I am curious to see some comments regarding my following question. I have for some time tried to study about time space and how it applies to the Bible. Do you think that it might be a possibility that all the saints throughout the time line of time space actually reach heaven at the same time so in reality we are already either in heaven or hell. I think time space is more virtual reality and this life as we know it is much different than what we perceive it to being while trapped in time space. We know it takes energy and resistance just for an object to feel solid but it never really is solid. If you have ever watched the movement of a 4D shape you can clearly see that by this movement it would be possible for all saints to reach heaven at the same time. And that is just looking at 4D there are many other dimensions to consider. I understand how normal people view deaths where souls reach heaven at different intervals of the time but considering we are eternal beings time then would would not effect our arrival.
@Joy_Bittner I think that when we read the Bible it is evident that some believer’s are already in the eternal state before others. For example, who are the ‘cloud of witnesses’ in Hebrews if not saints who have gone before us?
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Or who are the saints in Revelation crying out for God to bring justice upon the earth?
Revelation 6:10 - They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
That said, I have no idea how time works in Heaven / eternity. I would assume some sense of the passage of events would be required for there to be any coherent meaning, but then that is an assumption.
Hugh Ross has some interesting thoughts on the extra-dimensionality of God in his book “Beyond the Cosmos” that are very speculative - like you are describing. I am not sure I follow all of his conclusions, but it is an interesting thought experiment and similar in some ways to the speculative thoughts you are considering.
And here is an article by William Lane Craig on God, Time and Eternity:
Thank you so much for your response . Yes, I agree with what you said . The Bible is written in past, present and future tenses however, this is giving us a guideline in the dimension of time. An example of a parade walking through a town is often given as an example. While standing at different view points you can see what past, present before you and what is coming . But now an Aerial view sees the whole band simultaneously . That is how God is looking at us. When we are out of time that is what we are going to see. The whole parade ( our life), That is what we will see on the bema seat judgement a viewing of how we lead our lives. Look at the movement of a 4D shape and you will clearly see that it is not a far stretch to say the we all reach heaven at the same time.
@Joy_Bittner I think that what you are saying is a possibility; not a certainty. In truth we do not understand how God sees things or how He relates to time… However, Hugh Ross’s book also looks at potential extra-dimensional aspects of God and what their implications might be. I think this is an interesting question, but we must be careful to acknowledge that we are reaching beyond what is measurable once we start talking about 4th dimensionsional realities.
Out of curiosity, what caused you to ask this question? Have you been reading a book/blog or is this a thought that you have been having for a long time?
I listening to Chuck Missler’s video heard him mention this. After that my thought process saw the capability for this. I started doing some internet research starting with Aristotle. I believe a good study of chronological time opens your mind to view the Bible on a whole other level than just a linear plane. Chronos is a gift of God. Will we walk in wisdom not beyond our years but beyond the clock? I can only speak from my perspective but once I started to look in the true meaning of time God’s word have a deeper meaning for me.
@Joy_Bittner Interesting - could you be more specific about how God’s Word seems more meaningful after your study of time?
It is almost impossible for me to say. Did you ever get to the point in your prayers that you repented of sins that you knew, laying it all out for Jesus. Then worshiping him and telling him how much you love him over and over and over till you get to the throne room. A place where it is quiet and peaceful and you are in a place without time because you have no other thoughts. I’ve been there like standing in a middle of a beautiful field with your eyes closed , peaceful. I prayed and prayed about my spiritual gift and one day a women told me you are a intercessor and taught me how to pray . Does it take time, yes . Do you get to that place , the throne room all the time, no but when it happens it is life changing. That is how it is looking a scripture striving to see it beyond time. The Bible states,” as we see through a glass , darkly.” However, it does not state the gradient .
@Joy_Bittner I think what I am trying to figure out is what you mean by ‘see it beyond time’. I understand prayer - when we pray in the Spirit God Himself groans within us and we experience His nearness. That is rational - it is an emotion, but an emotion that I can explain - God’s Spirit resides within me. Not that I can explain God - but the actors and their roles are clear.
