Extra Dimensionality and God PPT by mbelote


									Extra-dimensionality and God
Michael Belote   http://rebootchristianity.blogspot.com

   Purposes

    –   To challenge Christians to see their faith in new ways

    –   To reveal mysteries about God and His plan

    –   To help us see Scripture in a new light

    –   To better understand our relationship to the rest of Creation
          In the Beginning…

   Bible tells us that God pre-existed creation, and that He made everything we see,
    “visible and invisible”.

   What is included in this creation event?
    –            Visible space (three-dimensions)
    –            Invisible space (anything else)
    –            “In the beginning” implies that time itself (as we know it) was created

   Humans are capable of perceiving three dimensions of space (length, height,
    breadth) and one dimension of time. We see ourselves as living in a three-
    dimensional space which passes through time.

                                      1999                                                 2009
                                      AD                                                   AD
                      SPACE                                                   TIME
      Dimensions of Space

   Scripture has long said that God has a different perception of time than us (Psalm 90:4),
    implies that He lives outside of our timeline (Gen 1:1), and is clear that He also created things
    that we cannot perceive (Col 1:16).
   Modern physicists all now agree that there is more to the universe than what we can perceive.
   String theory, which many physicists think
    is the closest explanation to the underlying
    mathematical structure of the universe,
    requires at least 10 dimensions of space
    and 2 dimensions of time. (For reference, the figure
    to the right is a Calabi-Yau representation of a
    six-dimensional space.)
   Our math predicts that these dimensions
    exist, but we cannot perceive them. (For example, if you
    apply Einstein’s General Relativity in five spatial dimensions rather
    than three, it actually predicts the existence of electromagnetic forces – which we experience
    but cannot otherwise adequately explain.
   For you physicists: this presentation assumes that the brane-world scenario is basically
    correct: that we are “stuck” in a 3-dimensional subspace of the full universe, and that the
    additional dimensions are therefore not observable.

   That’s enough physics…now to the analogies.
     Dimensions (cont.)

   We cannot perceive of extra dimensions with our
    eyes. However, we can understand the concept by
    a thought experiment.

   This experiment was first (and best) described in
    the 1884 novel Flatland by Edwin Abbott.

   In this book, Abbott pretends that he is a square
    living on a two-dimensional world, who has a
    vision of revelation when he is visited by a three-
    dimensional sphere.

   Though the book was written for a secular
    purpose, understanding this book is a great insight
    to Scripture. And yet few Christians have ever
    heard of it! Stay with us as we examine this
    thought experiment, and then expand it to apply
    to Scripture and God.
     Welcome to Flatland

   Imagine that the screen you are looking at is “Flatland”, and that the creatures you
    see on it live on that screen.

   Though their screen is just one “slice” of the three-dimensional world you see, they
    are completely unaware of what happens on other “slices”…their brains are
    capable only of understanding what they see on their page.

   They can understand the “x” and “y”
    directions, but not the “z” direction.
    Talks of “up” and “down” are


     Introducing Mr. Circle
   Our main character will be Mr. Circle, an inhabitant of Flatland. Let us examine his

   Mr. Circle’s skin is shown below in black. His “insides” (brain, organs, etc.) are the
    blue. He can travel north, south, east, west, or at any angle, as long as he remains
    within the borders of Flatland. He cannot “see” his insides, for he can only perceive
    the things outside of himself.

   He must stay on Flatland’s “plane” – he cannot travel “in” or “out” of the page, and
    cannot see anything in those dimensions, either.
     Introducing Mr. Circle
   If Mr. Circle is walking along one day and sees Mrs. Triangle, he sees her as a
    vertical line – because he sees her straight on from the edge.
   If Mr. Circle sees her from above, he sees only a single point in space.
   By looking at Mrs. Triangle from multiple angles, Mr. Circle can calculate that she is
    a Triangle rather than a Circle, by scientific investigation.
   He would think that we are insane for claiming that we can “see” all sides of Mrs.
    Triangle at once – it is impossible to him.

                                                                 “ .”
                            “        ”
     Confusing Mr. Circle
   There are a number of ways to freak out Mr. Circle. We will explore several here.
   Notice that we are doing nothing but exposing Mr. Circle to reality – but, because
    both he and his scientific instruments can only perceive the second dimension, it is
    impossible for him to comprehend what we are saying.
     Confusing Mr. Circle
   Let us start by introducing ourselves.
   Obviously he cannot understand when we say that we have “height” and he
    doesn’t, nor can he understand the third dimension…so we won’t go there.
   Instead let’s just say, “Hi”.

