There is a line that separates the spiritual realm from the physical realm. It exists because the light God released on the first day of Creation functions on two different levels. The higher level constitutes the world of the spirit and the lower (or slower) level constitutes the physical world of matter.
The Bible says that at the time of creation, God made both a seen and an unseen realm. “For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible …” Coloss8ians 1:16
The invisible realm above the light line, is where angels and other spirit beings live. Heaven is there. All kinds of glorious things are there. We can’t see them with our natural eyes or touch them with our natural hands, but they’re there, nonetheless and just as real (or even more real) as the things in this physical realm.
Above the light line, spirit to spirit is firm and tangible, just as in the natural realm flesh to flesh is firm and tangible. Angels can touch each other. They can see each other. They aren’t just floating mists, disappearing and reappearing. Their bodies have form and substance just as ours do, but they are made of spiritual rather than material substance. Because of that fact, as long as we are in our physical bodies, you and I can’t see them. Occasionally, when they are on special assignment at the direction of the Lord, they will slow down to our speed and make an appearance. But otherwise, our natural senses cannot detect their presence.
When we die, however, and our spirits leave our bodies, all that changes. We will instantly become aware of the spirit realm. It will be as real to us as this earthly realm is now. We will be able to see, touch and interact with everything and everyone in it. The moment our reborn spirits, which are already functioning at the upper level of light speed, are freed from the encumbrance of our bodies, we will suddenly find ourselves in heaven – absent from the body, and present with the Lord.
Will we lose our shape when that happens? Will we just become a ghost or some kind of spiritual cloud?
No. Our spirits aren’t a shapeless vapor. They have the same form as our natural bodies have. Our spirits fit into our bodies like a hand fits into a glove. So when we slip out of our bodies, we will look just like we do now – but a lot better and more glorious. Everything in the heavenly realm is superior to this natural realm. Everything in it shines with the perfection and glory of God.
That’s why it is such a blow for Adam and Eve to lose contact with that realm. Before the fall, the glorious things in the spiritual world were just as real and visible to them as natural things. The fire of God’s glory that clothed them was a spiritual substance, but they could see it. The angels who gathered around to serve them were spiritual beings, yet Adam and his wife could see and interact with them. They could look at God and touch Him when He came to walk with them in the Garden. They could hear his voice as clearly as they heard the birds singing. But, when they sinned and spiritual death set in, that changed. They found themselves trapped below the light line and confined to the natural world.
In the 6,000 years that have passed since then, people have become accustomed to that confinement. Many have even come to believe that the visible, physical realm is all that exists. They deny any reality they can’t perceive with their natural senses. But those of us who are born-again children of God know differently because our re-created spirits are in constant contact with the heavenly realm. We may not be able to see that realm with our natural eyes, but with the eye of faith we live, looking “…not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal (temporary or subject to change) but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18) They never change.
We live, looking forward to the day when we will exchange our temporary earthly bodies for permanently glorified ones that are like the one Jesus has now. If you have read the New Testament, you know that He has an imperishable, resurrected body – a body with the very glory of God flowing through its veins, a body that is both spiritual and physical and that operates equally well on both sides of the light line – both in heaven and on earth and below the earth.
In His glorified body, Jesus can move at will from the spirit realm to the natural realm. He can appear on earth, as He did to His disciples, seemingly out of thin air and then vanish as quickly as He came. Yet, He is no ghost. His body is as real and physical as yours and mine. “Behold my hands and my feet,” He said to His disciples, “for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as yet see me have.” (Luke 24:39)
That’s where all who have made Jesus the Lord of their lives are headed. We are marching toward the day when we too, will have bodies as alive as our reborn spirits; bodies no longer trapped by the natural effects of the Fall. We are moving toward the time when , clothed inside and out with the glory of God as Adam once was, we can live forever in the full spectrum of divine light.