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What Is Reality?

The Bible teaches about reality and the role of the human being in it, more than most realize. We do have an answer for sceptics and people that hold other philosophies. Scripture is not a textbook, not for any science, theology or philosophy. Often it speaks to us by stating matters in a context or setting that concerns primarily other things and in that way, more often than not, teaches us truths from which we can infer ideas. Occasionally Holy Writ gives definitions, such as This is eternal life that people may know You the only true God and whom you sent, Jesus Christ, and Who makes His angels spirits and His servants flames of fire.

"God dwells in an unapproachable light."

"The things that are seen are temporary,"

"...the things that are not seen are eternal."

Literal or physical aspect

Intellectual aspect

Emotional aspect

Spiritual aspect

"Willingly this is unknown to them, that the earth once consisted in water and out of water." "The elements shall melt, burning with fire." "And God made man from the dust of the ground."

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than yours."

"He that wants to save his soul, shall lose it and he that loses his soul because of Me and my good news, will save it."

"My righteous (disciple) shall live by faith and if he withdraws, My soul will not delight in him."

Reality consists of a superstratum of pure intellect (Thomas Aquinas called this 'grace') and a substratum of matter (Thomas called that 'nature'). The human ego is a rational agent.

Reality is the interplay of angels with the human soul. The human ego seeks oneness with God through the help of saints or angels.

Reality is an evolving natural order of all things. The human ego is a self realizing agent that creates order out of chaos.

Reality is but an illusion. The human ego is part of the divine all-soul.

Reality consists in the determination of atoms that are manifested through various forces of nature. There exists no such thing as a human ego that acts as an objective agent.

Reality consists of the domains of the gods that rule over us with their various characters. The human ego is at the receiving end of the will of the gods.

Reality is the domain of Satan who rules with his demons and continues his rebellion against God. We join him in that rebellion.

The various ideas about reality run the gamut of materialism (matter exists by itself) via acosmism (matter is a form of spirit or soul) and the human interaction with it (determinism: matter is all there is and we have no will of our own) to polytheism (the forces of nature are the various domains of the gods). As to belief in a Creator, you have systems like (Neo)scholasticism (God is the highest intellect and He has created us as rational agents). Mysticism believes in the interventions of saints or angels.

The Bible states in Hebrews chapter I that Christ is carrying all things through the Word of His power. Notice the participle. It is a continuing activity. The Scriptures also mention the four angels that hold the four winds. In the book of Job angels are called 'stars' and in Psalm 8 man is said to occupy a position that is a little lower than the angels.

Man is clearly pictured as a moral agent that is held accountable by God and one day everybody will have to give a personal account of his life. Everybody will be purified by fire, and One will be justified by one's words and one will be condemned by one's words, and For with the judgment you judge, you will be judged and with the measure you measure, you will be measured. Notice that this is subjective on our side and objective on God's side! The law of Moses is an objective judge of behavior, but as nobody knows everything perfectly, you will be judged according to your own wisdom in the first place. A man is praised according to his prudence. And He will catch the wise in their own wisdom.

As such man is a living soul dwelling in a body. Someone put it this way: There is a ghost in the machine. Now man is rather an organism created in the image and according to the likeness of God. He is made of the matter that surrounds him and his immaterial part (spirit, soul, mind, conscience, will and heart) is shaped by his Maker. He is shaping the spirit of man within him. Now angels are spirits. God is Spirit. And therefore the human being can interact with God through prayer and sanctification. I think that man's material part is somehow intertwined with his immaterial counterpart. This must play a role in genes and character. Aristotle must have been wrong in believing that God creates the human spirit separately and puts it in us as through a door. Tertullian must have been wrong as well in stating that everything is a form of matter (angels are made of fine matter according to his philosophy) and that procreation is a form of passing on human matter; all humans having been contained in Adam. But the apostle Paul does state that Levi was, as it were, already in the loins of Abraham. However we can only hint at these things. Yet the Bible does mention enough to give us a general impression. The most important verity is that a true Christian is born out of God in the Spirit by the Word.

As man is an intricate interweaving of matter and non-matter, so the cosmos at large must be; consisting in basic and higher dimensions. Scientists speak of matter and antimatter, who knows. The Creator thrones above time and space and therefore cannot be material (of the finest form according to Tertullian, angels being out of less ethereal matter) and is above and beyond all angels to who He appears on His throne. The old discussions by Plato and Aristotle are by no means dead as far as matter and non-matter is concerned. But they do not concern us that much as they are hooked into unenlightened heathen thinking.

Quantum physics, classical physics and sci-fi extrapolations are all the study of a fallen creation and mostly the material part of it. Do not be entrapped in the conundrums of modern philosophies that are based on such sciences and that often go far beyond their pale; only to satisfy the thinker and his audience and used as an excuse by the wicked heart to reason the Creator away. The apostle Paul calls them empty deceit that carry you off as booty. And the Lord calls on us to live by faith in the first place (not in the only way!) and not by reason or emotion alone. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, proof of matters unseen. And Through faith we understand that the universe has been prepared by the Speaking of God, so that the things that are seen have not come about out of the things that appear. Elsewhere the apostle Paul states that everything comes out of Him, through Him and for Him.

Einstein stated, in response to quantum physics, that God does not throw with dice. And that is certainly true as far as election and salvation are concerned. In the end things are not a spooky or fortuitous business. This can be seen in Christ's quoting a psalm: Through the mouth of infants and sucklings You have prepared praise for me. These are all saved. God does not elect one aborted baby and reject another. He does not throw with dice! He is not a whimsical and arbitrary God. Somebody that believed in predestination to hell, said to me that in that case it would be better if all babies were aborted; which shows the madness of such electionism. For then we would be nothing but crazy murderers.

Seeing that man hails from God and that we have our being from Him and that we move in His creation, let us say 'yes' and 'amen' to His unfathomable will for our lives. We are all tested and if we are to pass the test of life, like Job, we must bow down under His mighty Hand. The lesson Job had to learn, though he did not know about the higher reality of the Accuser of the brethren, was that he had better trust God, Who knows all things. As Christians we behold the things that are unseen and eternal. Therefore we should be in a personal relation with our Lord and God. He is the Person par excellence. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted from our eternal destiny, nor from the Plan He has for our lives now. Already in this life we can attain joy and deep conviction by worshipping Him. Our joy in Him is our strength.



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