                                 “Who said that?”

   Because we are not visible in his two-dimensional plane, our speech seems to come
    from ‘everywhere and nowhere’…it comes out of the very fabric of existence,
    rather than from a location. He can hear it up, down, left, and right. He can hear it
    inside and outside of his body. But it comes from someone invisible—us.
     Confusing Mr. Circle
   So, to make things easier, let’s put a part of ourselves on the page.
   We take a finger and put it into his plane of existence (flatland). The cross-section
    of our finger (a circle) appears out of thin air.
   He looks at the circle from one side and sees only a line.


   So initially, he thinks we are a line. After looking at the tip of my finger from
    multiple angles and doing some math, he concludes that I am a circle 0.5” in
   I have become “like him” – a circle living in Flatland.
     Confusing Mr. Circle
   Now let us confuse him some more.
   I am going to place my finger further into the page. The same finger, from the same
    person, but at a different depth. I will put it so that my knuckle is the part he sees.
    Because my knuckle was jammed playing ball as a kid, it is bigger than my finger.
   After careful examination, he concludes that this is a different person – for this is a
    circle of diameter 0.6”, not 0.5”.


   Because he cannot see depth, he sees different parts of me looking different.
     Confusing Mr. Circle
   Now, let’s drive him truly insane.
   I will put one finger on the page, and my other hand flat on the page.
   After examination, he sees one to be a circle (my finger), and one to be a strangely
    shaped creature that he’s never experienced (my hand’s outline).
   What will he think if I say that BOTH are me, simultaneously?

   I am essentially claiming something that he and all of his scientists would say is
    impossible: that a circle in the East is the same person as the hand in the West.
     Showing Mr. Circle some Miracles
   You want to do a miracle? Let’s place a can into his world.
   After walking around and examining the can, he concludes that it is a circle. (Which
    is true – that is the cross-section he can see.)
   Then, let’s rotate the can 90 degrees in the axis that he can’t see.
   Now, he sees a rectangle.
   Yet we know that both are actually the same object.

                     “ circle ”                               “ rectangle”

   We have just done a miracle: we have changed a circle into a rectangle, right
    before his eyes!
     Showing Mr. Circle some Miracles
   Let’s try another miracle – instantaneous transportation.
   Let us pick Mrs. Triangle up into the third dimension (lift her off of the page) and
    place her on the other side of Mr. Circle.
   From Mr. Circle’s perspective, she instantly vanished out of existence and then
    reappeared in another location!

          ONE…                               TWO…                         THREE

                                           Where did she go?                  “ !!!”

   That is miracle number 2: we can make her pop into or out of existence, wherever
    we want, without harming her in any way…simply by using a dimension that he
    cannot perceive.
     Showing Mr. Circle some Miracles
   Miracle number three…healing.
   Assume Mrs. Triangle needs surgery. Mr. Circle takes a scalpel, and cuts open one
    of her edges. He then rearranges her organs as he sees fit, and she heals. If he does
    it wrong, perhaps he harms her.

   But what if you and I want to heal her?
   Without ever breaking her skin, you and I can reach directly into her insides and
    rearrange however we want…because as extra dimensional creatures, we can “see”
    inside of her at all times…no MRI or surgery needed.
     Showing Mr. Circle some Miracles
   Miracle number four…ESP.
   Say that Mrs. Triangle’s surgery from Mr. Circle didn’t go well. She says she doesn’t
    blame him, but he worries that she does. If only he could “hear” her thoughts!
   Well…we can. Because we can see her mind, we can easily read her thoughts at all
    times. And his, and Sergeant Rectangle’s, etc. (Assuming that we know how to
    interpret the electrical impulses as words/emotions/thoughts.)

   I can see her thoughts, prayers, hopes and dreams…and everyone else’s…all at the
    same moment in time.
   It is not so much that I am “reading” minds, or “hearing” their prayers, as that I can
    simply see all of her, inside and out, at all times—not just the “skin” that their 2-D
    eyes are limited to perceiving.
     Showing Mr. Circle some Miracles
   Miracle #5…joining Mr. Circle’s world, and a duality of nature.
   Assume for a moment that I am a cylinder. I decide to reside in his world for a
    period of time.
   Mr. Circle (and everyone else) sees me as a circle. Yet I teach him that I am also a
    rectangle, if seen from a different angle.
   I am saying the impossible, of course…that I am at the same moment in time both
    fully circular and fully rectangular.