The Bible is timeless - but ‘seeing it beyond time’ - what do you mean? The verse you quoted from in I Corinthians 13 has nothing to do with seeing the Bible - it is about seeing God clearly - now we see dimly, but then face to face.
I think you are in danger of attaching an emotion to an idea that you do not clearly understand yourself.
I would have to agree with @SeanO here, and I am curious what more levels of understanding we are trying a attain?
To be honest, I’ve a very simple person. The more I spend time here, the better I understand that fact, and appreciate my friends who can see so much of God’s faithfulness in our world. To go into another dimension makes my head spin and I really wonder if such a thing is meaningful, edifying, or coherent with fulfilling God’s message to us outlined in the Bible, His word to us. I’m not knocking it, but just cautiously considering the implications here.
Yes, I understand the verse I stated. There are lengths, breadths, depths, and heights of God’s design which are mysteries to us and cannot be apprehended in the present imperfect state. Eternity alone can unfold the whole scheme of the Gospel. I do not consider the desire for knowledge an emotion. We have the accounts of Paul and John in body or spirit looking into another dimensions. Revelation talks about Satan and things that will come upon the earth from other dimensions. I heard some churches do not even teach Revelation because it is too hard to understand and it would take them out of their comfort zone. Ephesians 6:12 clearly states we wrestle with spiritual wickedness from other dimensions. Just to clarify it most definitely is an idea just like many pastors have ideas and conjecture about passages. I appreciate all comments though, I enjoy this as a learning tool.
@Joy_Bittner I am glad you enjoy Connect as a learning tool. I think it would be worth considering that the terms ‘heavenly places’ and ‘spiritual realm’ and ‘3rd heaven’ in the Bible are not necessarily other dimensions.
That might be so. I heard it say as this, higher dimensions , parallel dimensions and the spiritual realm all coexist and form the shape of a cross just like the exact measurement of the camp of Israel. Just like the glue that hold the body together, laminin, forms a cross.
@Joy_Bittner So, the fact that the camp of Israel and laminin are both shaped like a cross does not mean anything - the two facts are not even related to one another; much less do they have implications for the spiritual realm. Whoever you are reading is not being logical - their conclusions do not follow from their premises.
I might recommend reading a book on the fundamental principles of logical thinking - this one looked fairly good.
I was only showing you something interesting. Not proving a fact or trying to push your buttons. This is just something I thought I’d share. And yes, I believe it does mean something. Everything God creates means something and that is logical. I hope you have a blessed day. Maybe relax and read a little from your book suggestion so when you respond to the next person you can do so with tact.
**Joy, you are a deep thinker. Texting often comes across differently than the sender intended, which can lead to the recipient being insulted. That is what seems to have happened here. Sharpening our knowledge and skills by sharing questions and observations about Scripture is a good thing. The Bible describes this type of interaction as “iron sharpening iron.” Your topic is outside the type of questions and observations most Christians struggle with. Throughout history there have been people who bypass the loving simplicity of God’s plan and sought understanding of the supernatural or the “dimensions” of which you speak. The simple message of Christ can get lost in what is perceived as personal revelation. I have been a Christian for over six decades and in that time, I have witnessed people of God get focused on topics that are not easily understood on this side of Heaven. Sometimes in their zeal, the simple message of Jesus as our Redeemer for sins past, present, and future can get convoluted. I also noted that some of them have changed the message and created a different belief system. Perhaps that is the concern of some of your fellow Christians. I have heard the phrase, “sometimes we get so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.” God tells us to focus on today with its own struggles, rather than being concerned about tomorrow. That advice is applicable here. Time is the topic of your observation, and obviously we know that God is not bound by time, but in our humanity we are. We experience past, present, and future until our time on earth is done and we enter eternity. I like your illustration of the parade, so using that idea of a human gathering, I would say that the joy of the parade would be lost when focusing on the bird’s eye view. Instead, focusing our mind on the people with whom we are bumping elbows would provide the momentary bonding and the opportunity to note a lost and hurting soul or two. Being tuned in to the common day to day interactions, rather than esoteric topics will allow conversation that leads to sharing the Gospel. Leading the unsaved to the foot of the cross and to redemption causes rejoicing in Heaven! When we read Scripture, the main message for God’s people is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind and to love our fellow human being. The final words from our Lord was to share the Gospel with the world and that starts with the person standing next to us. God is beyond our comprehension in this phase of our existence. In fact, trying to understand Him is like an ant trying to understand a human. There will never be complete understanding, but we can know and accept His supernatural love for us. That sacrificial love and loving our neighbor as we are called to do will make our days full on this side of Heaven. When our time is finished, everything necessary for understanding God in the Heavenly realm will be revealed, and we will have eternity to savor the minutest details. Take care and I pray God blesses you in your life’s journey.
