Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dimensions (5) Higher Life

When the visitor to Flatland carried the narrator into Spaceland two things surprised him. The first surprise was that he could see into himself. His organs that had been enclosed in a two-dimensional world, were totally exposed when he was taken into a three-dimensional world. The narrator was totally embarrassed by what he saw.

This describes how we will feel when we stand before God on judgment day. We will have moved into a world of extra dimension where time does not count and physical things are totally exposed. On that day we will see ourselves for the first time as we really are. That will be totally embarrassing and we will be full of shame. Just as well we can call on the blood of Jesus to wipe our sin and shame away.

The narrator of Flatland was totally amazed by what he saw in Spaceland. He looked down on the two-dimensional world that he had come from and it seemed poor and shadowy compared with the new world that he had entered. We are impressed by life in this world. When we have access to the dimensions that God moves in we will realise how small and insignificant is life on this earth. We will look back on our lives and feel like they are just a blink of an eye.

This is a problem for scientists trying to understand they world. When they look into space through their powerful telescopes, they are only seeing three dimension. When you include time that is four dimensions, but they are not certain about time. The problem is that they are only seeing three dimensions of a multi-dimensional existence. Without an understanding of the spiritual dimensions of life, they are not seeing all that exists, so naturally they do not understand it.

The narrator was totally blown away by what he saw in Spaceland. His eyes were calibrated for seeing in a two-dimensional world, so he just could not make sense of what he saw. He just knew that it was absolutely wonderful.

Christians who get a vision of the heavenly realm face the same problem. Their senses are tuned for a physical world. Their language is designed for describing a physical world. This makes it impossible for them to communicate what they have seen. For example, Paul visited the third heaven in a vision. He was dramatically affected by what he saw, but he could not describe it (2 Cor 12:2-4).

John faced the same problem in the book of Revelation. He had a wonderful vision of worship in heaven, but he did not have the words to describe it. He took words like emerald, crystal, rainbow, glass, sea, thunder, gold, lampstand, snow, that describe some of the most amazing things in this world, and jumbled them up to describe what he saw in heaven. We should not assume these are literal descriptions. John was doing his best with words designed for describing a three-dimensional world, but he was actually describing the indescribable.

We should be very careful about Christians telling us they know what life in heaven will be like. Even if they have seen it, they will not really understand what they have seen, and they will be totally incapable of describing what they have seen.


jg said...

I vaguely remember that C.S. Lewis expressed the opinion that maybe God operates under a different sense of time (the fourth dimension that you have been writing about), which may cause our fervent prayers to appear to be unmet, when in fact they may be met (later?). I found the concept confusing, but inspiring, for my simple mind.

Are there similarities between your thoughts on time and C.S. Lewis'?

Blessed Economist said...

I am not familiar with CS Lewis's teaching on this topic.

I think there will be a sense of time in the spiritual realm, but it will be different from the time we know. Probably it will be multidimensional, whatever that means.