   It seems nonsense to him…but only because he is limited in perception.
     Mr. Circle’s Revelations
   Let us give a revelation to Mr. Circle now. Let us let him have a peek at our
    dimension, just for a minute…how would he describe it when he returns?
   “There were these people that they called ‘Spheres’…they were like circles, but you
    could see the whole circle from every angle. It was like a million circles were all
    joined together, in back of each other, so that no matter where you stood you
    could see his shape as a circle. He has circles on front, back, and the sides…They
    could move north and south, but also an up and down…”
   The descriptions would sound like a bad acid trip…
      Mr. Circle’s Revelations
   For another revelation, let’s give him a peek into the mysteries of the universe…gravity.
   To us, the law of gravity (or the Newtonian version, at least), is easy to understand. Gravity is
    what keeps us “down”, on earth. It is what keeps Mr. Circle “down” on the paper, instead of
    floating away.
   But you see, he does not understand “down”. To him, “down” means south. Try to describe
    “into the paper” to him…can you come up with an explanation that makes sense?
   He would not even understand the purpose of that law. Since he cannot conceive of “up” and
    “down”, he cannot understand even the need for such a law.
   It would be like someone telling you that God had revealed to them a new law of nature,
    which governs how you stay anchored in our three dimensions. What are the other options?
    How could we even understand the need to be ‘anchored’? We know that gravity is needed to
    anchor us from the “z” direction, but why would we need something to anchor us from
    another, unknown dimension? That basic law of nature would be impossible to understand,
    predict, or measure, because both we and our scientific instrumentation exist wholly within
    this plane.

   In similar notes, some physicists have suggested that extra dimensions help explain the laws
    of electromagnetism and the weak force.
     Mr. Circle’s Revelations
   Another revelation…what if Mr. Circle is actually a cylinder? But because his organs
    are stuck in the second dimension, that is all he can perceive?
   If we reveal to him that he is more than just a circle…that the circle is just one
    cross-section of who he “truly” is, what would he think? Would he believe us?
    What if we tell him that his true home is the third dimension, and that one day we
    will grant him the ability to see that…but in the meantime, all he can perceive is
    this dimension? That if he listens to us he will achieve a higher perception and see
    that he is both simultaneously circle and rectangle?
   What if he raised the issue? Every scientist in the entire history of Flatland could
    work on the problem, and yet get nowhere. Because every perception and
    instrument that they use is limited to the second dimension.
     Good bye, Mr. Circle
   So we have tormented Mr. Circle enough.
   Let us get to the point…what does this mean? Well, remember that we are three
    dimensional creatures in a 10+ dimensional world…just because we can only
    perceive of 3 dimensions does not mean that there aren’t more.

   Now let us have a look at some Scriptures, and see if anything sounds familiar to
    the plights of Mr. Circle…
     Scriptural Applications – Heaven and Hell
“Look toward heaven and count the stars…” –Genesis 15:5
“Stretch our your hand toward heaven…” –Exodus 10:21
“Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven…” –Deut 26:15
On Lucifer, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven…” –Isa 14:13
“He parted from them and was carried up into heaven…” –Luke 22:43

   The Bible is full of references to “heaven” and “hell”, which are vaguely referred to
    as up or down. And these references are clearly to an actual physical place, with
    objects and people. Yet we now know that there is not some physical location
    called hell in the center of the earth, nor some city in the clouds above us. What
    does this mean?
   Would not descriptions of heaven be somewhat similar for Mr. Circle, trying to
    describe our reality? “Up”, but not up as his people understand it… it is “out” for
    them, a direction they cannot perceive.
   Perhaps the references to heaven being “up” and hell “down” are neither literal
    descriptions of up and down in the z-axis, nor merely symbolic statements. Perhaps
    they are literally “up” and “down” in some dimension that we simply cannot see
     Scriptural Applications – The Invisible Realm
“For by him all things were created, in heaven
   and on earth, visible and invisible…”
          --Paul to the Colossians, 1:16

   “Visible and invisible” – the Bible is clear
    that God created tangible objects that we
    cannot now see, but which exist.
   Stop and think of how extraordinary this
    claim truly is: it is not unlike the Platonic
    Cave analogy, where Plato argues that we
    are only seeing a “shadow” of the true
    nature of things.
   Just like Mr. Circle could perceive only one
    aspect of his reality and every other plane
    of existence was “invisible”, so too do our
    other 7 spatial dimensions remain invisible
    to us.
      Scriptural Applications – The Voice of God
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice
from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
–The Gospel of Matthew, 17:5

