SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS

BY: DES WALTER

MARCH 23, 2005

PARTS

PAGE

1

1

2

6

 

PART ONE

When someone is with us we become conscious of that person’s presence. This is because of our 5 natural senses, sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. With our natural sight we see the person, we hear them through the organs of hearing, and if they are close enough we can reach out and touch them. We can also become aware of that person through smell or taste. All these natural senses allow us to be conscious of someone near to us or in our presence. So we understand that the five natural senses are simply facets of the activity of consciousness, however, that consciousness is limited to the physical material world, and excludes the spiritual world of our true identity, and the realm in which God lives.

Most Christians have never understood what we know as consciousness, and for that reason they have never really known God. God is spirit and so is un-knowable so far as our natural senses are concerned. Neither can God be heard with the audio sense of hearing, for he speaks from the spirit that dwells within us, and can only be heard as that “Still small voice.” We cannot touch God, nor smell or taste God, so man has no capacity in his natural being by which he can become conscious of God. Therefore, I can tell you that God dwells within you, but you may never be able to prove that to be the reality of your life, because you may not have developed the faculty that would allow you to be conscious of his presence within.

The target of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, was not Adam but EVE or the woman that was separated from Adam. This is because the “Woman” represented the female aspect of the spirit that had now become a separate entity. Eve represented the SOUL which is the Womb of Creation, and that is why the snake was only concerned with the Woman. If the woman could be deceived then there would be no divine seed on the earth, for she has the womb. The quest for knowledge did not come from Adam who had all the wisdom and knowledge of God. But the “Soul” which involves the Mind, Emotions and the Will, was the one that sought after knowledge, not being satisfied with the knowledge that she received from Adam. So as a separate entity she begins to explore the only tree that God did not make available to them.

The serpent knew how to destroy her for it represented the carnal or natural mind. As a separate entity the woman had no input from Adam the spirit, so she was at the mercy of her now down-graded mind as represented by the snake. The snake in ancient days was the symbol of a wisdom, and still is in its portrayal with the many Idols of heathenism. So for the first time the natural mind of the woman began to reason and so rationalize why the tree was put “Out of bounds.” Without divine input she had no chance of silencing her mind so inevitably she reasoned that there was a great advantage to be gained by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree and God was wrong to keep it from them. Remember that this whole account is an allegory and is not literal. But is recorded for us so we would understand how the soul functions in everyone of us today.

As a result of the woman’s action she gave the fruit to Adam so he could also enjoy the great benefit she believed she had gained. Adam did eat the fruit but not because he was deceived, for he never spoke to the snake at all, but shared in the dreadful result willingly because he knew the day would come when he would be able to reverse the consequences of what the woman had done. The result of the Soul’s quest for the knowledge of “Good and evil,” was that they were lowered into the realm in which good and evil functioned, which is the material physical world. The Garden of Eden where everything was provided for them leaving them free to fellowship and commune with God, faded into the distance as they stepped out into a wilderness where Adam would earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.

Good and evil have nothing to do with the realm of spirit, for it does not exist there at all. That is why Adam could not stay there, having now embraced a life style that is controlled by the law of sin and death. I am stressing these things today because if we are to return to the Kingdom of God we must know how we came to leave there in the first place. We all came from the bosom of the Father for he has been our dwelling place throughout all generations. However, you are not living under the law of sin and death just because of Adam’s sin! No No, for YOU have also embraced the same knowledge that pulled Adam out of the spiritual realm in which God lives, into the physical material world. Let me ask you, “Do you believe in good and evil today?” Unless your spiritual eyes have been opened you will say “YES,” so you have also embraced the same knowledge that Eve did in the Garden of Eden, and God said, “The day you eat of the fruit of that tree you have the seed of that fruit functioning IN YOU and you are D-E-A-D.

The Lord told Israel through the prophet Isaiah, “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” This was the judgment passed upon Israel because of their disobedience and idolatry. However, all of mankind has suffered from deafness as well as a problem with their sight, when it comes to spiritual things. The irony of this situation is that the Spirit in man IS GOD, yet man has no communication with this God who dwells within him. We must ask the question as to why this problem exists.

Man was created out of God in the beginning as SPIRIT, and that spirit is God. John stated that “In the beginning was the “WORD,” and that word was the MAN who was spoken into existence in Genesis 1:26-27. Then he continues on saying, “And the Word was one with God, and the Word WAS GOD.” The truth is that God and man were inseparably joined together in creation. That first Man God created was spirit, and he was the only Son God ever created. He was Christ Jesus the only begotten Son of the Living God. It was Paul who made it clear in Eph.2:10 that all of mankind was created out of that one Son. This means that whatever Jesus Christ is, that is what we are. Man’s true identity is not to be discovered by his outward appearance, which was lowered into mortality when Adam took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Flesh and blood now forms a VEIL that shrouds man’s true identity, which remains unchanged even though it is hidden from our natural sight.

Through natural “Sight” people read the Bible and so gain knowledge of what God did and said, but that knowledge is purely academic and so belongs to the realm of our humanity. Then they go to Church, where the Pastor preaches every Sunday telling them about God, so the faculty of natural hearing is utilized, but in most cases the voice of God is not heard. In Matt. 4:4 Jesus tells us that man shall not live by bread alone, which is a reference to the “Manna” that Israel ate throughout their wilderness journey. They believed that Moses gave them that bread from heaven, but Jesus had to correct them saying, my father was the one who gave you that bread. Then he reminded them that almost all who ate that bread from heaven died in the wilderness. So they ate the Bread from heaven or Manna, but they were missing something which was able to give them LIFE, and that was “To hear the Voice of God.” They never became conscious of God’s presence within them supplying their need, or arranging the circumstances of their life.

