The True Meaning of the 7 Days of Creation: Spiritual Rebirth
THE SABBATH DAY OF CREATION
The first chapter of Genesis describes, in its spiritual sense, the creation of the spiritual man. It tells us of the great processes by which, from being merely natural, man becomes spiritual. Here is where Genesis begins. Out of the merely natural state, in which man loves himself and the world, it carries him in his spiritual growth until there is implanted in him a genuine spiritual life - affections and thoughts, regulated and determined into act by a clear understanding of the laws and rules of religious life and duty. He then reflects the Divine wisdom and becomes an image of God. This process is what is meant by the six days of creation.
During this growth, from one state to another, man's regard is for the Divine truth. All that he wills, thinks and does is inspired by his understanding and love of the truth.
This is why the name God alone is used in the first chapter of Genesis; for by the name God, the operation of the Lord as the Divine truth is meant.
The spiritual man is therefore the product of the Divine truth. He receives the truth by an outward way into his memory. Then he begins to think about it, to reason about it; then it is lifted into the light of his understanding and he becomes intelligent in the doctrines of the church.
The next step he takes is the act of compelling himself to live according to it. He begins to order his life and conversation by the truth which he understands. As he does this, the Lord, by the Holy Spirit, flows into him, by an interior way, and gifts him with affections for the truth. These affections are ultimately united to the truth and he becomes a spiritual man. This is the way the Lord makes the spiritual man.
When made, he is the image of God, and differs in every particular of his life of motive from the natural man.
But the spiritual man, while in God's image, is not in God's likeness. Thus there lies above the plane of the spiritual degree of the internal mind of man a region of possible affection and thought, which when it is formed and developed, results in a celestial man, a man that is as distinct from the spiritual man as the spiritual man is from the natural man.
The celestial man is not made by the truth, although every act of his life is in harmony with the truth. He is open to the Lord in his heart-life; and while far from being wildly emotional, is at the same time moved and impelled by the Divine good.
He is under no necessity to reason about the Divine truth, but what he believes, thinks and does are consonant with the very highest exercise of spiritual reason. Truth falls immediately into the embrace of his love. He sees it from within. What faith is to the spiritual man, perception is to the celestial man. He is intuitive, and comes by an internal way, into the deepest things of the Divine wisdom. He is childlike in his trust in the Lord. Yet his understanding sees in clearest light the deeper things of the church that are hidden from the wise and prudent.
The law of the Lord is inscribed on the tables of his heart of flesh. The Lord is very being to him; he lives and moves in the atmosphere of the Divine love. When he reads the Lord's Word, he feels the personal atmosphere of the Lord in it. His conversation is in heaven. Such is the celestial man - such are the celestial people - the love-people, of the world.
The celestial man is the Lord's Sabbath. God's truth has done its work. He has had his spiritual combats; and now love crowns the whole spiritual work with its life and touch and fills the soul with its Sabbath calm and peace.
The Sabbath of the Bible was the seventh day. Think of the meaning of the number seven. The word seven is used in the Bible as the number of wholeness and perfection. For instance, when it is said in the Bible: "In that day seven women shall take hold of one man," the thought expressed is that of all the affections of the heart - the pure love of the heart, going out to and seeking guidance by the Lord in His Divine Humanity. In the book of Revelation it is said that the Lamb in the midst of the throne had seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God.
The Lamb is the symbol of the Lord in His Divine Humanity; and the number seven applied to the horns and eyes of the Lamb stands for the perfection and holiness of His power and His wisdom. The seven devils cast out of Mary of Magdala, denote, not her sinfulness and moral degradation, but the fulness of her regeneration.
So of the seventh day of the creation - it stands for the perfect work of regeneration - for the sabbath of the soul. The love man is the Lord's sabbath - His rest. He has the rest and peace of the Lord in his soul. Repose and heavenly tranquillity characterize his life. He feels the, delights of wisdom and enjoys the peace of exalted virtue.
The Jewish dispensation of religion was merely the representative of a church. It was held in connection with the Lord and heaven, not through any internal quality of life, but by the symbols of its ceremonials and ritual; and in that representative of a church, the seventh day stood for two things: (1) The peace which came to the Lord after He had fought against and subjugated the infernal powers of darkness; and (2) the rest that comes to all who, by taking up the cross and following Him in the regeneration, attain to the rest and peace of heaven.
When we understand the difference between the celestial man and the spiritual man, instantly there dawns the reason for the two and conflicting accounts of creation given in Genesis. The first account describes the rise of man out of the natural into the spiritual state. The second account describes the rise of man out of the spiritual into the celestial state. The spiritual man is made by the truth; and because Elohim means God as to the Divine Truth, that name is used in the first account. The celestial man is made by a double operation, the operation, of love and truth; and because Jehovah means God in the operation of His Divine Love, therefore it is introduced in the second account of creation. Jehovah - Elohim is used to designate the fact that the celestial man is the love man - the likeness of God, and that with him all truth is from good.
The love door of the celestial man is open to the Lord. Love is first with him. It flows from the Lord into his will; and because his understanding is connected directly with his will, love from the heavenly Father, passes immediately into the understanding where it is intellectualized and becomes truth from good.
Such was the man of the seventh day of creation. There are but a few who at this day come into the fullness of the perfect life of the seventh day; but it exists for all who do faithfully the work of the six days. The New Jerusalem means, in the highest thought of it, the coming again to men of this beautiful celestial life of the long ago golden age. It seems far away, but it will come again. Of the seventh day it is not said: "And the evening and the morning were the seventh day." For when the Sabbath of regeneration dawns, the work is done; and one unending day of spiritual peace and joy reigns in the purified soul.
from Thomas King, Allegories of Genesis, 1922