“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you
persecuting me?’…Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand
the voice” –Acts, 22:7,9

   The Bible talks about God’s speech being physically
    capable of being heard by many people or just one
    person, and the voice coming from thin air overhead.
   Is this not the same as what we did to Mr. Circle, when
    we spoke to him without actually placing our fingers
    on the paper? He felt that we were speaking from
    everywhere and nowhere. Further, could we not
    speak specifically into his “insides”, thus preventing
    others from perceiving it?
     Scriptural Applications – The Finger of God
“And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mt Sinai, the two
tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written in the finger of God.” –Exodus, 31:18

“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the
wall…” –Daniel 5:5

   The Bible shows God’s “finger” physically taking form from time to time, from out
    of mid-air, to write something on a wall or tablet. It is unconnected to anything
    else, performs some action, and then vanishes into midair again.
   Does this not sound like an extra-dimensional being ‘materializing’? Remember
    when we stuck our finger in the page? That could easily be described by Mr. Circle
    in similar terms.
       Scriptural Applications – ESP/Healing

    “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a
    blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” –Job 1:8

     In the book of Job, God and Satan discuss Job. Notice that the quote implies that
      both God and Satan can see the thoughts of Job and everyone else (for comparison
     If God and Satan are extra-dimensional beings, and are capable of understanding
      the electrical signals in our brains (and the associated thoughts) then they could
      presumably “see” our thoughts – and everyone else’s – just as easily as we can see
      the insides of Mr. Circle and Mrs. Triangle.
     Furthermore, later when Satan is allowed to harm the person of Job, is it not easy
      to see how that is possible? God prevents Satan from touching the “insides” of a
      person without permission, and when that permission is granted, Satan can harm
      organs internally just as we could fix Mrs. Triangle after her botched surgery
     Also note the numerous times that Jesus miraculously healed others. If He (or God,
      at His request) can access extra-dimensionality, then they could do “surgery” to our
      insides without ever breaking the skin.
     Scriptural Applications – Philip’s Teleportation
“And when they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and
the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at
Azotus...” –The Acts of the Apostles, 8:39-40

   For some reason this miracle is often overlooked…yet it is fascinating and powerful.
    Philip had been baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch, and was located on the road from
    Jerusalem to Gaza. Then, in an instant, he disappeared from there are re-appeared
    in Azotus (modern Ashdod). We do not know exactly the distance, but based upon
    the maps, the teleportation would have been at least out of sight (say, a quarter-
    mile) and as much as 40 miles (depending upon his starting point at the baptism of
    the eunuch).
   Imagine…God miraculously pops him out of existence in one location and into
    existence in another. How is this possible? Well, remember that we did the same
    thing with Mrs. Triangle, by moving her along a dimension of space that Mr. Circle
    couldn’t see.
   All God would have to do is “pop” Philip out of the three dimensions we can see,
    do the travel quickly along some other spatial dimension, and then “pop” him back
    into existence in the three dimensions we can see.
     Scriptural Applications – Visions and Dreams
“I saw in the night visions, and behold…” –Daniel, 7:13

   The Bible frequently speaks about God giving visions or dreams to people. How
    would this be possible?
   Again, think of us and Mr. Circle. Because of our location we can easily see his
    “insides”, including his brain. Now let’s assume that we can interpret the electrical
    impulses properly. Thus we could read his thoughts, emotions, dreams, etc.
   Now if we further assume that we could induce an electrical impulse, we could
    actually control his thoughts/visions/etc. In other words, we could artificially
    introduce something that his eyes really weren’t seeing: we could “put in” the
    signals we wanted, without him ever noticing it.
   Hence…visions. If we assume God is extra-dimensional, and we assume that God
    can interpret as well as introduce the electrical signals which are our thoughts and
    emotions, then God could easily introduce a vision, dream, desire, etc. into your
    brain. And of course, “detecting” it would be impossible here, because we cannot
    see anything but the results.
      Scriptural Applications – The Glory of God
“As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with
brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually” – Ezekiel 1:4

