Friday, November 22, 2019

Miracles (3) Physical and Spiritual Reality

The materialistic world view that has been adopted by modern people is incorrect, because it leaves out a huge chunk of reality. The physical world is not all that there is. Scientists who study the physical world in isolation will miss out on much of what happens in the world. The physical world is overlaid by a spiritual world, which is more complex, and probably more important for what happens in history.

The physical realms consist of the earth, the sea and the sky. It includes people, and the things they have made. God created the physical world and everything that is in it. When he had completed his creation, he saw that it was good.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good (Gen 1:31).
We are familiar with the physical world, because we live in it and our senses are attuned to the physical things that surround us. Because sin has made us spiritually blind, we assume the physical world makes up most of the universe. This distortion is reinforced by the scientific approach to life, which claims that things that cannot be scientifically observed are not real. The spiritual world is sometimes acknowledged, but we tend to live as if the physical world is the centre of modern life.

Our experience on earth causes us to think that the authority systems on earth are important, so we miss the parallel authority systems that exist in the spiritual realms and interact with the authority systems on earth. To understand the functioning of authority on earth, we need a thorough understanding of the way that authority flows out of the spiritual realms.

When they were created, Adam and Eve could see into the spiritual world. They were able to walk with God in the cool of the evenings and speak directly to him (Gen 3:8,9). They lost this ability after they disobeyed God. We need spiritual insight to understand what is happening in the spiritual world. People with faith in Jesus have their spiritual eyes opened, so they can see into the spiritual realms. That is why Paul prayed for “the eyes of our hearts” to be enlightened (Eph 1:18).

Most humans cannot see into the spiritual dimensions, so they can only observe the physical side of existence. However, events in our physical world are often shaped by activities in the spiritual realms. When we look at the physical world in isolation, we miss much of what is happening in the universe. “The heavens” is the biblical name for the spiritual world that exists in parallel to the physical world.

Multi-dimensional Universe
God created a multi-dimensional universe in which the spiritual dimensions exist in parallel to our three-dimensional physical world. The spiritual realms operate in continuity with the physical/natural world that we observe.

The spiritual realms are not limited to three dimensions like our physical world. The Bible does not tell us how many, but it is far more than three. We think naturally in three dimensions, so we find it hard to conceive of a multi-dimensional world. The spiritual world is not another world in another place, but a set of dimensions additional to the physical world we observe.

The spiritual world is more real than the physical world. We find that hard to believe, because our eyes are calibrated for a physical world. If we could perceive the spiritual world clearly, we would be amazed at how wonderful it is.

God lives and operates in the spiritual dimensions of reality, but he also created and sustains the physical world. After the creation, the Holy Spirit remained close to the earth (Gen 1:2). The Holy Spirit was not isolated in a distant place. The spiritual realms where he operates hover over the earth, not way out at the edge of the universe. He moves easily between both worlds.

Angels and demons are personal beings without bodies who can speak and act. They live in the spiritual realms, but have the ability to move into the physical world. They can touch people and things in the physical world to complete their work. Angels and demons can only intervene in the physical world in one place at a time. This limits what they can do on earth.

In contrast, the Holy Spirit is present in the spiritual realms and everywhere on earth at any time. This gives him unlimited power and makes him far greater than any angel or evil spirit.

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