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Homer Dewayne Shappley
Flight of the Falcon Heavy Rocket
Flight of the Soul-Spirit
Of Weights, Noises, and Cargos
Hello, esteemed Reader. Reflecting on the spectacular flight of the powerful rocket named “Falcon Heavy,” on February 6, 2018, an analogy formed in my mind between that flight and the flight of the Soul-Spirit. Instructive for me, personally, I thought you also might find it of interest and value and humbly share it with you. That is if you believe each of has a soul and is a spiritual being occupying a physical body.
Why the combination of “Soul-Spirit?” For the reason that both substantives are synonymous in numerous Bible texts, while in others they are not. For example, the apostle Paul defines the whole of man’s being as “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:3), “spirit” and “soul” not being precisely synonymous since both entities figure in the same clause. Nevertheless, according to other texts, both survive the death of the physical body. The apostle John was allowed to see “the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God.” Revelation 20:4. On the other hand, the apostle Paul explains that in Heaven “the spirits of the just” are “made perfect.” Hebrews 12:23. In the light of texts such as these, we think it well to use the double term “Soul-Spirit” to always remind us that both words define the being who leaves the dead physical body, continuing its existence in celestial dimensions.
The first analogy has to do with “Weights, Noises, and Cargos.”
The launch and flight of a heavy Delta rocket.
The flight of the Falcon Heavy took place on February 6, 2018, at 3:45 pm, EST, when the rocket lifted off in a successful, awe-inspiring flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Analogy: The flight of the Soul-Spirit begins the year, day, hour, and second when the physical body dies. Do you believe that? The apostles Peter and Paul did.
“…knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent,” writes the apostle Peter, also using the phrase “after my departure.” 2 Peter 1:14-15 NASB
Writing to the Christians in Philippi, the apostle Paul said he had “the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better” than remaining on the earth. Philippians 1:23
Thus, both apostles were convinced that the Soul-Spirit survives the death of the physical body. It departs from the earthly dwelling place no longer suitable for habitation. It departs on a journey, on a flight, to the spiritual sphere.
Beloved friend, are we so perfectly clear about what takes place when the physical body dies?
Let´s develop the analogy
On the left of the image, two graphics
illustrate the “Liftoff of the Falcon Heavy.”
On the right, three graphics help visualize the “Liftoff of the Soul-Spirit.”
The Falcon Heavy (FH) weighed, before liftoff, 1,420,788 kilograms (3,132,301 pounds).
That was its net weight on the platform before its 27 engines powered up, nine in each of the three huge cylinders.
The rocket measured 70 meters high
(229 feet). The height of a
Its width was 12.2 meters (40 feet).
Now then, dear Reader, the Soul-Spirit (SS) does not have material weight. Do you agree? However, we may say rhetorically that it does have spiritual weight, either positive or negative, at any given moment during its traversing of the material dimension. That spiritual weight is determined by its positive or negative attributes and actions.
The unusual word “Gravitas” I find useful when talking about the spiritual weight of the Soul-Spirit. It means “high seriousness.” “It comes directly from the Latin. Among the Romans, gravitas was held to be essential to the character and functions of an adult who exercised authority.” Mirriam-Webster Dictionary online
How about the Souls-Spirits of today? How much gravitas do they normally have? How much do they desire to have? Respected reader, how much does your Soul-Spirit have? And mine?
The Soul-Spirit that weighs little because it lacks moral values, knowledge of eternal truths, and good spiritual attributes is quickly caught up and blown around, even blown away, by just about any little evil wind, deceit, or philosophical-religious error. Ephesians 4:11-16
And even those who have some weight, but not very much, can easily be carried away by strong gusts and currents of crafty deception and wild carnal passions. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15
Gravity, moral responsibility, mental maturity, self-control, emotional equilibrium, noble conduct, respect for others, plus similar attributes, and norms of the same category, add great weight to the Soul-Spirit.
The Soul-Spirit acquires “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17) when it accumulates treasures (Matthew 6:19-20), or deposits (2 Timothy 1:12), in Heaven by carrying out the good works of the Kingdom of God and Christ on planet Earth.
