Hyperspace and the Spiritual Realm
Building the Scriptural Case that The Spiritual realm is located in the Higher Dimensions of our Space Time Continuum (Hyperspace)
by Dr. Gary Sutliff
Copyright © 2011 by Dr Gary Sutliff
First Edition : March 2013
Hyperspace Chief Publications, Gilbert Arizona
This is an interesting read. Struck by the potential congruence with modern physical theories of hyperspace and additional dimensions, Dr Sutcliff (an Aeronautical and Structural Engineer and an Executive Pastor at Mission Community Church) recognises significant linkages with Biblical descriptions of the Spiritual realm. Furthermore, he states that “one concept that separates Judeo-Christianity from all other religions it is God’s existence independently from the space-time universe.” Elsewhere he states that the Biblical portrayal of the universe not being limited to what is visible, and that it had a beginning, is different to many other religious writings which at the very least argue that the universe has always existed. He is convinced that the Scriptures imply a higher dimensional universe and in harmony with the modern concept of hyperspace.
Christians accept that the Bible argues for the existence of an ‘unseen’ ‘spiritual realm’ which inhabited by ‘created’ spiritual beings who are actively engaged in various activities, some directed by God, some opposed to God (Col 1:16; 2 Cor 4:18). Dr Sutliff argues that the ‘spiritual realm’ is located in the higher dimensions of our time-space continuum ‘beyond our 3D perception‘. A dimension is ‘a measurement in a particular dimension’. Our time-space continuum has 4 dimensions. To clarify a point of confusion I need to point out that Gary Sutliff uses a 4th (or more) dimension(s) to refer to dimensionality beyond the 4 dimensions of our time-space continuum – that is, beyond the 4 dimensions we have acknowledged since Albert Einstein for our reality.
He argues that “Christians who recognise that there is a spiritual realm around us where angels move about are really, in a sense, visualizing Hyperspace.” Beings from higher dimensions, such as angels, can insert themselves into lower dimensions but we can’t go the other way.
Biblical Events indicating hyperspace activity
Jesus appearing, vanishing and becoming invisible in a closed room (John 20:19, 20:26, Luke 24:31) is an example of stepping in and out from higher dimensions of hyperspace into our physical reality (“the visible world”, Col 1:16) with a resurrected (or ‘hyperspace’) body. Such a body is different to simple revivification of our earthly body (eg Lazarus John 11) where there is simply restoration of physical life. Such a new body can do so because it is everlasting, imperishable (doesn’t decay), glorified and powerful (1 Cor 15:17-54).
Handwriting on the wall is actually performed by an angel poking a hand through the fabric of space from the dimension of the spiritual realm (Daniel 5:5-6), because hyperspace and the spiritual realm ‘is actually right next to and adjacent to our 3D seen world.‘ He considers this passage demonstrates that the inhabitants of the spiritual realm are ‘real material beings‘ stepping from an ‘invisible dimension’ to out visible world (eg interactions with Lot Gen 19:1-3; Daniel 8:16-19), shepherds (Luke 2:8-14), Mary (Luke 1:26-37), Zacharias (Luke 1:5-20).
Our earthly temple is referred to as a model and “shadow” of the Heavenly Temple (Hebrews 8:5). Gary Sutliff believes this means the earthly temple is one dimension less than the heavenly one.
‘Linkages between the seen and unseen’
Dr Sutliff proposes the Biblical description of actual firm connections between our dimensions and higher dimensions (Ephesians 6:12) within the space-time continuum. This connection is not simply physically (inter-dimensionally) but also in activity.
Elisha’s servant sees into the spiritual realm (2 kings 6:16-17) after Elisha prays to God to open the servant’s eyes so he could ‘peer into the spiritual realm‘. He saw angels, horses and chariots of fire there ready for battle. Dr Sutliff concludes that “the activity in the spiritual realm is directly linked to what is going on in our earthly realm.”
The angel Gabriel traverses 21 days across the land of ‘spiritual Persia’ in the spiritual realm to reach Daniel in the ‘earthly’ Persia (Daniel 10:1-13). From this account Dr Sutliff concludes that there is physical connectedness between locations in our physical and spiritual realms, including the same measurements of distance and time. He concludes synchronised activity across the realms, angelic hierarchies, warfare and angelic organization according to ranks and assignment of territories eg Prince of Persia, prince of Greece etc. He concludes that human prayer to God results in His direction of angelic activity.