   How is the appearance of God described? You see Ezekiel’s description above. He is described “like a
    devouring fire” in Exodus 24. During the Exodus, the Israelites saw His presence as a cloud by day and fire
    by night. He is described as coming in fire and whirlwind in Isaiah 66. Moses sees him in fire at the burning
    bush. The Acts of the Apostles describes the receiving of God’s spirit as being like tongues of fire and
    associated with the sound of a mighty wind. When Moses had talked to God, his face was shining for some
    time afterward, as metal cools after having been heated (Ex 34:29). In Exodus 33, God revealed himself to
    Moses, who had to hide his eyes to save his life.
   All of these share similarities: when God reveals
    himself to man, it appears to be “fire-like” and
    “cloud-like” and “wind-like”.
   I don’t believe that God in appearing was literally
    burning heavenly fires or collecting clouds or
    blowing winds just to impress people. I believe
    the Biblical authors are telling the truth – that He
    truly put a part of Himself (the Spirit) into our three
    dimensions, and that the closest description that
    our human eyes could come up with is that it was
    kind of like a fiery cloud-thing that was accompanied
    by wind. Just as Mr. Circle sees only a small portion
    of our finger, so too did we just get a glimpse of God.
     Scriptural Applications –Ascensions
“Behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went
up by a whirlwind into heaven.” – Second Book of Kings, 2:11

“As they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
…Behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you
stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will
come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” – Acts of the Apostles, 1:9-11

   Twice in the Bible, we hear an account of people being taken up to heaven – Jesus
    and Elijah. In both cases, it is described somewhat similarly to God’s
    appearance…associated with whirlwinds and fire and clouds.
   What if Jesus and Elijah being taken up to heaven was similar to Mr. Circle being
    lifted off of the page? If this was done through God’s Spirit, then it would explain
    the similarities to the passages of when God appeared to humans.
   Also, note that the angels could appear instantly because all they had to do was
    “drop in” to the page so that they could be seen.
     Scriptural Applications –Trinity
   One of the core beliefs of Christianity is that God the Father, God the Son, and God
    the Holy Spirit are all the same ‘being’. Many philosophers feel this is absurd, and
    many Christians have struggled to explain it.
   But when you think of it in extra-dimensional terms, is it not rather easy?
   Take any three dimensional shape. For example, the star pyramid shown below. If
    you try to describe this in two-dimensions, what do you say? Which part of it do
    you describe for the Flatlanders? From the top, it looks like a single point. From any
    section along the vertical axis, it looks like a star. Sectioned from its side, it looks
    like a triangle.
   To a 2-D creature, the star pyramid below is simultaneously a point, a star, and a
    triangle—three different, mutually-exclusive beings. So how then can we explain
    that these are just three views, or three aspects, or three manifestations, of the
    same being? Is this not the same as the Trinity – that somehow we are to believe
    that Father, Son, and Spirit are simultaneously God and yet different? Perhaps once
    we receive extra-dimensional sensing abilities (if we ever will!), the explanation is
     Scriptural Applications – Fully Human Fully God
   Another core belief of Christianity is that while Jesus was on earth, He was
    simultaneously both fully human and fully God – tempted by sin but sinless, fully
    man and fully God, “God in the Flesh”, while God the Father remained separate.
   Again, think of it in terms of the star application we made before. Let us say that
    the star pyramid decides to live in Flatland. He decides to place his side in Flatland,
    so what the Flatlanders see is a triangle.
   Is he fully a triangle? Yes, in every possible way. But has he ceased being a star
    pyramid in order to “take the flesh” of the Flatlanders? No. He need not “leave”
    the third dimension in order to inhabit the second, nor does he need to change
    anything about himself in order to do so.
   Perhaps the same is true with Jesus. Perhaps God, being an extra-dimensional
    being, can indeed have one “aspect” of His being inhabit three dimensions and look
    just like “one of us”, without ever “leaving” heaven. Note the explanations – Jesus’
    prayers would be like the triangle talking to the star base on where to go; being
    born would be placing the triangle into Flatland; the ascension is pulling back away;
    sending the Spirit instead is rotating such that the point is in Flatland, etc.
     Scriptural Applications – Revelations (1)
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven!” – The Apocalypse of
St. John, 4:1

   Several times in the Bible, a prophet is given a vision of heaven. These visions are
    fascinating, because if our discussions have any relevance, then these visions are
    somewhat like picking up Mr. Circle and giving him a “peek” into heaven.
   We will focus on Ezekiel 1, where Ezekiel gives an extremely detailed vision of
    heaven. We will use this instead of the Apocalypse of St. John, because John is far
    less descriptive about the what of heaven, and rather focused on the events he
    saw. Ezekiel instead goes to great lengths to describe, in almost mathematical
    terms, everything he sees.
     Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1
“In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the
fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by
the Chebar canal, the heavens opened, and I saw
visions of God.” – The Book of Ezekiel, 1:1

