By: Melody Crombie September 2015
Over the years, I have examined scripture and have come up with a hypothesis that best explains the reason behind our earthly existence: Earth is like a biological simulated prison yard created by God, a loving, (possibly bereaved) supreme being. If you are alive on earth, even for a brief time, then you have been released from your 'cell' and are being tested. The reason we are being tested is to see if we will resist our former adulterous lover, Lucifer (aka Satan) and stay faithful to our creator husband, God.
Jesus said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” John 8:23
Earth is not in heaven or in hell it somewhere between these two extremes, a testing ground where God uses real-life situations to test our hearts to see if there is anyone who loves him, is devoted to following and obeying him. Computer experts will build a virtual machine inside another computer to test malware (malicious software). The goal of the virtual machine is to find out how the destructive code works while keeping it from spreading and infecting other machines. Is earth set up like a giant virtual machine where God can run an infinite number of tests to determine what is truly in our hearts?
In Hebrews 4:12, we are told that God uses scripture to judge the thoughts attitudes and actions of the heart. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 “We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
My late step-father worked as a librarian in a prison. On holidays, my Mom would bake her delicious carrot cake cupcakes so that he could take them into work. He would put them on a back counter and tell the inmates to go, “Clean up the mess in the back.” He was a laid-back authoritarian figure and always got along well with everyone. It was a modern day prison where the men were free to engage in a variety of self-improvement pursuits. These inmates weren't chained, shackled or held in dark dungeons; that was relegated to the ancient world.
The angels who fell from their first estate were prisoners, put in chains, held in darkness until judgment. Is earth a type of prison yard where these angels can get out and experience freedom and hopefully a change of heart? According to Psalm 107:10, the angels are sitting, “In darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains.”
Psalm 146:7, “The LORD sets prisoners free.”
Jesus came to set the captives and prisoners free. Jesus declared his mission in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”
Psalm 68:6 says, “He leads out the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 107:14, “He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”
I once heard a pastor talk about how wonderful heaven would be because he could play golf and get a perfect hole in one every time. Being a non-golfer, this sounds borrrrring. . .It's a good thing the Bible describes heaven as someplace, “. . .No mind can conceive what God has prepared for those who love him. . .” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
So, let's think outside the box for a minute, but stay safely inside scripture. I don't want to confuse our situation by glorifying the created, (see Deuteronomy 4:19). Let's look into the Bible and piece together the reason why humans are on earth and what our future in heaven may be like. This is by no means an exhaustive list of bible verses or scenarios. We know earth is a place that brings out our true nature and motives. Will we trust, love and obey God when he's out of sight and things are going badly (think of Job)? Will we follow God in faith like Abraham and leave our comfortable life to go into an unknown place, wherever he asks us to go? Will we trust him when our life doesn't turn out like we planned (similar to Paul or Joseph in prison)? Will we treat our fellow humans like they are Jesus in the flesh? (Matthew 25:40).
Let's go back to the beginning of the Bible to a garden called Eden. The garden was a paradise, maybe similar to a heavenly paradise. There was a man, created by God. He is given a woman, fashioned by the same creator. At some point the woman is deceived by the snake and eats the forbidden fruit, she gives some to her husband. If we parallel this with heaven, the Bible calls Satan a deceiver, liar and murderer from the beginning. Was there a female-type being in heaven who was deceived and possibly seduced by Lucifer? Is this why God calls his people an unfaithful prostitute, always running after other lovers and false gods? Like an adulteress wife who would rather go after unknown lovers rather than her own husband. Did God give this celestial wife (more about her later) a certificate of divorce? (Jeremiah 3:8)
Let's substitute Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis, living in their earthly paradise for God and his bride in their heavenly paradise. Before God created the heavens and earth, God and his bride were in Paradise. His bride is deceived by Lucifer, who is described as a great dragon in the book of Revelation. God gives his heavenly bride a certificate of divorce then banishes her along with the deceiver, Lucifer. Lucifer and his, “Children of the devil” the disobedient angelic one-third, are swept out of heaven. They are cast out of heaven down to earth. Jesus told these people, “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies,” John 8:44.
Jesus described them as the weeds of the world, “The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,” Matthew 13:38.
Revelation talks about a fight that took place in heaven with a great dragon, “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12:7
We know Satan, “Prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8. The bible tells us that the fallen angels (demonic spirits) are working with him.
After Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, God cursed the snake and told him he would crawl on his belly all his days. Is this where the great dragon becomes a legless snake in the Garden of Eden?
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“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name,” Isaiah 54:5.
Ezekiel chapter 16 is an interesting allegory between God and Jerusalem as a king and queen. His people (Jerusalem) start out like an abandoned and unloved newborn, “Kicking about in your blood.” God gives her life then is watching as she grows, “‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.”
After she grows up, she turns away from God, “You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.
“‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.'”
Is earth a place where God takes his heavenly bride and essentially breaks her down into tiny particles, much like our body is comprised of tiny cells? And then like a doctor who surgically removes every cancer cell from his patient, sets up a giant simulation by refashioning every cell of his heavenly bride into an earthly human? Their true motives and allegiance are covertly observed and recorded. The ultimate result is to cast those who do not love God, the disobedient and unbelieving into eternal punishment, Revelation 21:8.
If someone looks closely at the abortion industry, homosexuality and women's fear of having children, they might conclude that Satan has deceived this generation into staying childless for as long as possible. The women that have children are often so exhausted from working, they don't have the energy to train them in the way of the Lord. The deceiver knows women are participating in God's divine plan, helping set the prisoners free. “Women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” 1 Timothy 2:15. Satan is trying to delay and stop God's ultimate plan which is to fashion true believers into the body of Christ and then the bride of Christ. Basically, while we are on this earth, believers (those who trust in God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ alone) are the 'body of Christ.'
It is important to note that we (the body of Christ) are working out our salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12). When Christ returns for the faithful, we become changed, “In the twinkling of an eye,” into the 'bride of Christ,' (1 Corinthians 15:52). "The two will become one flesh," Mark 10:8.
'The parable of the ten wise and foolish virgins waiting by the door for the bridegroom to come, is the difference between this earthly realm and the heavenly realm, (Matthew 25:1-13). It should also be noted that there were half as many wise virgins as foolish virgins, so half of all people who claim to be Christ followers are deceiving themselves! Jesus said, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen,” (Luke 21:36). Jesus also said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life," (John 8:12).
Christian's don't let your lamp run dry, i.e. don't let your love for God grow cold!
Will God's bride act like a prostitute following after other lovers, ultimately loving them, when God is not visible to her? “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” 2 Corinthians 11:2
The whole earth and everyone in it makes up two distinct groups; the ones who listen to and love God and the ones who hate God and will never really love him. (Matthew 25:32) The “God loving cells” are ultimately refashioned into one, “Bride of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) that will go to live with God and his son Jesus in a new heavenly Paradise.
The Bible also has many references to stars. “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
Does the verse that says, “. . .unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. . .” reveal what happens when humans die on earth? (John 12:24) Are our earthly bodies similar to a 'seed' that is reborn into a heavenly star after our life on earth is through?
Who are the angels? According to Jude 1:6, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” Jesus told them, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 They insisted they were God's children but were really the children of the devil. Were they the fallen angels in human form?
There are only two exit doors out of God's prison yard, one that leads directly to judgment, then Hell and the other is exclusively provided by God through his son, Jesus Christ. In John 10:9, Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved.”
“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
The end result for loving your flesh (and anything else) more than desiring God will be a one way trip, “Into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:42
“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,” Jeremiah 2:18.
Revelation 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” This lake of fire is the final destination God prepared for Satan and his followers.
Luke 15:10 says, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Ever wonder why the angels rejoice when one sinner repents? Is it a homecoming celebration of former inhabitants returning? Returning to their original home, much like the prodigal son's return? (Luke 15:11-32) Maybe it is because they are not brought back as angels or sons and daughters of God but as the Bride of Christ.
There are two heavenly women described in the bible, one is, “A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head,” Revelation 12. In some theological teachings she is thought to be the mother of Jesus.
The other one is the Queen of Heaven. She is so deceitful and wicked, she is described in Jeremiah as the mother of all wickedness! The Bible says this about her special holding cell, “Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! Then he said, "This is Wickedness! And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening,” Zechariah 5:7-8.
Revelation 17 says the woman is, “The great prostitute.” She is, “The Mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.” She has turned against God and along with Satan, is deceiving the whole earth.
And what about her children? "I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery," Hosea 2:4.
The bible tells us that Satan will be up for parole, “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison.” Revelation 20:7. Are we alive on earth because we have been let out of prison too? Are we in a thousand year reign where evil is free to roam the prison yard?
Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Our story is already playing out in the heavenly realm, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
Some questions remain; are humans fallen angels, failed stars, or an unfaithful wife? Maybe we are all three! For our sake, God is using earthly things (dumbing it down/making it relatable) to describe the mysterious heavenly world. God (and ultimately Jesus) is described as the good shepherd, master, faithful friend, brother, father and lover-husband. He gets increasingly personal and intimate the more we love, trust and follow him. Jesus is described as the bridegroom who goes to prepare a place for his bride, then is coming back to get her and bring her with him. "The Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones,” Jude 1:14.
The fallen angels: “Angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day,” Jude 1:6. Are they roaming about earth as demonic spirits in the prison yard?
The failed stars: “Wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever,” Jude 1:13. Like the brown dwarfs observed in our universe, they have no visible light. Are they living on earth as the unbelievers, never really trusting God?
God's unfaithful wife: Isaiah 50:1 “This is what the LORD says: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.” Are they living on earth running after false gods?
No matter who or what we really are, we know God is for us and is deeply in love with us. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. "For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected," Says your God. "For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you,” Isaiah 54:6-7.
Every human has an opportunity to accept God's redemption, see the book of Hosea chapter three and also the sacrifice that Jesus performed on the cross. The Bible seems to reveal that after our purification, we are made new by the blood of the lamb, redeemed and reborn. We are now pure, spotless and ready to become the Bride of Christ who will live with Jesus in a new heaven and new earth.
Until God's marvelous mystery is fully revealed at the, “Marriage supper of the Lamb,” (Revelation 19) we all have been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to know and love him while we are alive on planet earth. “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind,” Ecclesiastes 12:13. And the greatest is, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the first and greatest commandment,” Matthew 22:37-38.
There is another twist to the plot of our earthly existence, it is found in verses where Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick,” Matthew 9:12
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," Luke 5:32.
And about predestination, “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 1:5.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers,” Romans 8:29.
I don't know if anyone will ever understand these verses and the 8th and 9th chapter of Romans that talks about predestination but let's consider another possible scenario; Maybe God decided to level the playing field by creating a new set of beings, “A little lower than the angels,” (Hebrews 2:7) or allowing heavenly angels to be born on earth with the same sin nature as the fallen angelic group that got kicked out of heaven along with Lucifer. Hoping this group would make the fallen angels jealous for God's love and want to come back to him.
I was in a conference where the speaker, a detective, told the audience that police officers place people into two groups, sheep and wolves. He said the police are like sheep dogs that try to keep the wolves from attacking the sheep. Jesus talked about his people as sheep, "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand,” John 10:26-28. Fortunately, God can tell the two groups apart, even when we can't; “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,” Matthew 25:32
In Romans 9:13 when God said, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,” it wasn't to show the emotional side of love and hate. God is giving us a truthful account of his likes and dislikes. It would be dishonest for God to say he loves something when he hates it. Think of the holiday turkey loaf or fruit cake a relative brings to every family gathering, they keep making it because nobody has the guts to tell them it's terrible. The family would rather suffer in silence every year and choke down a few bites with big smiles on their faces than tell this relative the truth.
God is not silent in letting us know him. He tells everyone what kind of person he loves, who will receive a blessing and the kind he hates. God is showing his people what it is really like to have his full love and blessing on their lives and what it's like to miss out on the perks of having his love and approval. God isn't just a fairy God or jolly Santa Claus. He is also showing us that He is loving and kind even toward the very people we know that he hates. As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," Romans 9:25
“What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?” Romans 9:22.
Our response to God matters to him, “My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.” Jeremiah 12:8 Think of the loved ones in your life who you provide and care for. Every day you go to work, cooking, cleaning; providing a roof overhead and clothes on the backs of your loved ones. Imagine how hard it would be to keep this up day after day if they hated and resented everything you did for them and complained bitterly, ignoring your hard work, acting like it wasn't good enough! It is possible, but not advisable, to weary God!
Besides praying, giving thanks and singing songs of praise; how can we show God we love and appreciate him? “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them," John 14:21
As dark as this earthly existence gets, it is important to realize that the step from death to eternal life does not mean the end for the believer. It is the beginning of our life with our true love, Jesus Christ.
“And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people.' there they shall be called sons of the living God.” Romans 9:26
Only God can woo his enemies into one big loving family!