Jacob witnesses physical angels leaving and coming to earth (Genesis 28:12)
When Stephen sees into heaven (Acts 7) is actually Stephen seeing into hyperspace at the Throne Room of God. He sees behind a ‘veil’ separating our dimensions.
Earthly and heavenly Jerusalem on earthly and heavenly Mt Zion are linked through an inter-dimensional veil via mount Zion in Israel (Hebrews 12:18-24).
Earthly length and the passage of time are linked to those in the spiritual realm (higher dimensions) (Daniel 10:2,13; Revelation 21:17)
The ‘underworld’ and the spiritual realm
When discussing the ‘speculation’ that the ‘Lake of Fire’, already identified with ‘gehenna’ is outside of the space-time continuum, Dr. Sutcliff admits that “the implications of this seems beyond my understanding.” Yet the same could be said of Heaven itself, the place where believers go after death, which Dr Sutliff seems to locate in hyperspace. I wonder therefore, if there is a methodological bias in Dr Sutliff’s model.
Hades, or Sheol (Hebrew) is the place where the souls of those awaiting judgment reside after death. Hades is not Hell, it is a temporary ‘resting’ place for those who have died the “first” death, the physical death.
Dr Sutliff identifies an ‘upper‘ Hades as a place where the righteous souls went between the beginning of man and the time of Jesus death on the cross for comfort because ‘sacrifice for sin had not been given’ (Hebrews 10:11-12). This equates with ‘Paradise’ in the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross, and with ‘Abraham’s bosom‘ (Luke 16:22). However, from the time of death of Jesus on the cross, believers who die go straight to heaven (where the Lord is 2 Corinthians 5:18). Dr Sutliff argues that Ephesians 4:8-10 describes Jesus entering ‘upper‘ Hades, or Paradise (in hyperspace) and ascending to heaven leading a host of captives from there (Acts 2:31). He writes…”paradise had been taken out of Hades and now placed in the third heaven” and “the believer now goes to heaven at death to await the coming resurrection”. Dr Sutliff believes that the souls of believers are in Heaven in “the City of the Living God which is the Heavenly Jerusalem“.
Deuteronomy refers to ‘lower’ Sheol (Deuteronomy 32:22). From a textual viewpoint, the deuteronomy passage can simply mean ‘the depths of hell‘, not necessarily that hell has higher or lower parts. I agree that Hades is a place of torment but Dr Sutliff considers this to refers only to ‘lower‘ Hades. Upper and lower Hades are separated by a ‘great chasm’ (Luke 16:26) and cannot be bridged after death. Unbelievers await Judgement day in ‘lower’ hades. Dr Sutliff believes it is below the surface of the spiritual realm.
It seems unnecessary to me to dichotomise Hades in this way. Reasonably, Dr Sutliff’s methodology uses modern science to expand on understanding of Scripture. However, in this analysis Dr Sutliff runs the risk of making Scripture say what fits his science rather than harmonise scientific understanding with Scripture better.
Location of Hades
This is identified as hyperspace of our Space-Time because Scripture identifies Hades as “down” (Genesis 37:35, Psalm 63:9, Job 11:8, Isaiah 44:23, Ezekiel 26:20; 31:14,16,18; 32:18,24), ie, it has it’s own dimension in the spiritual realm.
The Gates of Hades
Referring to Isa 38:10 and Matthew 16:18 Dr Sutliff considers the “gates of Hades (or Sheol)” to literally mean inter-dimensional gates, rather than the traditional understanding of simply referring to death itself as a ‘gate’.
The bottomless Pit (Abyss – Abyssos)
Referring to Luke 8:30-31, Romans 10:7 and Revelation 9:1-6 Sutliff argues that Hades and the Abyss are two separate dimensions. Hades is for human unbelievers. The ‘Bottomless Pit” is for Demonic beasts (Revelation 11:7), a demonic beast king Abaddon (Revelation 9:11), demonic locusts (Revelation 9:2-3), and Satan in chains during the Millenium (Revelation 20:3), demons (Luke 8:31) and possibly fallen angels in Tartarus (Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4). It is essentially the centre of 4 dimensional earth.
This is the pit of darkness in the unseen world far below Hades (Homer in his Illiad), the abode of woe and ‘fallen angels‘ (in Greek mythology the prison of the Titans), and is used in Scripture in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6. It is identified by most scholars as equivalent to the Abyss or “Bottomless Pit”. Dr Sutliff argues that ‘bottomless’ implies a balanced center point of gravity (where there is no longer any net force), like the centre of the earth. Having argued that there is a rough connection between physical relationships in the visible world with location connections in the spiritual world within the space-time continuum he appears to argue that Tartarus is in the centre of the spiritual earth because gravity will operate in the spiritual realm also.
