I often wonder whether the heavens flow continuous and deep into my everyday world, even deep down into quantum space where leptons spin weakly around their formidable quarks. Always my way of understanding is to sketch things out so I made a large white cylinder to explore the heavens above.
Looking up at the starry skies through the lattice work of Newton and Einstein, I see only shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. General relativity says it is gravity that engraves paths for the cosmic-large as they ride like astronomical molecules over the ripples of a 4D space-time field. While quantum mechanics say endless waves of uncertainty are washing jittery quantum-smalls ashore. We just don’t know what is really going on because we can’t observe things so hidden from sight. Albert Einstein wrote: ‘We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither waves nor particles fully explain the phenomena of light but together they do.’1]
As Science is loosing control over the location of the quantum-smalls, some began to accept that the structure of space was divided and apart. Until string-theory came along and stirred things up by claiming that it can unify all of that space, even deep into the waves of uncertainty. But there was a condition – the four forces of nature must be unified at the beginning of time. Only then would they be able to say that tiny planck-sized vibrating strings tremble patterns and shapes like words into 6 additional very small curled up dimensions of space.
These dimensions would be very, very small tacked on to every point of our 3D space. Out of these vibrating strings generations of leptons and quarks pour out, clothed in color, charge and spin dressed by force messengers: the mass-less photon, graviton and gluon. An amazing picture emerges as I imagine the generations swimming in an endless ocean of probability waves until time calls out to them ‘Come show your faces up here in 3D space’. Could such a reality be hidden underneath the surface of our familiar experiences? 2]
In search of why these dimensions may exist, I turned to Zechariah’ vision of some 2500 years ago, reminding myself of Charles Spurgeon’s words, ‘A vision is not like prophesy, it is more like a picture of how things are.’ Zechariah’s vision unfolds in three scenes, which I’ll identify in color. (The higher heaven: from where the Lord of Hosts’ sovereign rule determines all, The fragrant heaven on earth: the Church, The world on earth: the Nations )
At the outset, before the vision even commences, the Lord of hosts is speaking, He says, ‘Be not as your fathers, turn to me and I will turn to you.’ The vision then begins in a scene by night, hidden underneath the myrtle trees. There is a man riding on a red horse amongst the myrtle trees, also present is the angel of the Lord and more red horses, some speckled and some white. ‘Who are these?’, asks Zechariah. The angel of the Lord says, ‘I’ll show you who these be.’ Then the man that stood among the myrtle trees answers, ‘These are the ones sent to walk on earth’. The horses then answer the angel, ‘Yes, we have walked through the earth and behold all the earth is still and is at rest.’ I then sketched this scene inside my white pot and it appeared to me that the starry flowers on the myrtle trees resembled the starry skies. I then thought that this scene may be like a fragrant heaven on earth, hidden from sight but real because it can be experienced like a gentle, pleasing smell.
Then the angel of the Lord and the Lord of hosts engage in a separate conversation. The angel pleads and asks for how long will He not have mercy on Jerusalem.
The angel of the Lord then conveys to those in the fragrant heaven on earth what the Lord of hosts had said, that He was jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, that he was displeased with the heathen basking in comforts while they increased the affliction of others and that he is returned to Jerusalem with mercies.
Then Zechariah sees another vision of 4 horns and 4 skilled builders and he asks, ‘what be these 4 horns?’ The angel of the Lord then answers, ‘these have scattered Israel, Judah and Jerusalem. And Zechariah asks, what are the 4 builders come to do?’ The angel of the Lord answers, ‘the horns have scattered Judah so that no man did lift his head but the 4 builders have come to shudder them with terror and cast out the horns of the Nations lifted up over the land of Judah, to scatter it.’
I think that the 4 horns of the nations are like our beastly nature embedded in our flesh, ripping our souls apart. Why would God who is holy and righteous want to restore our fallen nature whole and perfect if he didn’t love us and wanted to be with us forever? God is sovereign and works salvation for us through his Son, Jesus Christ who has power over all flesh. He broke the chains of death on the cross and because he is self-existent and cannot not be, raised in a spiritual physical body. He is the first born into the family of God. Formed in Christ, our souls will escape from the clutches of our sinful flesh when he returns, and when we see him we will be like him. 3]
Knowing that nothing frightens men more than nuclear power, I used the four forces of nature to symbolize that power of Christ which is able to subdue our beastly natures of flesh. I sketched his sovereign power which is so full of undeserved mercy by depicting the force messengers – the gluon, the photon, the graviton and the WNZs – edifying and restoring our nature in mercy reconciled to God.
1. Harrison, David (2002). “Complementarity and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. UPSCALE. Dept. of Physics, U. of Toronto.
2. Greene, Brian, 2004, The fabric of the Cosmos. 1st ed.
3. John 17:2