The 3rd Heaven
Discussing time/space relative to dimensions is controversial but should be acknowledged for two reasons:
1) Acknowledging the existence of dimensions helps clarify our Creator's intent and nature along with our part in His plan. We're not entirely trapped here in our dimension. Our spirits can reach Him and its not
uncommon to see glimmers of other dimensions. There are many millions of testimonies to that fact given
by all sorts of people, both great and ordinary.
2) There's weirdness in the world and it's getting worse. Much is bogus, some of it worrying - as in the occult - a real draw for the spiritually naïve. Spiritual knowledge leads to faith and strength to combat what's ahead.
This brief introduction concentrates on biblical passages that strongly allude to the commonly recognized “locations”of Heaven and hell . Those will be handled indepth in another essay coming soon “Body, Soul & Spirit.” But first, a video recommendation. Many people are acquainted on a superficial level with superstring theory in physics and specifically, dimensions exclusive of time and space. Provided is a video link on this subject and strongly encouraged to those new to the topic of dimensions:
The video was narrated a few years back by physicists (read: this is science only, no church affiliation or agenda, so relax). It's under an hour in length, easy on the eyes/brain and adds insight. The video was made prior to the latest discoveries at CERN and there are more recent videos but this one gives a solid rundown of the theorized eleven dimensions.
What scripture says => humans throughout encountered angels and places outside of our own dimension. The Church approach typically goes so far as to describe our human existence as akin to humans in a fishbowl. That is, the fish (us) fleetingly knowing of other dimensions when something drops into and out of the bowl for a moment in time only to disappear. But scripture is more telling than this. All the examples to follow relate directly to unseen dimensions.
Eden had a “garden” tucked away...
Gen 2:8 “And the LORD God (Elohim YHVH) planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man
whom he had formed.”
The etiology of the word garden: “fenced off” from Strong's #1588 gan and its root #1598 ganan. Its inhabitants were protected but from what? Like all gardens, one can't just walk in whenever it suits them; neither can dimensions, like gardens be easily entered. Notice that this garden only occupied a very specific area of Eden toward a specific purpose and that both people were not mentioned in Genesis until after “the seventh day.” Think about this for later discussion down the road.
Churches are filled with un-biblical agendas and traditions. Many who believe they know exactly where Eden is/was located also forget that cities lie beneath water now, yet thousands of years back sat atop dry, lush land. What is clear however is that once the two humans there were ousted from Eden's Garden, no human flesh could re-enter. This strongly alludes to Eden's presence still on earth yet is in another dimension unattainable by “organics” such as ourselves.
After ouster from the Garden, that particular set of humans devolved, as spiritual degradation always precedes physical changes. YHVH (the Lord) made for them a “coat of skins”. He didn't skin some creature or conjure up some coats. Gen 3:21, has traditionally translated these coats as derived from animals but scripture does not support this. A more likely scenario is that the Lord modified their now corrupted flesh to be better suited to our current dimension. Because they were booted out of Eden's Garden, they lost immunity from both physical and spiritual death, instead becoming vulnerable to the ravages of both the Law that they had chosen in the Garden and to biological degradation along with eventual genetic mutations. Eventually. they aged, died and returned to the dust just as the Lord had said they would (Gen 3:19).
In scripture, Eden (the whole of it vs. just the Garden, presumably) is synonymous with Paradise, as a place those who trust in YHVH are found after shedding their flesh upon death. Several passages in scripture allude to this especially in Revelation:
Rev 2:7 “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Paradise = Eden because the Tree of Life is found there (Gen 2:9). Any return to Eden is conditional: flesh must be shed and a spiritual body acquired as Paul explained => 1 Cor 15. This condition of discarding flesh to don a spiritual body suggests travel through a portal. Eden's location was and is still on earth. It has been suggested by physics, that other dimensions such as Eden may only be millimeters away from us in distance, yet are inaccessible to our own physical dimension.
Paul's writing found in Romans 5:12-14 clearly suggest what that “Tree” of Knowledge (of good & evil) is:
Once the inhabitants of Eden's “garden” partook of its “fruit”, the Law came into the world - and sin
too, followed by spiritual death. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, v.13 For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”
Law is what tells us the difference between good and evil. Tragically most churches have dumbed down the subject and in so doing have left most Christians wondering just what the “fruit” of that Tree was (vs.that of the serpent's fruit) and why it meant spiritual death for those who “ate” of it. Fortunately after the two Adamics were forced out of Eden, the Lord held out hope upon saying:
Gen 3:22-24 “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good
and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live
forever: v.23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground
from whence he was taken. v.24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden
of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
The Lord had already made a plan to deal with the Law barring His children from the Tree of Life. His righteous nature prevented Him from circumventing the Law's judgment on humans; however, once born into flesh - thus making Him our relative (kinsman redeemer), He could then take the Law's burden onto Himself having been nailed to that “tree” which symbolized the very Tree of knowledge of good & evil that the Adamics partook of in Eden's Garden. Isaiah 53 makes this function so clear that it is startling and Zechariah 12:10 (an endtime prophecy written ~500 years before Jesus of Nazareth's birth) reiterates the Lord's human function as the One who carried the sin burden as required not by God but by the Law which Man chose. Only at the end at His second advent will people realize their error in not having recognized Him from the get-go:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
One more thing: in Gen 3:24, Adam was exiled from Eden - and sent to “till the ground from whence he was taken.” This means that the soil from which Adam was formed (dust you are and to dust you shall return) was not from Eden...rather was from the “dust” found in our dimension. He was formed and then placed inside of Eden's Garden. Yet another clue that Eden or at least the Garden is of a separate dimension inaccessible to flesh beings yet that dimension is likely still located on earth.