Door to the “Bottomless Pit”
Taking literal pre-Millenial view Dr Sutliff believes from Revelation 9:1-3 that this prison Tartarus has a literal gate which will be opened for 7 years at the Tribulation at the sounding of the 5th trumpet, releasing demonic locusts as the first of 3 ‘woes’.
Lake of Fire: Gehenna
This is Hell (Matthew 23:29-33). It does not currently exist. This is the future final resting place of all those who have rejected God (their name is not in the Book of Life, Revelation 20:15), including Satan (Revelation 20:10; 13-15), the Beast of revelation and his False Prophet (Revelation 19:20), and Death and Hades itself (Revelation 20:14). This is the “second death” at the final judgement (Revelation 20:11) to be avoided at all costs. When Jesus speaks of Gehenna (Matthew 23:15,33; Mark 9:47-48) he indicates that this is a place of eternal torment for the ‘wicked’and therefore most scholars equate it with the Lake of Fire. It is also linked to the “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:11-12; 22:13; 25:30) where God abandons the wicked. Dr Sutliff properly identifies this as outside the space-time continuum because Scripture is clearly referring to a point in future history after which the heavens and the earth have been re-created anew, and this is in contrast to the existence of Hades today.
Dr Sutliff acknowledges that God is the Creator, “outside of Time and Space“, “dwelling in eternity“. He argues that the space-time continuum includes hyperspace dimensions in which the unseen ‘spiritual realm’ is located, as well as our own visible world. In the spiritual realm in hyperspace he believes is found a more ‘solid‘, more ‘real‘ Heavenly Jerusalem, on a Heavenly Mount Zion, connected with the earthly Jerusalem and Mt Zion in modern day Israel. In this city he believes is a Heavenly temple and a Heavenly Throne from which Christ will rule with the saints during the future Millenium, foreshadowed by the earthly temple and tabernacle. The early 3D is a foreshadowing of the indescribable 4D. This is inhabited by many angels, the souls of believers who have died, Spirits of OT righteous men made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-24), the Resurrected Jesus and the presence of God the Father. According to Dr Sutliff, this is Heaven, essentially a dimension in hyperspace.
Jesus is essentially engaged in a “hyperspace construction project” preparing a place here for believers (John 14:1-3).
Door to Heaven (Revelation 4:1)
Heaven is ‘up’ (dimensionally). Dr Sutliff believes that humans have travelled inter-dimensionally to this City and returned to describe it (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4-5; 7:9-17; 8:1,15; 16:17). My issue here is why did they not just have a vision as the scripture suggests. Dr Sutliff equates the tearing of the veil in the earthly temple (Hebrews 4:16) representing the end of the dimensional separation of the earthly and spiritual realms in the new heaven in Revelation 21. However, this conjecture of amalgamation/union of the two realms is difficult to sustain in my mind regarding the creation of the new Heavens and the new Earth at a time when the old has been destroyed because it is too mechanistic and requires some continuity of created space-time.
The Biblical model of the universe is consistent with space-time continuum with higher dimensions.
Quoting modern physicist Dr. Gerald Schroeder “Some 500 years ago, [Hebrew sages] theorized that at the instant of creation …. God chose from the infinite real of the Divine, ten dimensions or aspects and relegated them to be held within the universe…”.
Sutcliff argues that Biblical description of the universe being ‘rolled up’ when destroyed and recreated (Hebrews 1:10-12b) suggests from at least one dimension our universe may appear ‘flat’, allowing the remainder to be rolled up in it at destruction. Sutliff relates this to modern string theory which defines 10 dimensions, 6 of which are less than an atomic size in thickness, small and tightly ‘curled in on themselves’.
Quoting modern physicist Dr. Michio Kaku commenting on M-theory, Sutliff argues that the thinness of one or more dimensions of our universe as a ‘membrane floating in a much larger universe’ may actually equate to Biblical pointers to a very large physical realm, in which our physical ‘time-space’ reality exists. Two physical constants which define the universe (Omega & Lambda) when added together define the curvature of the universe in Einstein’s equations. These constants could have had many reasonable values at the ‘Big Bang’ but Dr Kaku notes that the “WMAP satellite data shows that Omega plus Lambda is equal to 1, meaning that the universe is flat”. WMAP is the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe satellite and it’s data is consistent with previous NASA program known as the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). This poses what is called in cosmology ‘the fine-tuning problem‘.