In order for us to be become aware of the spiritual world in which God dwells we must discover two spiritual senses that God has put in man. The first one is INTUITION and the other is WORSHIP. Using these two spiritual qualities of consciousness we are able to become aware of things that cannot be known with the natural senses. Intuition is a “Knowing” that has little to do with the five natural senses. Intuition is an immediate and instinctive perception of a Truth, and a direct understanding without reasoning. It is a knowledge that does not come by way of our natural mind, but is a spiritual faculty. John the Apostle says, “You have an anointing and you know all things and you do not need anyone to teach you, for the Christ who is the anointing dwelling in you will teach you everything you need to know.” 1John 2:20, 27 This is the only faculty of consciousness that can provide us with access to spiritual knowledge.

First of all, God is spirit and therefore is invisible, so our five natural senses cannot bring any awareness of the presence of God within us. Most Christians in the world have never “Seen” God at all, but most would declare that they KNOW GOD. However, their knowing can only function through the consciousness provided by their five natural senses that have no capacity to access the realm of spirit. The function of true consciousness that allows us to hear God’s voice, and to “See” into the invisible realm of spirit, is missing in the whole world today,

and is robbing mankind of the Life of God made freely available to all. The natural sense of hearing cannot give us access to God’s voice for it is not external to us, nor is it in the Audio frequency but it is the voice of spirit. This requires a special receptor that is a part of our true consciousness linked to the Christ in us.

The prophet Jeremiah said to Israel, “Hear now this, O foolish people, you have no understanding, because the inner-man of the spirit is not functioning therefore even though you have eyes you do not see, and you have ears but you do not hear. Why do you not honor and reverence me, saith the LORD? Why do you not wait anxiously in my presence, who has placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests function by their own authority and power and my people are happy for this to be so, but what will be the result of such a situation. Behold you trust in lying words which no power to help you. Is it not incredible that THIS HOUSE, (my people) which is called by my Name, has become a den of robbers in your eyes, for even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

I never spoke to your fathers or commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices, but I did command them to obey my voice. Only then will I be your God and you will be my people, and if you walk in the way I have commanded you, then you will be blessed. But you did not listen to my voice, but walked in the counsel and imagination of your evil heart, and so you have not walked in fellowship with me. Jeremiah prophesied all these things unto Israel just before the nation was taken captive by the king of Babylon.

By refusing to walk in obedience to the inner voice of the spirit, Israel suffered from spiritual blindness and deafness, and the same applies to us today. The eyes and ears of the INNER MAN still have the capacity to see, and to hear the voice of God, but only when we are prepared to be obedient to what he says. If there is no desire to respond to the Lord then it will be according to the words of the prophet, as it is written, “God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.” This represents the condition of so many of God’s people today.

The result is that their natural mind has been deceived into believing the words of men, and so the TRUTH has been lost to them. Truth is not a doctrine but is a person, and that person IS CHRIST who dwells in every man, but remains inoperative until activated by our obedience. The Father is drawing a people unto himself in this our day, and to those who will respond to that inner voice, light and understanding is given. When suddenly the voice is heard the inner man (Christ) is activated and the darkness of our ignorance and unbelief is shattered and a new life begins.

Saul of Tarsus was bound by his religious upbringing, and violently opposed the new concepts that Jesus Christ introduced, but there was a drawing unto the Christ one day as the divine light engulfed him, that brought a transformation in a moment of time. Salvation is of the Lord and not of man. No man can come to me Jesus said, except the Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. So this is the day of salvation and the day of our acceptance before God. No one can have FAITH until they hear the voice of God, for the Scripture says, “Faith comes by HEARING (not by reading) and hearing by the Word of God.” The process of hearing therefore is dependent upon Jesus Christ who is the “Word,” and not the Bible. He is the one who activates our ability to hear when we seek for him with all our heart. A lack of desire to hear his voice, opens our mind to being deceived by the many other voices that are waiting to intrude, and these will prevent us from knowing the truth.

Without using the word “Consciousness” we have been discussing the discovery of the Christ dwelling within us. Our natural senses develop the realities of our life, and therefore all of our realities are in the physical material world, for they are determined by our natural sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. For this reason we are unaware of the fact that Christ, who is spirit, dwells within us. To become aware of his presence we must have a consciousness that can incorporate the invisible, spiritual world. Paul’s prayer was, “That I might know him (who is spirit) and the power of his resurrection.” But as the Greek word for Knowledge implies, knowing God can only be achieved by a very intimate and personal relationship with God. However because God is spirit it is not possible for us to have a physical relationship with Him, so it is only as we discover our true identity as spirit, and learn to function spiritually, that we can know Him. While we continue to believe that we are mortal human beings we will find it impossible to truly know God.

Back in Genesis God told Adam, “For God doth know that in the day you eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This statement is really a contradiction, for many people believe, that with the opening of their eyes to the realm of good and evil they would also be as gods. But what was it that constituted them as gods? It was not their eating of the tree of knowledge, but the fact that they were created out of God. They had to be the same as the one out of whom they came, and that one is GOD. However, their true identity as the offspring of God is spirit, but at the same time they now had the knowledge of good and evil, which is not to be found at all in the spiritual realm.

Good and evil only exist in the physical material world. So what happened to Adam in the Garden of Eden did not change his true identity as spirit, but now his sense of reality would be centered in the physical material world of good and evil. For God to be able to warn Adam of the consequences of embracing the knowledge of good and evil, he must have been aware that it could exist if the MAN had a desire to explore such a knowledge, but in no way could good and evil exist in the spiritual realm. So God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live for the age, he must be put out of the Garden. So the tree of Life was put out of the reach of the MAN, and guarded by the Cherubim’s flaming sword.

