Over a period; I am moved to observe/study the seen…
The question of God’s relation to “Time” has generated a great amount of theological and philosophical reflection. The traditional view has been that God is timeless in the sense of being outside time altogether; that is, God exists but does not exist at any point in time. God Created ‘Time’ and does not experience temporal succession. Before ‘Time’ –
‘Time’ as we know it results from the rotation of the Earth on its axis and around the Sun. Circa the Big Bang. Before that? The Creator Existed.
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the Earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90:2
“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the Earth.” Proverbs 8:23
Jesus: “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” John 17:5
Jesus: “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You Loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
Have you ever thought of what is? Where it is from? https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/earth/overview/#:~:text=Earth%20is%20the%20third%20planet,miles%20(150%20million%20km).
In the Old Testament, time is viewed as prophetic and looks forward to the Kingdom of Heaven being restored by the coming of The Messiah (Kingdom coming). In the New Testament, time is viewed as apocalyptic (Kingdom initiated by Jesus, but not fully realized until His Parousia at the eschaton—the end of all things).
In Essence, ‘Time’ as we know it exists in the Solar system, beyond?
The galaxy GN-z11 might not have a flashy name, but it appears to be the most distant and oldest galaxy ever detected, scientists have found.
So, we take a pause on exploring ‘Time and distance,’ and take a look at ourselves…
When we observe ‘science’, we see, that a new study suggests that the earliest anatomically modern humans emerged 200,000 years ago in what was once a vast wetland that sprawled across Botswana in southern Africa. Later shifts in climate opened up green corridors to the northeast and southwest, leading our ancestors to spread through Africa.
Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and most of Deuteronomy; however, modern scholars, especially from the 19th century onward, place the books’ authorship in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, hundreds of years after Moses is supposed to have lived.
I will be realistic; how/when could all this have happened? Remember this! Moses was raised as a royal so had the most sophisticated education in existence at the time as a royal. The development of the Torah began by around 600 BCE, when previously unconnected material began to be drawn together. By around 400 BCE these books, the forerunners of the Torah, had reached their modern form and began to be recognised as complete, unchangeable, and sacred.
Let’s step aside for a moment. We can observe and record occurrences in our time. If we step back in ‘Time’, did Adam and/or Eve need to write? There are angels; do they write? Yes, their effects are seen and experienced each and every day of our lives… mind you in The Form of The Creator we are made! Yes! There are differences between Man and WoMan, a partner, an extension of each other.
Definition of other half: chiefly British, old-fashioned + humorous : A person’s wife or husband. “I don’t believe we have anything planned for that night, but let me check with my other half.”
To delve a little deeper; Adam was created by God and was the first Man to live on the Earth. The first three chapters of Genesis record his beginning up until his fall. In these chapters, God made several statements directly to Adam.
“God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so” (Genesis 1:28-30).
Immediately after creating Adam and Eve, the Lord gave instructions to Adam regarding his role in God’s creation.
“Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) – Sexual relations should be had with the understanding that children can come from that union. This does not mean that all can have children or that sexual relations should not be enjoyed otherwise. But from the beginning, sexual relations and having children were linked together. Therefore, sexual activity is necessarily for a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27-28). Later we learn this is reserved for the marriage relationship (Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4). Homosexuality is implicitly condemned here as it is explicitly condemned elsewhere (Genesis 19; Jude 7; et al.).
“Fill the Earth” (Genesis 1:28) – This is also related to childbearing. Adam was told to “fill the earth.” Obviously, this would not be completed in Adam’s day. All people have descended from Adam (Acts 17:26), but not in one generation. The earth still has yet to be filled, but each generation since Adam has contributed to the growing population. Of the total number of people who have lived, an extremely small percentage were of that first generation from Adam. Yet he and Eve worked to carry out that command. A lesson we can take from this is that we should always do what we can, no matter how insignificant our efforts may seem in the big picture. Paul told the brethren in Corinth, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
“Subdue it; and rule over…every living thing” (Genesis 1:28) – Man has been given the chief position in God’s creation. He was made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27) and was positioned “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5, KJV). Man is not equal with the animals; man is greater than the animals and every other created thing. However, he is still subject to God [more on this in a moment].