Consequently, the ‘fabric’ of space can be ‘torn’ (Isaiah 64:1, Hebrews 1:11-12) or ‘split apart’ (Revelation 6:14) because of thinness in at least one dimension.
Sutliff argues that the ‘Space-Time continuum’ and the Big Bag theory are consistent with a universe ‘stretched out’ (Jeremiah 10:12, Jeremiah 51:15, Psalm 104:2, Job 9:8, 26:7, 37:18) from a small point which cannot be seen. Biblically, God created everything that exists (Genesis 1:1), through Jesus (John 1:1-3) by creating all matter into a tiny dot out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3) then stretching it out. This is consistent with the Christian theology of ‘creation ex-nihilo’ – creation out of nothing.
Modern ‘Big Bang’ secular physicist and theorist Tom Van Flandern argues “…all matter and energy in the entire universe was contained in an infinitesimal point at the ‘beginning’ ; then for some unknown reason it all exploded…“. Sutliff points out that Big Bang theory, particularly the most accepted Inflation Model argues that very early (after less than 10-25 sec, while still less than 10-24 cm in size) some undefined external anti-gravity force not in action today exerted the inflation resutling in today’s space-time continuum. Sutliff points out that the secular world struggles with the notion that the Creator is this external force. Secular physicist Van Flandern makes the point :”..the Big Bang is an explosion of space and time, not an explosion into space and time.” Space-time arises out of nothing and inflates into nothing to exist. Sutliff’s point is that did not ‘explode’ into pre-existing space. Furthermore, according Van Flandern, as galaxies move apart, the space between them is “continually added between them“, with Einstein’s cosmological constant requiring “continual creation of space ex nihilo (from nothing)….” or it is “violated“.
Sutliff points out that the Creator is still active sustaining the universe he originally created. When he stops the law of entropy (2nd Law of thermodynamics) will ensure it’s decay (Isa 34:4) – that is, the universe will wear out and be destroyed (Psalm 102:25; 2 Peter 3:10-12).
The Beginning and End of Time
Sutliff points out that contemporary since affirms time is a property of the ‘Space-Time continuum’ and time only began at the moment of creation. Time exists as part of a finite universe. This has always been the theology of time and space in Scripture. It was affirmed from the Old Testament alone by Hebrew scholars Nachmanides and Maimonides in the 13th century AD. But it has not always been conventional scientific thought. Prior to the early 1900’s, scientific thought considered the universe to have always existed and to be infinite. Scripture teaches that time has a beginning (Genesis 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Titus 1:2, Ephesians 2:10, Jude 25, John 1:1-3). There is existence which transcends time, this is the time in which ‘the Word’ exists, and “the Word” (identified as Jesus in John) therefore has no beginning. According to physicist Paul Davies, the observations from Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity (1905) and General Relativity (1915) that time is mutable, flexible and varies with mass, speed and acceleration, “…..there can be a beginning and an end to time.”
In 1978 Robert Jastrow a NASA agnostic described ‘strange’ developments in astronomy : “… the universe had…a beginning – that it began at a certain point in time, and under circumstances that make it impossible – not just now, but ever…..”. Therein lies the problem which secular scientists “reject by atheistic faith’ that the study of physics provides evidence for the Creator described in the Bible.
Furthermore, by existing outside of time, God is able to see across all time all at once. God is able to see all history all at once and reveal it to people in Scripture (Isaiah 46:10). Sutliff argues that consequently, God speaks in the Bible with remarkable prophetic and scientific accuracy. And that this is of great comfort to believers.
The hyperdimensionality of Christ’s love
It is not accidental that Jesus love is described in Ephesians 3:17-19 with 4 spacial dimensions (breadth, length, depth and height), rather than 3 spacial dimensions (breadth, length and depth). Sutliff argues that ‘Hyperspace’ (regardless of how many dimensions it actually contains) can simply be considered a 4th spacial dimension. It is for this reason Sutliff says that ‘Christ’s 4 dimensional love’ “surpasses knowledge” in Ephesians 3:19. Height in Greek (hypsos) when used in the Bible sometimes refers to a link to the spiritual realm (eg Ephesians 4:8 where the resurrected Jesus “ascended on high [hypsos]” as prophesied in Psalm 68:18). So the gift of the love of Jesus extends to believers across the entire multidimensional universe, including those who have died already, those who currently exist and those who are yet to be born.