What is this knowledge that Man was warned about that would have such dire consequences if he pursued it? It comes back to the same word we discussed previously, “TO KNOW.” In the Hebrew language it is the word “YADA” pronounced YAW-DAH. Strong’s concordance gives its meaning as, “To know, be acquainted with (1a3), to know a person carnally.” It is interesting that just a few verses on in Chapter 4:1, we read, “And Adam K-N-E-W (Yaw-dah) his wife and she conceived and bear CAIN, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” All this sounds quite reasonable to us as we read it, but let us stop for a moment and lay the picture out clearly. Adam was created spirit being both “Male and Female” in creation, in the likeness and image of God. But the Lord God removed the female part of his being and caused it to function as a separate entity. Adam recognized the “WOMAN,” as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, calling her WOMAN, or Ishaw.

Can you think of anything that is so GOOD, PURE and LOVELY as the relationship of a man who truly loves his wife. However, is there anything more EVIL or DEGRADING and LOATHSOME, than that a man should rape a woman to satisfy his lust. There is something here in Genesis that obviously has to do with a sexual relationship between the MAN Adam and EVE his wife. However, we must keep in mind the fact that the male and female that constituted man in the beginning, is SPIRIT. So the relationship between the soul and the spirit is certainly not physical, for they are ONE spirit. However, after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, both the MAN and the WOMAN have been lowered into the physical material realm, and their cry is “I AM NAKED.” This is no longer a functioning of spirit, but now whilst they are still SPIRIT in their true identity, they have been lowered into the physical material world so that they have now found a new relationship, which is physical. ADAM KNEW HIS WIFE, in a way that was not established until he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I do not see this as denying man the right to a physical relationship with his wife, but we must look at it in context with our true identity. Remember that God never created a woman, but the MAN was male and female functioning together as one, so that we have the ability to reproduce out of ourselves but not in the physical sense. The problem is, that most Christians today derive their emotional satisfaction purely on the physical sexual level, and know little of that glorious relationship as we discover we are being fitted as a BRIDE made ready for the consummation of our relationship, in which we will find our union and oneness with Christ our heavenly bridegroom. This relationship will restore us to our true identity and state of being, and a fruitfulness will be released that we have not yet even dreamed about.

God said to Abraham, can you count the stars? But he replied there are too many to count, but God told him that he would have a SEED, AS THE STARS of HEAVEN. This is despite Sarah being barren and that she was 90 years old, but the record states that Abraham BELIEVED GOD and it was counted to him for righteousness. The child born to Sarah and Abraham was Christ (according to Matthew 1:1) and his SEED will fill the earth with the GOD KIND OF PEOPLE. This will be a spiritual reproduction that most Christians have not even thought about.

Our concept of fruitfulness has never gone past the physical realm and belongs to the female species alone. But it was the M-A-N to whom God said, “Be fruitful and fill the earth.” God was not speaking about getting married and having children as we usually think. James says “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.” Man was created as a true expression of God’s will, mind and purpose with no input from anyone else. But even beyond that, we have been begotten as a kind of FIRST-FRUITS of a race of people, all of whom are in the likeness and image of God. These are the people that Father intends to bring to birth and so to fill the earth.

I am convinced that many Christians do not worship the TRUE GOD, simply because they have never “seen” him and neither do they know him. Remember that the word to “KNOW” involves a personal intimate relationship with God, and that is certainly not true of the majority of Christians today. Most people believe that they know God by reading the Bible, but no one can know God by reading verses in the Bible. God is spirit therefore only through relationship can we know him. I hear people try and justify their position by saying, NO man has seen God at any time.

However, Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen my Father.” But of course he was not speaking about physical sight for God does not look like a man. Jesus told us that he was IN THE FATHER and he said the FATHER IS IN ME, but not everyone could see that reality.

Jesus asked the disciples who the people thought that he was, and they replied that they really did not know. Then he turned the question to the disciples, asking them who do YOU think that I am? Only Peter had the answer because God had given him revelation and he said, “You are the Christ the SON of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “Peter, Flesh and blood could never have revealed that to you, only my Father which is in heaven.” So it is the same today, unless God turns on the Light inside his holy temple, which is our body, we will never see the Lord high and lifted up with his train filling the temple.

Jesus Christ was saying that in the reality of his true identity as he came from the hand of the creator, and not simply as the child born to Mary in Bethlehem, he is the true expression of what man is and his life is the true expression of how man should function. We need to understand that what he was saying was spiritual, for the reality of who he is cannot be discovered except by the spirit. As mortal human beings we can have no chance of understanding what Jesus was saying. Because God is spirit and he dwells in us as our own true identity, we will not be able to communicate with God unless we also live and function out of that realm of spirit. The physical realm is separated from the spiritual realm, and it requires someone in that spirit world to lift us up to that higher order, or it will be forever closed to us.

When we speak about spirit we are speaking about substance in its original form. Everything that was made came out of the invisible world of spirit. John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the WORD, and that Word was with God and the Word WAS GOD. Jesus told the woman that he spoke to at the well, that God is SPIRIT, and so the Word, which is CHRIST is also spirit. John continues by saying, “And the Word was made flesh.” This means that the invisible Word was given a form, and that form was made visible so we could see it with our natural eyes. But today the problem is that we have become familiar with the Word made flesh, which most Christians now call “JESUS.” But they have forgotten that he was created in the beginning as SPIRIT, for “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was one with God, and the WORD WAS GOD. In the beginning he had no physical material body for he IS SPIRIT.