   Ezekiel (considered by Jews to be the third
    major prophet, behind only Moses and Elijah)
    had one of the most vivid and longest-lasting
    visions of heaven in the Bible. I am going to
    assume for the sake of argument that, just as
    we pulled Mr. Circle into the third dimension for
    a peek, so too did God pull Ezekiel into extra
    dimensions for a look around. Assuming that is
    true, let us hear what Ezekiel has to say. Watch
    as he tries to describe the un-describable.
        Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

   To begin with, he gets a glimpse of God’s glory taking residence in the third
    dimension, which is very similar to what Elisha saw during Elijah’s ascension,
    Moses saw on Sinai, and the disciples saw when given the Holy Spirit:

    “As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with
    brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire,
    as it were gleaming metal.” (v.4)

   I think it is safe to assume as a Christian, based upon the wealth of Biblical
    evidence, that if we were to get to “see” heaven in its true nature, we would see
    or hear or feel:
    –    Something resembling a mighty wind
    –    Something resembling a cloud that glows like hot metal
    –    Something resembling fire that does not burn out
        Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

   Then Ezekiel sees some strange creatures. We will discuss each verse in turn:

    “And from the midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their
    appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them
    had four wings.” (v.5-6)

   Sounds a bit like Mr. Circle trying to describe a sphere, doesn’t it? “It was like a
    circle, but not really—it had too many faces, and circles on every side of its body.”
    Meaningless drivel to a two-dimensional creature, as he tries to describe a three-
    dimensional object!
   What do we know about these beings? What were Ezekiel’s impressions?
    –    They looked like living creatures
    –    They reminded him of humans, but with too many faces and something that looked like
    –    Everything seemed to be in fours. (An interesting comment…a three-dimensional solid
         like a pyramid has three ‘faces’ or axes; does the four faces/four wings/four creatures
         aspect indicate an extra dimension that he is seeing?)
        Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s
    foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides
    they had human hands.” (v.7-8a)

   Notice that Ezekiel spends the entire time speaking in analogies and metaphors.
    He cannot say much for sure about the creatures—cannot give them a concrete
    description—so he compares different parts of them to things we know.
   We learn some more here:
    –    Their legs are straight
    –    He can see the soles of their feet and they remind him of a calf’s foot
    –    They sparkle like burnished bronze; very similar to how Moses looked after being
         exposed to God’s glory (Ex 34:29).
    –    They have four different sides, each of which has wings and human hands.
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each
    one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their
    faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had
    the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces.
    ” (v.8b-11a)

   Notice here that Ezekiel is saying impossible things: the wings go straight forward from each
    of the four sides, without turning. Now if this is a physical four-sided, three-dimensional
    creature, then these four wings would certainly never touch: they would all be 90 degrees
    away from each other. But Ezekiel goes out of his way to say that they did touch. Again, we
    see that this is extra dimensionality at work.
   The four faces are of a human, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. Most theologians think these refer
    to the four evangelists of the New Testament or four features of God…but none of that is
    based upon evidence, just speculation that nobody has dared to question.
   Isn’t it possible that—rather than speaking in arcane symbols—Ezekiel is relating exactly
    what he sees? That these creatures seem to resemble at the same time both lions and
    humans and eagles and oxen? Is that any crazier than Mr. Circle saying telling his friends that
    a star pyramid had “eleven faces, one of which was a star and ten are triangles, and the
    triangles all touch together but are away from each other, and all of them touch the star at
    the same time”?
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which
    touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight
    forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the
    likeness of the creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance
    of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of
    the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance
    of a flash of lightning.” (v.11b-14)

   Ezekiel says that they move, darting like lightning, wherever the Spirit went, and that they
    didn’t need to turn to move.
   He expands on their burnished bronze appearance, saying that they were burning like bright
    fire with flashes like lightning, but that the fire appearance was not constant, flicking across
    their bodies like living torches.
   Again, does this sound like someone speaking in symbolic riddles to be understood? Or does
    it sound like someone who is seeing dimensions and objects that are impossible in our world,
    and struggling greatly to describe them in our terms?
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living
    creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their
    construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same
    likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.” (v.15-

   Ezekiel continues describing things that he cannot describe: four wheels which gleamed like
    beryl, a gem of turquoise/aquamarine, but which look like a wheel inside a wheel.
   I do not think he is talking about concentric circles here. He continues to use metaphorical
    speech, “their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.” He
    doesn’t say, “There was a wheel on the outside and a wheel on the inside”; instead, he is
    clearly describing something for which he doesn’t have the words, and said it is like a wheel,
    but one with a wheel inside of it. Mr. Circle might well describe a cylinder as a “rectangle
    with a circle inside of it”, wouldn’t he?
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.”

