in the Bible is speaking of the spirit and not the flesh. The Bible is not about saving your body from death, but rather it is all about saving your spiritual soul from eternal separation with God. The biblical definition of this separation is “death”. The above Scripture [Genesis 3:7] is talking about their spirits and not about their animal bodies. There is an element of their naked bodies being seen and then covered, but that is not the purpose of the story.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)
This passage even tells us that it is one of the most important passages in all the Bible. Most people don’t understand it at all! Your spiritual heart, your spiritual mind, as it were, your spiritual person, is the center where everything important happens with respect to you. Adam’s and Eve’s perception of their nakedness was a spiritual awareness. The passage says that when their eyes were opened, then they saw. Well, their physical eyes were always open, but the passage is talking about their new spiritual understanding.
Thinking back to my story of the young daughter of the rich man, we can understand that she didn’t understand her true place in heaven. She didn’t understand Selfless Love verses Selfishness, and what the difference would mean. Now, you my dear reader look at my story and think, of course she wanted to move out hand perhaps marry and raise a family of her own, but that is selfish worldly thinking. Her father, in the story, totally loves his daughter and would have provided anything that she wanted had she asked. This little story of mine, and the biblical story too, is not about moving out of your parents’ house and establishing one of your own. What it’s truly about is about knowing your place in the world. It’s about wanting to be in the center of the universe, as it were. It’s about how one sees one’s self. I am talking about what the world calls subconsciously. Spiritually speaking, where is your place in the world?
If you see yourself as being naked without God, then God will clothe you and keep you safe within his household, but if you persist in clothing yourself then your coverings will remain ineffective and your will remain vulnerable.
Please read the whole 16th chapter of the book of Ezekiel and see what it has to say about nakedness and such. The Lord God wants to clothe us with righteousness and selfless love. As we live in his household he provides the clothes for us, but we must put them on and walk about in them. The clothes that the Lord provides for us are eternal. The beautiful things that the Lord provided in Ezekiel were for the children of Israel, but in Jesus Christ, God has provided even more lovely things for us who believe. The Lord God has put all his energy into providing us with glory and splendor, forever and ever. All we have to do, is do what the prodigal son did, that is, return to him in humility and with wisdom.
Oh, Lord, clothe me in righteousness as I humbly lay prostrate before you. You Lord are right in all that you say an do, and I have been a silly fool. For a while I thought that I knew something, but in the end I saw that I knew nothing. Without you I am, “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked [Revelation 3:17].”