Even in Jesus’ day most people only knew him as JESUS of Nazareth because all they could see or understand was his physical material body that was born in Bethlehem, but the reality of his true identity was invisible, because he is spirit and spirit is invisible. When we speak about Christ in you, most Christians consider that means JESUS is in them. But that is foolishness for Jesus was born of a woman at Bethlehem. However, CHRIST was never born but was CREATED in the beginning and HE IS SPIRIT. This does not mean that as spirit it has no true reality for the truth is that the SPIRITUAL IS THE REALITY and not the FORM, which is just a physical material expression of that which is invisible.

The body was FORMED by our heavenly Father in our mother’s womb, because it is very important to him. You were given a body for one very good reason, and that is so that CHRIST the SPIRIT IN YOU, that is your true identity, might have a means of expressing himself in this world. Unfortunately, not many Christians seem to understand these things so their body becomes only an expression of who they believe themselves to be. An angry person uses his body to express his anger, while a timid person expresses his timidity, but a compassionate person will express something of God’s Love and Grace. Only when we allow the Christ of our true identity to manifest himself are we fulfilling the divine will and purpose for being on this earth. How sad it is for Christians to rob the Christ of an opportunity to express HIMSELF and instead express the false sense of identity that we believe ourselves to be living under the law of sin and death.

It seems that Christians have forgotten that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God for the two are incompatible. The kingdom of God is not a part of this material physical world; neither can it be seen with our natural vision. I believe that Christians have forgotten that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, for his Kingdom is not a part of this material physical world, neither can it be seen with our natural vision. Christendom has confused the TRUTH concerning the Kingdom by suggesting that it will be established on this earth perhaps another thousand years down the road, after the man JESUS returns to the earth. It is obvious that Jesus did not agree with the theologians.

Jesus said to the people of his day, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.” What is it that he was saying to us about HIS KINGDOM? The Kingdom of God is not an area over which a King rules, but the word Kingdom in the Greek, “BASILEIA” refers specifically to the AUTHORITY and RULE OF THE KING. So it was obvious that the King would come forth in a manifestation of his Kingdom during the lifetime of the people standing there that day. When did the King come forth in his Kingdom?

It was when Jesus Christ came forth out of the tomb on the third day after the death, burial and resurrection, having triumphed over SIN, HELL AND DEATH. He was the conqueror who defeated the power of the enemy that had enslaved all of mankind for thousands of years, liberating the captives and releasing those who had been imprisoned by the carnal mind. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Now the King had come forth the Kingdom was in operation. For the cross had slain the offending Adam that had dominated man’s life for 4000 years, nailing him to the cross never to rise again. Sin had been answered in totality, and death with its power over all mankind has been destroyed, and the judgment of God for sin had been poured out on him, who laid down his own humanity, thereby tasting DEATH for every man.

The door of the Kingdom had been swung wide open for all who are weary and heavy-laden to come and find REST. For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For the Kingdom of God is not in word or doctrine, but in power. Then cometh the end, (or that by which a thing is finished) when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (This is not speaking about the end of the world but the end of man’s servitude to sin and death) For he, Christ, must reign in us, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all and in all.

Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Lord help us to grasp these spiritual truths that will release us from the false concepts that have been generated in our carnal minds through the activity of the snake. Amen.

PART TWO

APRIL 2005

THE KINGDOM of GOD

This study is not intended as an academic argument, but simply the sharing of truths that have been a blessing to me. As you read these notes I trust you will be blessed, even as I have been blessed in writing them.

Des Walter

The Bible begins with these words in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

As we read this scripture, our minds naturally think of the material, physical heavens and the earth, but we must remember that all of creation came out of God, and therefore it must have been “Spirit” in the beginning. So we are looking at the picture from God’s point of view, which must be different to what we now consider with our natural mind. All of Creation was brought forth out of the substance of spirit. This must include Man, for we are a part of creation.

In the Bible the main use of darkness is in contrast to light. Light is the symbol of God’s purity, wisdom and glory, while darkness signifies that those things are missing. It is also important to understand that the darkness spoken of is said to be upon the “Face of the deep.” This word “Deep” is very interesting for it refers to the “Deep recesses of the mind in man,” which we refer to as our consciousness, or the “Sub Conscious Mind.”

We are a spirit being, but we can have no sense of our true “Consciousness,” unless we possessed a faculty that could embrace a knowledge of that which is invisible. This is not possible using our Natural Mind, for it has no capacity to discern that which is spirit. The only reality our natural mind can grasp is observed through the five natural senses, which are, Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell and Taste. Therefore most people are convinced that they are simply Mortal Human Beings, for their mind cannot grasp any knowledge of that which is spirit. So the generally accepted concept among “Christians” is that I have a BODY and I have SOUL and a SPIRIT.

However the Soul and the Spirit are just “Words” that for most people are not defined. No one has seen a Soul, what size it is, or what color it is, or what shape it is. We have the same problem with the spirit because it is invisible, and so our only way to interpret these things through our limited mind function is by way of our IMAGINATION, which is our personal human form of Disney Land. So the scripture speaks of a “Darkness” that covered the “DEEP,” which is that area of our being that would allow us to interpret both that which is SEEN as well as the UNSEEN.

