Genesis 2:1-3 - Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array....

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done. (Genesis 02:1-3)

What are 'the heavens'?

Here the word 'heavens' is being translated from the Hebrew word שָׁמַיִם (shamayim), which means 'visible heavens, the abode of the stars, universe, atmosphere, visible sky.' This reference is not the spiritual dimension.

The spiritual dimension has no beginning. It is eternal, as is God. Both the spiritual dimension and God are above the element of time and the jurisdiction of time. Time was created by God as explained in Gen. 1:5. God created periodicity, which is the pacing of time.

This also means that God was neither born nor created. Many have asked: Assuming God created the universe, who created God? No one created God because God has always existed and will always exist.

This may seem inconceivable to the human mind, but that is because our mind's notion of time has been derived from observation of the physical world. Our minds have no ability to enter the spiritual dimension because they are physical, and they collect physical observations.

Time is, in fact, an alien element to those who dwell with God within the spiritual dimension.

However, the souls who have rejected their relationship with God become trapped within temporary physical bodies, and this shackles the person to the element of physical time.

The purpose of time within the physical dimension is not unlike the pacing of grades for children. A child will advance from one school grade to the next as they pass the tests needed to graduate to the next grade. In the same way, God established time as a system for us to be rehabilitated gradually, to a point to where we can choose to return home to our relationship with God.

What is the purpose of time?

Within each lifetime we have time-paced sections that include childhood, adolescence, young adult, adult and elderly years. Each period teaches specific types of lessons. Then each of us lives multiple lifetimes, each within different bodies where again we learn distinct lessons - enabling us to evolve.

As we graduate up the levels of these lessons, we come to a point where we can consciously decide whether we want to return to God or not. This occurs within the human form of life. Should we choose to return to our home with God - the spiritual dimension - then God will personally take us through the advanced course, and help us to become purified enough to return to Him.

In order to create this system of learning, God created the constant advancing of time, measured by periodic movement and the motion of atomic particles.

God's process of creation also utilized time, to pace with our evolution. God programmed DNA to reflect the individual's consciousness so that our particular physical body at a particular time would reflect our personal evolution - our level of rehabilitation.

If we compare this to the grading system in school, each progressive grade has different activities. Kids in the seventh grade, for example, can now pick course electives, because they have advanced through the first six grades where they had no choice in the subjects. So these seventh graders utilize a school that is set up differently - with more choice.

In the same way, as we advance through the lessons of the physical world we do so in successive lifetimes and different bodies. In the human form, we have a higher consciousness and more choices. Now we can choose how we make our living - or survive. We can also choose whether we want to be nice to people or be mean to people. These choices are permitted because we rose through the lessons that the lower forms of life taught us: Such as the value of survival, the fact that others exist with different experiences, and others experience things separately from us.

This process of growth - our rehabilitation - is symbolically represented in the six days of creation. God created the elements first, and put into motion with the element of time. Then He designed and stimulated the process of evolution by creating the bacteria and aquatic plant life with specialized DNA, which evolved into the more complex creatures by design. With each passing "day" the creatures became more complex.

Why? Because those living beings within those bodies were going through their rehabilitation process, and with each progressive body they learned more progressive lessons. As we rose in our evolutionary process, we eventually have the chance to gain the human form of life. This occurs on the sixth day, because it is the height of the evolutionary process - the point where we are given greater consciousness, and the choice of whether we want to return to God.

What is the meaning of the seventh day?

Those who decide they want to return to God enter the symbolic seventh day, where they begin learning how to devote themselves to God. This is the holy period. It is also a day of "rest" because during this stage of our lives we can stop focusing our consciousness upon survival issues - which relate to the desires to eat, have sex, and defend ourselves. In this advanced stage, we can refocus our consciousness towards serving God.

This is why, for example, Jesus did not stop his work serving God on the seventh day.

Should we arrive at this point in our existence, we can re-establish our loving relationship with God, and after the end of this lifetime, return to God in His spiritual dimension.

Those who do not use this human form of life to advance spiritually are sent back to the lower forms of life. This is because they have not learned those lessons they were supposed to learn.

For example, if an individual in a human form has not learned to treat others with kindness and fairness, and they hurt others, they will suffer the same consequences of their treatment of others, either within another human form (if they made any advancement) or within the form of an animal. Depending upon their consciousness, they may fall within the species to the point where their rehabilitation process can be renewed. This is what is described in the scriptures as "hell." Lower forms of life live within a hellish world of constant fear and violence.

Are these literal days?

The six days of creation and the seventh day being a day of rest are both allegorical. As we've discussed, we know scientifically that God did not produce the universe and all the creatures in six 24-hour days. But we do know that the process of creation took place in a gradual, stepped process. This gradual pacing illustrates God's process as He designed and programmed an epic physical universe replete with the pacing of time to allow for an evolutionary rehabilitation process. "In all their vast array," the physical universe is massive and complex. We cannot even begin to fathom it with our minds, let alone fathom the spiritual dimension.

What we can fathom, and why this creative process is boiled down to six days - with the seventh day being a day that is to be spent focused upon our relationship with God - is that we really don't need to know all the minute details about this atomic element or that atomic element, or this DNA gene or that DNA gene. We only have a limited amount of time within this human form, and we need to use it wisely to re-develop our relationship with God. This was realized late in the lives of two of the greatest modern scientists, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albert Einstein.

In his elderly years, Albert Einstein said:
“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts. The rest are details.”
And Leonardo da Vinci:
"It is true that impatience, the mother of stupidity, praises brevity, as if such persons had not lived long enough to serve them to acquire a complete knowledge of one single subject, such as the human body; and then they want to comprehend the mind of God in which the universe is included, weighing it minutely and mincing it into infinite parts, as if they had to dissect it!"
In other words, knowing God is the only true knowledge worth anything. And to know God is not like knowing an inanimate object. God is a Person. Therefore, just as we cannot really know another person unless we have a relationship with them and they allow us to know them, we also cannot know God without having a relationship with Him and Him allowing us to come to know Him.

In other words, knowing God is the only true knowledge worth anything. But knowing God is not like knowing an inanimate object. God is a Person. Therefore, we cannot really know another person unless they allow us to know them. And in God’s case, we are introduced by someone who already enjoys a relationship with Him. This is why Moses, Jesus and all of God’s representatives introduced their students to God and taught this most important instruction:
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
“Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always.” (Deuteronomy 11:1)
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 11:13)
“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him – “ (Deuteronomy 11:22)
“…because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today – to love the LORD your God and to walk always in His ways – “ (Deuteronomy 19:19)
“For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws” (Deuteronomy 30:16)
“…and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life....” (Deuteronomy 30:20)
“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)
“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” (Joshua 23:11)
“Love the LORD, all His saints!” (Psalms 31:23)
“Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalms 97:10)
“‘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)
Consider another translation of these verses in Chapter Two of the New Book of Genesis.