Continuing the analogy, the Falcon Heavy lifted off with a deafening roar. The roar of a fantastic, enormous machine conceived and constructed by human beings, an achievement that distances them light years from any other physical creatures on planet Earth. A machine that unleashed 5,000,000 pounds (2,267,962 kilograms) of thrust during its first minutes of flight.
Mixed with the thunderous sound of the gigantic machine was the roar of loud applause and shouts of a hundred thousand humans present for the event.
“Glory to the Machine! That one day, perhaps soon, may take our race to the planet Mars, where we can establish a colony.” Cult to the “Machine.” To “Technology.” To “Engineering.” Certainly not the “worship” proffered by all the professionals participating in the creation of the Falcon Heavy, the astounding propulsion, communication, launching, guidance, and recovery systems, etc., nor of all who traveled to personally witness the liftoff, neither of all the millions who watched it via digital devices.
Nevertheless, not a few human beings around the globe render such adulation to the works of their own hands, be they marvelous machines, works of art, music, cinematographic creations, successful inventions, businesses, or idols fabricated of precious metals, marble, ceramics, wood and/or cloth. For they have not the slightest belief in any god or higher intelligence whatsoever.
Meanwhile, planet Earth flies through space at 107,200 kilometers (66,600 miles) an hour in its incredibly precise orbit around the Sun. Without motors, held in exact position by forces invisible to the eye. And we humans do not even hear any noise created by its very high-speed flight! It weighs approximately 5.97217×10 to the 24th power kg (1.31668×10 to the 25th power lbs).
It may be reasonably asked: How many professionals and other human inhabitants of every category stand absolutely astonished before such an immense and fast-moving phenomenon in its course
through the heavens, recognizing design, and, by inference, an amazing, super-super Intelligence behind its conception and creation?
At least some beings have known to praise such a fantastic accomplishment and pay honor to its Author, even if most of us humans do not, or only in a superficial, cursory, sporadic manner. He asked the afflicted and complaining Job of old.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-4-7
He could very well ask purely secular professionals and humanistic admirers of human feats, paraphrasing:
“Yes, you humans of modern times are really acquiring exceptional knowledge of your material-physical world, inventing an ever-increasing number of machines and gadgets. ‘Technologies’ you call them. But did you create from scratch all the basic ‘matter’ you mold and manipulate? Like the iron ore itself from which you get steel? Did you conceive and put into action the powerful, stable laws of physics you employ? Of course, you did not! Nor the laws of mathematics. Nor light, sine waves, gravity, and not even simple silicon so vital to your digitized world. Yet so many of you conceive of yourselves as gods at the top of the evolution heap. You do not recognize nor honor me, though I was the one who conceived and created all matter and life.” Asking the Creator pardon for speaking thus on his behalf, doing it only to adapt some of his arguments made to Job of old to our cutting edge, digital world.
Now, regarding “Noises,” the pure Soul-Spirit lifts off silently from the physical body.
Why should the pure Soul-Spirit cry out with anguish and desperation during the instants before the death of its mortal body? After all, it is just at the point of leaving for a “far better” state than that of the corporal-earthly, and it knows it. Rather, it would feel relief and joy at being able to abandon the physical body, with all of its instinctual fighting for animal self-preservation, and, additionally, because it would be leaving behind the almost continual stress of
material life on the earth to fly away to a really marvelous place free of such conditions.
On the other hand, it is not surprising that the impure Soul-Spirit would express itself through its dying physical body with desperate, anguished lamentations and sorrowful sighing, not desiring to leave and resisting it with all its might, for the impure Soul-Spirit values the fleshly body, with its carnal pleasures and passions, far above the spiritual life. It wants to always remain in the body of flesh and blood. It is terrified by the death of its physical body. In the case of those with some belief in life after death, however fuzzy or superstitious that belief, what awaits them in those shadowy regions beyond death may be still more terrifying.
Coming to the matter of “CARGO,” that of the Falcon Heavy was the personal Tesla Roadster of Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, the company that designed and launched the Falcon Heavy
The midnight cherry, battery-driven Tesla Roadster was valued at $100,000.00. This is a real picture of the car in orbit, with mannequin Starman in the driver’s seat.