This is brought to our attention right at the beginning of the Bible but for so many these words have no significant meaning for us today. However, we are confronted with the truth that mankind is not living and functioning as he was created in the beginning. The first man in Genesis 1:26-27 was pure spirit, with no mention of a form or a body as we would understand. But that man began to reproduce immediately according to the command of the Father. He was told to, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” So in Genesis 2:7 we find this “Spirit Man” bringing forth a manifestation of himself, but now providing him with a FORM or a Body made from the dust of the earth. In our humanness, we consider the Body to be of little value because of the fact that it came from the dust. But that dust came out of God and so it was a part of the spirit substance of God himself, and is no less valuable than anything else that is a part of creation.

This man was placed in a Garden that was specifically designed for him by his creator God. That Garden represented the place where he could enjoy communion and fellowship with God. But more than this, for it also provided everything that the man needed to sustain his life that came from God. Of course the Garden of Eden was never a “literal garden” that was planted on the physical material earth. At this point in the history of the events of the “Beginning,” there was no such earth, for everything was spirit. Our imagination has added so much to the divine account, so that we believe that the Garden of Eden is still around somewhere, perhaps up in the Sky, and we call it HEAVEN.

Christians even speak about a return to Eden as if it were a literal place to which we could go. The truth is that the “Garden” does exist, but not in the physical world. It is a spiritual place found within the Man God created in the beginning, where we can enjoy fellowship and communion with our heavenly Father. In the building of the Tabernacle God said to Moses, “And you shall make two Cherubim of gold, of beaten work shall thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”

“And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shall put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim, which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all that I will give you in commandment unto the children of Israel.”

The Garden of Eden provides us with the setting in which we can enjoy fellowship with the Lord, but it is the Ark of the Covenant that provides us with the fundamental basis of our communion with the Father. Everything that would be a part of our calling in Christ was represented in the design and detail of the Tabernacle, so we could better understand these things through the visible representation that was given to Israel. However, very few seem to have been able to move beyond the visible, which is but the SHADOW of the true spiritual reality.

Let us look a little closer at the Garden of Eden to see if there is a parallel in the spiritual realm. Could it be that this Garden represents a manner of living and a way of life that is available to the Sons of God today? For many Christians the Garden of Eden represents some ethereal “Heaven,” to which they hope to go, providing they have fulfilled the necessary requirements as laid down by Christendom. Such is the childish notion that so many are following today. The Garden of Eden was not a literal Garden but Spiritual, representing the love and care of our heavenly Father for his children. There are some wonderful examples of the practical provision he has made for us as we seek for light and understanding by the spirit.

Let us begin by saying that the Garden is a PERPARED PLACE FOR A PREPARED PEOPLE. It was especially prepared for Adam as a place of peace, for there was nothing there to cause unrest, as it is the dwelling place of God. The union of God and man was established here through the beauty and glory of communing together as the spirit carried them along without any effort. It is a place of quiet rest for there is no struggle, and no void to fill or lack to be replaced. This is Father’s house where there is an infinite supply to meet every need. The “Trees” provided all that was required for nourishment, and God and man functioned in unity and oneness.

Instead of looking in the Middle East for some geological evidence of the literal Garden of Eden, let us look within the man who was made in the likeness and image of God. For within the MAN, Father has established a “Garden” and it is there that we can walk life’s pathway in glorious union with him. This is the only true reality that is available for us, as everything we can see with our natural eyes is passing away, so it has no true reality. Paul reminded us that our body is the Temple of God so it is obvious that God would be found in his holy Temple. But the Greek word used here for the “Temple,” is “Naos” which specifically refers to the Most Holy Place. We are reminded that the only furniture that was in the Holy of Holies, was the Ark of the covenant.

One incident in the life of David the King of Israel shows us the great importance of the Ark of the Covenant, the lid of which was called the MERCY SEAT. AS David sought to bring the Ark into Jerusalem, he made a “New Cart” in order to transport it from Obed Edom’s house. On the journey the oxen stumbled and a man tried to support the Ark to stop it falling off the Cart. But that man died right there, and David had to follow the divine protocol that was established in Israel. During the journeying of the Children of Israel the Ark was never allowed to be transported on any kind of “Cart,” but it was designed to be carried upon the shoulders of the Koathites. Num 7:9. It is no different for us today, for we must carry the presence of God with us, for there is no other means by which it can be transported in the world today.

These details speak volumes to us as we are hearing the voice of God, for the Ark of the Covenant represents the presence of the God of the whole earth. Who is now on a journey in each one of us. He has not secluded himself in some ethereal heaven out of the reach of mankind, but is walking the streets of the world today in a people. Did he not promise us that he would never leave nor forsake us, even though we may not even be aware of his presence with us? He has kept his word and remains an integral part of our being, as the TREASURE in an earthen vessel. Christendom has devised all kinds of ways to produce the presence of God in meetings, even to foolishly inviting the Holy Spirit to come and be present as we gather together, as if he needs an invitation when he is present in each of us.

The “Ark” was a box made of wood which was covered inside and out with GOLD. The wood speaks to us of our humanity and our connection with the earth, but the wood was hidden from view. The “Gold” speaking of the divine aspect of our being having come out of God, and is the visible manifestation of Christ that is presented to the world. However, the Ark of the Covenant that Israel carried during their wanderings was only a SHADOW of the true REALITY, which is Christ that we are privileged to have dwelling in us today.

Beloved, we are speaking about “Realities” all of which are invisible, and yet these things constitute our spiritual LIFE lived on this earth. We can never enter into such a life lived in the spirit, unless we have a consciousness that allows us to touch and experience the things that belong to this realm of spirit. The natural mind has no way of grasping the reality of these intangible things for they belong to another world that is not physical. Christendom has by-passed everything that is spiritual in this Christian life, leaving us in a bewildered state of confusion. We believe in “Baptism” and so we go into the water as required, and come up hearing someone say, you have just risen with Christ in resurrection into a new life, as a NEW CREATURE. But on reflection so often we find these are just words that have no true substance that would confirm the reality of what we say.