   To me, this is a key verse: what does Ezekiel mean as “their four directions”?
   He surely does not mean “north, south, east, and west”…for his statements would therefore
    imply that these wheels could move only at 90 degree angles from each other.
   No, by “their four directions”, he almost certainly means, “the living creatures’ four
    directions.” I strongly suppose he is discussing a four spatial dimension here – he cannot
    describe it in any other way except to say that there are four directions of travel rather than
    the three to which we are accustomed.
   He is also awed that they do not turn when they move, but can travel freely throughout
    these dimensions.
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.
    And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living
    creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went,
    and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”

   Here, Ezekiel says that somehow the wheels were actually inhabited spiritually by the
    creatures, and that they themselves had eyes in every axis. He also, in addition to speaking of
    the four “directions” of the creatures, mentions “rising” here as though it were clearly a
    different direction—are we now discussing a fifth spatial dimension?
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-
    inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were
    stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its
    body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters,
    like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood
    still, they let down their wings.” (v.22-24)

   Notice again that Ezekiel can do nothing but use references to things we know—that above
    their heads was something that was “like” an expanse, that their wings sounded “like”
    rushing waters or God or an army preparing for battle.
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

    “And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance
    like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with human
    appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were
    gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what
    had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was
    brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain,
    so was the appearance of brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of
    the glory of the Lord.” (v.25-28)

   Ezekiel could hardly use the words ”like”, “as” or “appearance” more than he does here!
   Here he describes the throne of God and one it something that was “like” a human
    “appearance”. He had something which had the “appearance of his waist”, above which it
    seemed to gleam like metal and fire, but all captured within it. Downward from this waist
    seemed to be like fire, and all around him seemed to have a color explosion like a rainbow.
   Notice key descriptions throughout the book which might allude to different spatial
    dimensions. He discussed that there were the four “directions” of the living creatures; that
    they could also raise “up”; that above them was something like an expanse; above that was
    something like a throne; above the throne was God; and that within God there is both an
    “upward” and “downward” from his waist. That is 11 specific directions that he has
    mentioned throughout the book—perhaps these are spatial dimensions? It is certainly
    interesting that string theory says that there are 10-11 spatial dimensions.
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

   What if these four creatures are (as many speculate)
    angels? One of their “faces” is human-like with wings.
    What if we assume that this “face” is actually three-
    dimensional? Then in that case, when the creature
    put that “face” into our three dimensions, what
    would we see? (See the illustration at the right –
    perhaps we can only see one small “slice” of this
   Well, we would see something that looked like a
    human, with two wings, bright and glowing…doesn’t
    that sound pretty similar to the Biblical descriptions
    of an angel?
      Revelation Applications: Ezekiel 1

   I argue that traditional Christian theology might be wrong: Ezekiel’s four creatures are not at
    all supposed to be symbols of what he saw. I believe that it is at least possible that he was
    being completely honest and open about what he saw, and that he was simply trying to
    describe a multi-dimensional creature to a three-dimensional audience…just as Mr. Circle
    would try to describe us to his friends.
   Think about it, what would he say? He would say something like, “They are like Flatlanders
    with three directions instead of two, and they can move in any direction without effort. They
    have a face like three circles, one on top and one in front and one on the side. They have a
    body like two rectangles, placed so that the long sides are touching together but so are the
    other direction. They have legs and arms like rectangles that are made of millions of
    circles…”, etc.
   I argue that it is very possible that the four living creatures are the “true” appearance of any
    angel and that we just saw one side.
     Two Dimensions of Time?
   To this point, we have discussed only the fact that string theory considers multiple
    dimensions of space. But it also theorizes two dimensions of time. I will spend less
    time on that because, frankly, I do not understand it that well! It is harder for me to
    picture this than extra spatial dimensions.
   In general, we see time as being one-dimensional: that is, it is a line that we move
    across. We move from one end of the line to the other, and various scientists argue
    about whether you could ever move “back” or skip “forward” along the line.
   Everyone seems to agree, though, that there is just one “direction” of time: one
    line, with 1000 AD behind us and 3000 AD ahead of us.