Such a special car in orbit in the Solar system, potentially, for millions of years? An unforgettable image in the mind of any person able to appreciate such a singular idea of high drama and astute
financial promotion! That matter of remaining in space for “millions of years” would be the projection of minds saturated with the theses of Darwinian evolution. Those who believe with equal conviction in the Supreme Creative Intelligence responsible for the universe know that His time-plan is way, way shorter.
A wholly, material cargo. “Made on Earth by humans,” reads a plaque attached to the motor of the Tesla Roadster. In case some extraterrestrials might encounter it out there in space. That they might know the origin of the vehicle and make contact with humans, assuming humans would still exist in the material universe.
A cargo lost eternally! Nonrecoverable. Unless SpaceX engineers quickly invent some technology that would make possible its rescue before it is destroyed by cosmic rays or impacts by asteroids. Or extraterrestrials get hold of it.
Developing the “Analogy” in progress, the “cargo” for the flight of the purified Soul-Spirit would be zero. Because its enormously valuable shipments acquired on planet Earth through its many works and actions done with pure motives in the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Colossians 3:17), were sent on ahead to a secure vault in Heaven. It is thus that the pure Soul-Spirit travels lightly, without heavy, bulky luggage or boxes of worldly acquisitions that would be a drag on its trip.
In that regard, the apostle Paul confidently asserts: “…I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.” 2 Timothy 1:12. So then, Paul, while on Earth, was making deposits in Heaven! When he left on his spiritual flight for celestial places, he was absolutely certain he would find there, perfectly intact, everything he had deposited!
What about you and me? Are we doing the same? Or, during our travels through earthly places, are we loading down the Soul-Spirit with a lot of worldly baggage of little or no true value?
“…store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves do not break in and steal,” exhorts Jesus of Nazareth. Matthew 6:20. Store them up there, and not here.
“Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord. Yes, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Revelation 14:13
As a matter of fact, when we say, “purified Soul-Spirit,” we are referring specifically to those who “die in the Lord.” That is, in their state as Souls-Spirits, they are “in the Lord” when the physical body dies. This means they have not only believed, repented, and been baptized (immersed) in water “for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-47; Romans 6:3-7), to “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27), but have also been faithful to the Lord until the very last breath of their mortal body.
They are blessed with the good fortune of resting “from their labors.”
Their good “deeds” done on the earth “follow them.” In other words, the official notice that their deeds done on earth have been duly deposited in Heaven is always available for them at the different stops and phases of their spiritual journey. For example, at their First Stop when they receive divine confirmation of their spiritual status as “Pure Souls-Spirits” whose names are in the Book of Life, and at the Second Stop, which is the Paradise of the Hadean realm.
In contradistinction, the cargo of the impure Soul-Spirit is the sum of all its evil attributes and actions.
Of its misdeeds, lies, deceits, ugly, barbarous, obscene, sex-loaded street talk, indecent, provocative gestures, shameful acts, insensibilities; confrontational, violent attitudes and looks; vices, crimes, adulteries, immorality of every kind, cruelty, social abuses, incredulity, blasphemies, unnatural life styles, injustices, hate, wrath, and all other sins not pardoned by the Creator of the universe, by the Just Judge, by the Almighty. The God of love who has repeatedly shown in a thousand ways his love for all human beings, even the vilest, desiring the salvation of all, but love that was not reciprocated by unrepentant, disobedient, rebellious sinners who loved the darkness more than the light.
The very heavy load of guilt. Guilty of having rejected God’s purpose for them. Luke 7:30. Of not having sought his face. Acts 17:24-31. Of not having loved the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. Of not having sought to live in happy harmony with the “will of God… good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Are you perchance loaded down with guilt at this juncture of your trajectory?
If you want to get rid of it, you may lay your debilitating, ungodly burden before the Lord Jesus Christ, asking him, with true humility and repentance, to destroy it, and then take up his life-saving, easy and light burden, faithfully and joyously carrying it to the point in time when you will depart in flight to beautiful, heavenly destinies.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Text and Document Composition by Homer Dewayne Shappley
Part 2 of “The Flight of the Falcon Heavy. The Flight of the Soul-Spirit. An Analogy.”
Category: Caught up, that is, transported to celestial regions after the death of the physical body.