In this writing Father wants to take you into that “OTHER WORLD of SPIRIT” that we were designed to dwell in but has been hidden from the view of those who feel and believe they are separated from God. Just as a child being formed in the womb must retain that direct connection to the mother through the Umbilical Cord in order to develop and grow, so must we have a direct connection with God who is the only source of LIFE in the universe. Our divine connection with the world of SPIRIT is through our true identity, which is CHRIST who dwells within us. But for Christ to be our true identity, we must have a “spiritual consciousness” to enter into relationship with that which belongs to the realm of spirit.

Our natural senses are totally sufficient to live as a mortal human being, but they fail completely if we want to function in the realm of spirit. If our true identity is Christ who is spirit, how can a man adjust to life as a spiritual being if he does not have the spiritual capacity to function in that realm of Spirit? But you say, “I am spirit for that is how I was created in the beginning.” Of course that is the truth, but be honest and tell me what changed when you discovered that truth, or how did your life adjust to living as a spirit in this physical world. For most Christians we began to speak about ourselves differently, and we found that we were quoting certain scriptures quite often in an effort to be convinced that we had become, “New creatures in Christ, and Sons of God.” We confirmed to each other that we are now perfect, and the battle is over, for we are now immortal.

This is what so many are doing now, but behind the scenes the struggle goes on even though you are not allowed to speak about it, for you are told that would suggest unbelief. We are no longer allowed to use a “Negative Word,” suggesting that we may be in need of help in any aspect of our life, or we become disqualified from attaining the perfection we claim. This concept has attracted many of the saints who walk in a “Disney Land” kind of Christian life setting themselves apart from all the rest, who continue to struggle to come to grips with a REALITY they know and believe, but have not yet been able to express. Father is calling his people into a new realm of experience that does not suggest that we “Fake it until we make it,” or that we should boast to others of our “Super Spirituality,” in order to encourage others to follow. Let us hear what the Apostle Paul has to say to us on this subject.

Speaking about Israel he said that everything that happened to Israel is recorded for us, and is written as a pattern, to which we must also be conformed before we can reach Father’s will and purpose for us. 1 Corinthians 10:1 “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Let us ponder these words for a moment. All of Israel followed the “Cloud” and all were baptized unto Moses in the sea and in the cloud. (Water Baptism and spirit Baptism) And all walked across the Red Sea on dry land. They all ate the bread from heaven, the MANNA, and they all drank the water from the rock, but their bones are strewn across the wilderness floor. This is a very sobering thought for us to ponder. Israel was delivered from the power of Pharaoh in Egypt and they left with the promise that God would take them into the land that he promised to give them, but that whole generation with only a couple of exceptions died in the wilderness.

“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

For Israel the wilderness became the place of testing that would fit them to dwell in the Promised Land, which God had provided for them. Adam found himself in the wilderness after he had eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The contrast between the Garden of Eden and the wilderness is most striking. In the Garden, Adam had everything he needed, so that he wanted for nothing. But in the wilderness he had to fend for himself, growing his own food in competition with the thorns and the thistles. Now he had to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Under those conditions, Eve his wife brings forth a child who becomes a murderer and kills his brother Abel.

Moses records for us the reason for the wilderness journey in Deut. 8. “And you shall remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make you to know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that is proceeding out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Your clothes waxed not old upon you, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. You shall also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God will chasten you because you are also his son.”

Israel‘s release from the slavery of Egypt was through the Passover experience that was designed to bring them into a new realm in God. Their cohesion and formation into a nation was accomplished in Egypt where they multiplied and established their national identity. But that identity was as a nation of slaves, and as their history shows they constantly wanted to return to their life of slavery in Egypt every time their circumstances did not suit them. The vision of a land flowing with milk and honey did little to encourage them and help them overcome the difficulties they encountered along the way. This is the reason why they had to wander for 40 years

God’s people today have little true concept of who they are and how they are to live because the word “Christian” has no specific connotation. We have received revelation from the Lord that shows us that we were created SPIRIT and that we came out of that first MAN in Gen 1:26-27, who was CHRIST. Eph 2:10. So if we came out of Christ (spirit) and Christ came out of God (spirit) then we must still be spirit, and this is the truth. The only difference between that first man and us today is that we have been given a FORM or a BODY.

Our carnal mind fails to communicate with us the fact that we ARE still SPIRIT, but we live in a BODY. This natural mind cannot come to grips with spirit at all, so most Christians today believe the life we live is in our BODY. The truth is that your body has no more life in it than a brick! In Gen 2:7 the Lord God FORMED the body from the dust, which came out of God in the beginning, but even though the body was complete, it could not move or stand up. The “Life” that was to sustain the body was then BREATHED INTO ADAM”S NOSTRILS, and it is the “Spirit,” which is God, that is our life.

In the divine counsel of the almighty, God planned that the man he created would become his dwelling place, for his desire was always to dwell with his people. But because God is spirit he needed a way to become visible in this world, and so man was given a body specifically, so that through that body he might manifest himself to the world. Jesus said, “Father you did not want all those sacrifices and offerings that Israel offered to you, BUT YOU GAVE ME A BODY, and that is what you wanted rather than the sacrifices and offerings.” However it is important to realize that the Apostle Paul speaks of two expressions of our body.