                                  Time (1-D)
     Two Dimensions of Time?
   Instead, it is possible that there are two dimensions of time, meaning that time
    looks more like the Cartesian coordinate system. For lack of a better term, I will call
    the second dimension as “vertical time”:

                    Vertical Time (2-D)   2002 VT

                     0 VT
                                                           2002 AD
                                            Human Time (1-D)

   Now I don’t understand this much more than anyone else; but I do know that there
    are some things that we can say about any two-dimensional system.
     Two Dimensions of Time?
   Anything that happens at a certain “moment” in human time could be happening
    simultaneously across many “moments” of the vertical time.

                                                        Event X
                   Vertical Time (2-D)    2002 VT

                                          0 VT
                                                         2002 AD
                                           Human Time (1-D)

   This means that something which happens in one instant of human time can affect
    the entire timeline of vertical time. So “event X” above happens in 2002 AD, but it
    is a vertical line…so it has happened at all times in vertical time.
   Let’s look at two key examples.
                       Two Dimensions of Time?

                                     1. CREATION OF OUR UNIVERSE
                       infinity VT   Science measures that the earth has aged several billion years. The Bible
                                     says the creation lasted 6 days. Perhaps the 6 days is figurative, or relatively
                                     of time plays a role…or perhaps the two axes of time is the solution.

                                     The Bible says that the universe was created “in the beginning”, indicating
                                     that Genesis 1 is the “beginning” of our timeline/axis of time. Nothing was
                                     “before” in our timeline…but perhaps something was “before” in heaven’s

                                     Perhaps the “Vertical Time” here is heaven’s timeline. In some year of
                                     heaven’s time (say, year 1234), God began creating our universe. He spent
 Vertical Time (2-D)

                                     six days of “Vertical Time” to do so.

                                     Though only 6 days of “heaven” time passed, that only tells us the start and
                                     stop points on the y-axis. Depending upon how long the event is on the X
                                     axis, millions of years could have passed on earth. You see, saying the
                                     creation is “6 days” only tells you how thick it is on one axis…not the other.

                                     In other words, with two axes of time, 6 literal days of creation could
                                     absolutely account for billions of years of creation time on earth.
Day 6
Day 1
                                                                                                                 2009 AD
                                                          Human Time (1-D)
                        0 VT
                      Two Dimensions of Time?

                                            2. JESUS’ DEATH AS ATONEMENT FOR SIN

                      infinity VT           One question people often ask is, “How could Jesus die at one time and have
                                            it account for all of sin?”

                                            Assume Jesus died in only one year, 33 AD. Assume that on that date, God
                                            forgave sins for all of our timeline.

                                            Then do you see that it doesn’t matter where on the Human timeline the
                                            event occurred? If the “height” reaches to all eternity on the y-axis, then it
                                            doesn’t matter at what point on the x-axis it occurred. As long as it occurred
                                            once, and the event affects all of the other axis, then one distinct event on
                                            earth can affect all of the other axis (just as a few days’ work in the other axis
Vertical Time (2-D)

                                            can affect a huge portion of time on earth.

                                            In other words, with two axes of time, 6 literal days of creation could
                                            absolutely account for billions of years of creation time on earth.

                                                                                                                 2009 AD
                                    33 AD                Human Time (1-D)
                       0 VT

   As you can see, comprehending other dimensions has a lot of potential for
    understanding some of the mysteries of our faith.

   I hope that this presentation has helped you see God and the faith in new ways. It
    may or may not be right (probably not, since I did it!). But it certainly helps us see
    that God is way more than what we typically think of Him. Since He is not limited
    by our dimensions of time and space, a lot of the supposedly impossible miracles
    of the Bible are actually not that hard to comprehend.

   In conclusion, I would say to you about this presentation the same thing that C.S.
    Lewis said in his introduction to Mere Christianity. I hope that this helps open your
    eyes to see Scripture and God in a new light. But if it doesn’t…well, throw it away
    and ignore it! It is not canon. If it is useful, use it; if not, ignore it.
        See Also

   For more information on similar topics, check out the following sources:

    –    Edwin Abbot’s Flatland

    –    The always-excellent blog Sword and Spirit (www.swordandspirit.com), for their
         presentation, “Fish Guts and Extra-Dimensionality”

    –    Brian Green’s The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for
         the Ultimate Theory

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