I love chuck and use much of what ive learned from him and others regarding God being outside of time. That being said, chuck thinks outside the box and gets very speculative. I cant remember the things that sounded like chuck nailed it until through prayer and study of other scripture i saw he missed something vital in his search for truth, but that happened quite a few times. To be fair to chuck he begins all his teachings with acts 17:11 and never claims even to be a teacher (because he says he doesnt want to incur a stricter judgement i LOVE chuck. Ive heard him discuss the same subject on an occassions or two and though he claimed one perspective was true the points he was making at different points of the teaching supported different sides in the debate. I also ask that if something i say can be taken two different ways assume i meant it in the way which is without pride and as if a smiley face came after. I was always an excavator of truth but since learned to speak it in love. Anything less is displeasing to God. Many things…even some things God allows to happen only make sense when you see them through the lens of eternity. The thing i believe about the question of everyone arriving at the same time that gets confusing is that eternity is the absence of time so i think (my humble opinion) the question is a fun one to dig for and discuss we can become hyper focused (i have and still can) on an issue i dont think we will be able to answer this side of eternity. I have a close friend and we “argue” different sides of an issue. I jokingly said at the end of one discussion “we will probably get b4 God and He will tell us that we were BOTH wrong” to which my friend responded in true "Patrick form, “or that we are both right”. What im trying to say is that with our finite minds that will be some things we may not be able to fifure out and we need to be wise with out time because it is an inelastic resource and every moment we use discussing an issue is a moment we dont use helping others towards salvation or understand things more vital to a strong relationship with Jesus. I hope these comments were helpful and not offensive.
I think this is an interesting question. Will knowing the answer improve your relationship with God and / or others? What are the benefits to this knowledge? I will attempt to answer based on my understanding of Scripture, which, admittedly, is not great.
I do not believe we are eternal beings. God alone is eternal. “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5. Our souls are everlasting, but we are creatures and are created at a point in time. Time is real. Saints whose bodies died before us are presently with the Lord in heaven. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” Psalms 116:15. Death is real and it happens in time. What we experience is real. Christ really came at a point in time, died and rose again. Praise be to Him.
Question 37 of The Shorter Catechism asks “What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?”
The answer is “The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.”
The Scripture proofs are Hebrews 12:23, Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 5: 6, 8, Phillipians 1:23, and 1 Thessalonians 4:14.
If the Lord tarries, I believe I will one day die and immediately be in His presence and will be greeted by those who have passed before me.
God has given us very, very much in his Word for us to study and learn so that we may love, trust, glorify, and worship Him. Even with what God has revealed there are many differing interpretations. We frequently argue over what is revealed.
Furthermore, as to our understanding is it really that important? Jesus said “Let the little children come me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14. The children loved Jesus and I have seen children accept Christ when they had little understanding of any deep things. Is our understanding of God and His ways a requirement for salvation? I don’t think so. Faith and repentance are requirements for salvation where faith is God’s gift to us and our response is repentance.
Our knowledge, in comparison to the other creatures is almost infinitely more, but compared to God is infinitely less. I don’t believe we will ever understand the depths of God, but we will love Him perfectly in our glorified states.
I don’t see mention of space / time theories or 4D in the Bible.
Therefore, I believe we should treat with much skepticism what God has not revealed and be careful not to plumb the divine mysteries.