2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. So there is an expression from the “Outer Man” and there is an expression that emanates from the “Inner Man.” The “Outer Man” is our assumed identity as a mortal human being that is controlled by the natural mind. This expression corresponds with our human nature and character, so that in many cases it is agreeable, kind and compassionate. But given the right circumstances it can also be cruel and destructive. In contrast to the “Outer Man” we also have an “Inner Man” that is actually our true identity which is CHRIST, who is a pure manifestation of God. His nature is perfect and so he functions absolutely as God under all circumstances. Many Christians wrongly believe that the “Outer Man” is in fact the “Body” that is the Temple of God that Paul spoke about in 1 Cor 6:19.

The truth is that the BODY OF CHRIST is not the outer man that is perishing day by day, but the INNER MAN which is our true identity, and that is CHRIST. If this is not true then Death is continually robbing Christ of his Temple, and it would be no better than the Temple in Jerusalem that could be desecrated and destroyed. But the true “Temple” is Christ and is not subject to mortality and can never be destroyed. Our consciousness will always declare which “Body” we function through, for the Inner Man being invisible, can only be recognized if we are conscious of Christ dwelling in us. God never intended that we, in our false sense of identity would be expected to express the Christ through our body. The true expression of Christ is limited to the degree that we allow him to be LORD in us. We are fooling ourselves if we believe that we can express Christ out of our humanity. OUR BODY can only become the Body of Christ as he becomes the H-E-A-D of our body bringing it under the control of HIS MIND, that is, the MIND OF CHRIST.

The word CHURCH is an unfortunate translation of the Greek word “ECCLESIA,” that has affected the way we think about it. Today the word Church means the building with a cross on the top, or a meeting where they sing hymns and preach out of the Bible. None of which is even close to what the Greek word intended. Tyndale, in his Bible Translation used the word “Congregation” instead of “Church.” But the English word Church became the accepted translation in the King James Bible. This suggests that the “Church” is an intellectual circle, or an adult educational group being lectured in the classroom by the professional teacher.

We must remember that the Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint was the Common “Bible” for the 1st Century Jews and Christians of that time. They were familiar with the “Ecclesia” for the word was used throughout the Old Testament. Deut 4:10. “Gather me the people together and I will make them to hear my words,” or Call an ECCLESIA. Deut 9:10 “The Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God……..in the DAY OF THE ECCLESIA.” See Also Deut 18:16; 31: 30; and Judges 20:2 The word “Church” today, suggests something static with a congregation sitting docile in their pews. But the “Church in the wilderness” was something dynamic, a people on the move, headed for a glorious destination. They had been brought out of Egypt and CALLED TO SINAI to meet the Lord, and to walk with him to the Promised Land.

The “Ecclesia” is not a regular programmed meeting on Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, but a gathering specifically summoned by God. The Greek word “Ecclesia” is related to the verb “TO CALL” (Kaleo) and the noun “CALLING” (Klesis) but this is not obvious in our English word Church. Paul understood the meaning of ecclesia when he said, “I therefore …..beg you to lead a life worthy of the CALLING to which you have been called.” Eph 4:1. Using the English word it would read, “Walk worthy of the churching whereby you have been churched.” The “Calling” of God is right through the Bible. God CALLED Adam in the Garden, Samuel was “CALLED” by God for a ministry. Abraham was CALLED OUT of Ur of the Chaldees, and Israel was CALLED OUT of Egypt and later Israel was called out of Babylon. So we are CALLED OUT into a relationship with God. 1 Cor 1:9. We have been called out of DARKNESS into his marvelous light.

1 John 3:1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be CALLED THE SONS OF GOD, THEREFORE THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US, BECAUSE THE WORLD DID NOT KNOW CHRIST……” So when the CHRIST appears IN US, and AS US, then for the first time we shall see HIM (Christ) as he really is. And every man that has this hope IN HIM purifies himself, to be even as he sees that reality that is within him to be pure. To deny this reality is to place yourself back under the LAW. The knowledge of Christ in us removes us totally and completely from any sense of sin, for there is NO SIN IN CHRIST OUR TRUE IDENTITY, for he is the Son of the Living God. While we abide in Christ as the reality of our being WE DO NOT SIN, but if we do sin then that proves that we have not SEEN HIM as our true reality, and in fact we DO NOT KNOW HIM.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The prophets had told of the coming of the Messiah (Christ) and so the Jews waited for that prophesy to be fulfilled. At the time of his appearing on the earth, Israel was again enslaved but this time by the Romans, under Caesar, so they believed that when the Messiah came he would free them from the high taxes and oppression that was destroying them. Political freedom was not what Christ came to give them for he declared, “MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.” The nature of his ministry was not to fight against the issues of this world, but to bring to us a SPIRITUAL FREEDOM that would release us from every kind of materiality. It was because of this that Israel rejected their Messiah and would not submit under his authority.

However, in case the Gentiles would rise up and condemn Israel for their treatment of the Christ, let me hasten to say that we have likewise rejected the Christ, because he did not come to fill our bank accounts, or guarantee that our bodies would not die of Cancer, or stop our children from taking drugs. Now this may shock many people but the coming of the Christ to this earth 2000 years ago was not to change anything in this physical material world, nor to fight against it. His statement is quite clear, “MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.” Christians have failed to accept this truth and as a result have turned from the Lord to human effort to get the result that they desire. Unfortunately the “Church” has never told people the truth, that Jesus Christ did not come to change things in this physical world or to fight against the political system of the day, but to establish a SPIRITUAL KINGDOM that would set a man free, Mentally, Physically and Spiritually. John 8:36, tells us, “If the SON (Christ) therefore shall make you free you shall be free indeed or totally.” It is important to know that God will not give his power to overcome any other power in this world. The reason being that there is only ONE POWER in this universe so there is nothing to overcome.