Michael Green and John Schwarz in 1984 argued all particles were made up of just a few strings (?paricles) which vibrated in 10 dimensions. Some models go up to 26 dimensions. M-Theory attempts to link General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a single ‘theory of all’. But prior to this, a Lutheran Pastor’s son Georg Bernhard Rieman in 1894 introduced the possibility of a 4th dimension. Since then charlatans and spiritualists have sought to exploit this by linking it to an ‘occultish spirit world’.
Existence of Dark Matter
God created darkness (Isaiah 45:6-7; Job 38:19-20)
There are elements of Dr Sutliff’s analysis that appear consistent with Ancient Greek Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy. They argued the existence of the ‘more substantial‘ perfect imperishable ‘real‘ in the spiritual dimension mirroring an imperfect perishable ‘shadow-like‘ ‘actual‘ in our physical realm. Dr Sutliff argues a concordance between physical geography and spiritual geography, measurement of length in both realms, and between the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem.
Synchronisation of activity across the space-time dimensions involving both the visible and invisible is highly speculative. However, I find it Biblically satisfactory that an an active overseeing God Almighty can synchronise angelic behaviour in response to human prayer across the visible and spiritual realms.
The Bible seems to use the concept of the “spiritual realm” in a generic way to refer to different unseen ‘locations’ at different times. It is often referred to as the ‘heavens‘. Even ‘heaven‘ might refer to a ‘location’ in the spiritual realm, though to me it seem this is outside creation. “Spiritual realm” is a broad description of the ‘unseen‘ – including both perishable and imperishable ‘spiritual realms’. So equating the entire Biblical term “spiritual realm” with modern cosmological concepts of hyperspace doesn’t necessarily follow. For example, there is an “unseen” reality which is not temporal (2 Cor 4:18). There is also a description of the “heavens and the earth” where both will pass away. This is not an inconsistency in the Bible, it just describing a complex spiritual realm. However, Dr. Sutliff appears to equate all this ‘unseen‘ reality with with modern cosmological concepts of hyperspace.
Temporality implies transience, or perishability to me. Only a component of the invisible “heavens” will pass away. At best, that component of the spiritual realm may equate to hyperspace dimensions beyond our visible reality in our time-space. But, at the very least, 2 Cor 4:18 tells us that part of the ‘spiritual realm’ is not temporal. This cannot then be in hyperspace.
An example of such an description of the imperishable spiritual realm is the meeting place of the heavenly assembly before the throne of God. At the very least, this a place accessible to beings from other ‘locations’ of the spiritual realm, except when prohibited by God, such as the casting of Satan out of ‘heaven‘ (Rev 12:7). At one stage Satan was part of this assembly (eg Job 1) but subsequently Satan was limited to our ‘earth‘. The spiritual place Satan inhabits, while limited to our earth, is clearly different to the meeting place of the heavenly assembly before the throne of God – it may be a hyperspace location, tied to our multidimensional universe, eventually to be destroyed along with our universe.
Therefore, the incorporation of the Throne of God, Spiritual Jerusalem (Heaven for souls, a specific part of the Spiritual Realm), and the 3rd Heaven (the entire Spiritual Realm) into hyperspace is problematic. There are alternatives to this thesis.
Dr Sutliff also argues that measurements of time and space are the same in the visible and spiritual realms. So the earthly dimensions and places describing buildings etc are similar. It appears self evident that this is too literal a treatment of such passages from Scripture because as Dr Sutliff’s himself acknowledges there are enormous differences in perspective when moving from our 3D limitations, to 4D or 5D or 6D perspectives. This literalistic approach regarding measurements also relates to connectedness of geography, direction, and the ability to be as certain as Dr Sutliff appears to be about buildings, their relationships to one another, their dimensions, location and function. In many regards, it appears to me that alot described in Scripture as occurring after the last day (or maybe existing outside our time-space continuum) and the final judgment is transferred into hyperspace as a reality today (eg new Jerusalem, heaven and hell).
Since God is Creator and Scripture is inspired by God, they should harmonise. Dr Gary Sutliff should be congratulated for his attempt to link Biblical descriptions to modern physical scientific understanding of the universe, and vica versa. In my view, he struggles partly because of excessive literalism where scripture is not clearly literal, and because of his disputable strong Pre-millenial theology which is not sustained in the Biblical theology of many genuine Christians. He also struggles because his harmonisation of scientific understanding of hyperspace and Scripture is very mechanistic and lacks adequate attention to alternative harmonisations.
Review by Dr James Fratzia, September 2015