“I have given…food for you” (Genesis 1:29) – God is the giver of all good things (James 1:17) and His providence continues today. After the flood, He told Noah, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). Paul told the men in Lystra, “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Jesus gave a reminder of God’s providence when He told people to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God provided food for Adam and provides for us as well.
God’s Command to Adam
“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17).
After creating man and providing every good thing, God placed limits on what Adam was permitted to do and commanded him what to avoid.
This doesn’t mean God is absent elsewhere; in fact, Scripture makes it clear that he’s present everywhere.6 But heaven is the place where his presence uniquely dwells.7 It’s the place of our treasure,8 our citizenship,9 our inheritance,10 and our hope.11
“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely” (Genesis 2:16) – God started with a permission which was a reminder of the fact that He had previously given all the plants for food (Genesis 1:29). His permission (to eat “from any tree”) was far greater than the restriction that He was about to give (not to eat of one particular tree). Many focus on God’s restrictions. Satan uses this to tempt us to sin (cf. Genesis 3:1). However, God has given us much liberty. John wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The fact that the Lord’s commandments are not burdensome is the reason why Paul wrote, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). While God has certainly given us a law to follow, He has also given us much liberty. We should enjoy the liberty we have in Christ rather than resenting the Lord’s restrictions by focusing on those things of which we have been “deprived.”
“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (Genesis 2:17) – God clearly stated His law. Adam did not have to figure out a riddle or piece together a series of clues to determine which tree was the forbidden tree. God plainly told him. God has always revealed His will to man in a way that we can understand it. Paul told the Ephesians, “When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4). Even when we think we have a “good reason” to violate the word of God – and Satan convinced Eve it would benefit her to eat of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:5) – we must not disobey. Abraham could have come up with any number of “good reasons” to disobey God’s instruction to offer up his son Isaac, but he obeyed the Lord anyway (Hebrews 11:17-18).
“In the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17) – God punishes sin. After listing several sins, Paul wrote, “For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:5-6). Paul told the saints in Rome, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). When we sin, we stand to be punished (Romans 6:23). This punishment is spiritual death, not physical. Adam did not physically die the day he ate of the forbidden tree – that would come much later (Genesis 5:5). However, he was separated from God – physically (Genesis 3:23-24) and spiritually (Isaiah 59:2). Sin causes spiritual death for Man today.
So, we are at an impasse! What is? Truly, it only matters what is in your heart (we hopefully have shared why that is the true YOU!) I after my accident had so much learning to do again. I do not seek sympathy but rather it was and is a learning point for so many reasons.
1. We experience Time while alive. Time ceases at expiration/death/end of mortal ‘life.’ There is existence after life! Think hard on this…everyone who has been left memories/signs of their passing/passage. Passage? To where exactly?
In my ‘dream,’ I wished to stay in my ‘dream’, was shown my children sorrowful of what transpired and again back where I left for my ‘dream within a dream’ I requested to “wake up” to assure that everything was OK. As I asked this… I added that I would share my experience. Here I am!
2. I was a certain way before my experience. Yes! I had given my life to Christ; studied the Bible and prayed best I could. Seeine/learning far more about existence than I ever knew gave me a whole new experience and desire of and for The Lord. Plus, I have an assignment. I was led to read about Paul’s (who was renamed from Saul) conversion and giving his life to Christ to be used by Jesus.
IS THERE PROOF OF HEAVEN?
Is Heaven real? How can we know? Is there proof of Heaven?
If you can’t see something, does it still exist? The answer’s pretty obvious once you think about oxygen, gravity, or the wind outside. But what about invisible realities that cannot be scientifically measured? Well, there’s L/love, dignity, justice, and hope, for starters.
Then could there be a spiritual world that, though unseen, is entirely real as well? This is precisely what the Bible teaches about Heaven.
NOT BLIND FAITH
While it’s impossible to prove the existence of Heaven in the same way you’d prove the existence of your hometown, that doesn’t automatically mean the place is fictional. To be sure, belief in Heaven boils down to faith—not blind or unreasonable faith, but faith nonetheless. One biblical author defines faith like this: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Christians believe in Heaven because they believe the Bible, which clearly speaks of Heaven. Admittedly, we often crave something more certain, more verifiable than words in a book. Yet the Apostle Peter tells us Scripture is a revelation “more fully confirmed” than even Jesus Himself in transfigured glory.