An emphasis on the SPIRITUAL NATURE of the Kingdom of God is required today more than any other time in the history of man. From the time Adam took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man has walked this earth as a mortal human being ignorant of the fact that his origin “out of God” is spiritual, and his true identity as a child or Son of God is also spiritual. The Kingdom of God has nothing at all to do with the physical, material world in which we live. Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Here Jesus is declaring that the Kingdom is essentially SPIRITUAL in nature affecting our behavior. Matthew 7:21 “Not every one who is saying to me Lord, Lord, shall come into the reign (Authority and Power) of the heavens; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens.” Again the Kingdom must be an expression of the SPIRIT, which is Christ.

Romans 14:17 “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (Dunamis= Inherent power) 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that FLESH and BLOOD cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power (and Authority) of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son” (The Son of his love.) These scriptures will be sufficient to establish the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God. So many today believe that if they know the facts and verses then they have entered into the truth they express. However, our entrance into the Kingdom of God has never been through an activity of the natural mind. This is despite the fact that Salvation has been presented by the Church as the result of doing that involves the natural mind, which has no power to change our true nature or character.

Paul says the entrance into the Kingdom is by way of TRANSLATION and this word is used in Heb.11:5 regarding Enoch, but there is no detail given on the nature of the spiritual change that was involved. Elijah had a similar experience when he also was “Changed.” But the clearest indication of the circumstances involving this spiritual change is revealed in Rom. 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye “transformed” by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Strong’s concordance says this of the word Transformed: (metamorphoo {met-am-or-fo’-o} Meaning to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure). An example of this is found in the change in Christ’s appearance on the mount of transfiguration, when his body radiated a divine light brighter than the noon-day sun.

We automatically consider that the change on the mount of transfiguration, took place only in Jesus Christ. However, the truth is that a change took place in the disciples when the scales were taken from their eyes, allowing them to see the spiritual reality that stood there before them. This involved a MIND CHANGE that allowed them to see what the natural mind could never see because it is limited to the physical material world. They saw the Christ in all his glory, and in that spiritual world dwelt the saints of all ages, who are present everywhere but invisible to our natural mind. Paul declares that this Change is the TRANSFORMATION OF THE MIND. This ability to access the spirit world did not continue to function in the disciples at that time even though the memory remained.

The three disciples were told not to mention what they saw of His transfiguration until after “the Son of man should have risen again from the dead.” This means that Jesus was made to realize the sacrificial character of His mission, and was made to know for certain that death was to be His portion. He was made to know also that His mission was to fulfill the Law of Moses and the Prophecies represented in Elijah, which was not to be frustrated by death.

That “Death” that was introduced into the world through Adam in the Garden of Eden, had to be shown to be impotent as far as the purposes of God were concerned. Elijah declared that death had no power over the LIFE of Christ that dwells in man. His word of encouragement to Elisha was that if you see me when I am taken up, you should have your desire.

In His heart, Jesus Christ would continue to know the Father’s approval, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The scene on the top of the mountain, therefore, established in Jesus a new boldness and a new confidence of ultimate victory which became a source of holy joy, enabling Him to endure the cross and to despise the shame (Heb 12:2).

The Kingdom of God for most Christians consists of healing for the body, the supply of finance to do what ever we want to do, and the removing of obstacles that prevent us from fulfilling our will and desires. In other words all we want God to do is to make us happy in this human mortal life. The “Prosperity Doctrine” has been greeted with great enthusiasm by the “Church,” even though it has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. Every day as we read, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,” we are being offered exactly the same spiritual ministry that Jesus Christ offered to the people 2000 years ago. Israel wanted physical freedom but ignored their lack of spiritual freedom. Many today seek for physical healing but ignore the power of death that debilitates them spiritually and physically every day.

The problem today is that we have built our consciousness through our natural senses, such as, sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, and this has limited our understanding of consciousness to the physical human level. Beyond this level of consciousness is a much higher level that takes in the invisible realm of spirit. Intuition is a knowing that is not based upon rational thinking but draws upon the unlimited wisdom and knowledge of God. This knowledge will tell you that you existed eternally and you will continue to do so. Because of this, your body, which is the Temple of God, is functioning under the authority of Christ, who is your life.

For many years Christians have considered God to be something separate from Man, who cannot be seen therefore it is impossible to know him with certainty. But today there is a deep desire in the heart of God’s people to search for a better knowledge of God, to know who or what he is, and where he can be found. Now enlightenment has come to the many who search for him with all their heart, mind and soul. It was Job who asked the question, “Where shall WISDOM be found, and where is the place of understanding?” Job 28:12. And unto man he said, “But there is a spirit in man, and it is the breath in man from the Almighty that gives them understanding.”

All that we have as well as all that we would desire has been given to us in the Christ that dwells in us. There is nothing more that we need, once we have discovered all that he is. But of course that is only knowledge until it becomes our reality, that is why we must develop our spiritual consciousness that will open up to us that invisible world which contains the only realities of life that exist. Until we can access the invisible world of spirit we will grope in the dark and be amused with the issues of time and sense that will take us nowhere and allow “Death” to continue to work unabated in us until we are totally consumed.

It may be, that as you read this book something has gripped your heart and there is a resonance within you, so that you are knowing, that “Man shall not live by bread alone,” but there is a spiritual bread from heaven that is needed, and you are now tasting that spiritual food that you have been craving, even as you read. This is not simply because of the writer, but what has inspired him is now also touching something of the spirit in you.

May you be blessed and encouraged as you follow on to know him whom to know is life eternal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS PT, 1-2 [Des Walter] 2005 ~ BOOK          1

 

Pin It on Pinterest