That’s a stunning claim. Peter is saying the Bible itself is one of the most convincing “proofs” God has ever given us. And indeed, though the Scriptures don’t tell us everything we may want to know about Heaven, they do tell us everything we need to know.
WHAT IS HEAVEN?
Heaven is a familiar idea to many of us, but what exactly does the Bible say Heaven is? Most simply, Heaven is where God’s Essence resides, from where God sees and controls life.
Perhaps you’ve noticed I keep using the word “place.” That’s because most Christians believe Heaven isn’t a mere concept or state of mind; it’s a real location. In the Christian tradition, when followers of Jesus die, though their bodies remain on Earth, their spirit (the actual “them”) immediately enter into God’s Presence.
This is a temporary situation or “intermediate state” until the day when Jesus returns and their bodies are physically raised and reunited with their souls forever. And when their bodies are raised, these new bodies will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. Gone will be any imperfections.
You see, the ultimate hope of Christians is not evacuation from this Earth but the restoration of this Earth—a redeemed world. Scriptures paint the picture of Heaven in concrete, material terms: “New Heavens and a New Earth.”
In other words, Christians don’t believe we will be floating in the clouds with golden harps and angel wings. We’ll be running and playing and working and resting and singing and laughing and reveling in the endless wonders of a good and beautiful God.
So it’s fine to talk about eternity in “Heaven” as long as we remember the word is just shorthand for the new Heavens and new Earth —a world of everlasting, ever-increasing joy in the Presence of God.
The Bible tells us it will be wonderful beyond all comprehension. Indeed, “‘[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain.”
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes states that God has “put eternity into the human heart.” As people crafted in God’s image, we are eternal beings with an innate longing and capacity for eternal life. We were made to live forever.
Humanity’s desire for unending happiness is insatiable and undeniable. I think we woul ud all agree that we tend to want few things more than our own happiness. Consider for a moment the pervasive restlessness and dissatisfaction we often feel—and witness even among the world’s most accomplished people. They seemingly have everything, but something is still missing. How do we explain this?
In an essay titled “On Fairy Stories,” J. R. R. Tolkien ponders the human love for fantasy stories. Even when we know the tales are not true, we are still drawn to them. Why?
Tolkien points out that fairy tales contain certain elements that uniquely resonate with our souls: heroic self-sacrifice, stepping outside of time, escape from death, communion with non-human beings, good triumphing over evil, and love without parting (the classic “happily ever after” ending). Such stories tap into desires that real life and realistic fiction can’t touch.
Though we know nothing in this world can fulfill our desire for what is “too good to be true,” nevertheless, such longings will not leave us alone. Deep down we have a gnawing hope that this world isn’t the way it’s supposed to be—and isn’t the way it always will be. By transporting us to worlds outside of us, fairy tales awaken hardwired longings inside of us. They point to an underlying reality we innately sense deep in our souls.
For followers of Jesus, the beauty is that the gospel isn’t just one more wonderful story pointing to this underlying reality; rather, the gospel is the underlying reality to which all the other stories point. When Jesus returns, what always felt elusive, distant, and too good to be true will become our reality, enveloping our experiences and drenching us with joy.
As the Puritan Thomas Brooks remarked, “Neither Christ nor Heaven can be hyperbolized.” It’s impossible to overestimate the wonder of life with God.
HEAVEN’S OPEN DOOR
Though neither you nor I can scientifically prove Heaven’s existence—or nonexistence, of course—it’s an entirely plausible belief to hold. The reliable testimony of the Scriptures as well as the unquenchable longings of our souls powerfully point to its reality.
Finally, Christian tradition makes it clear that we must remember that the only reason we can go to heaven is because God left heaven to come to us. In the person of Jesus Christ, God lived the life we fail to live, died the death we deserve to die, and was resurrected. He did this so that all who believe in him and repent may be freed of the consequences of their sins and be able to enjoy life with him forever.
“Did you ever stop to think,” theologian A. W. Tozer once asked, “that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in Heaven as you are to be there?”
God can’t wait. Can you?
Again, I said I would share the amazing beauty in The Word and do so continually.
And we pray:
Father LORD, we approach the cross on bended knee. Yes! The drops from the feet of Your Son drip down, our spirit is cleansed with the sacrifice. We seek Your forgiveness and ask that You make us new and whole and righteous. Worthy to bow before You and for Your Essence to fill us and use us. In my life, Your will be done, Amen.