by Bob Burridge ©2017
The physical universe is not all that there is. There is another level of reality beyond these things we can observe and measure. Before we consider that other level of reality it helps to briefly review what makes up the wonders of the physical part of Creation.
The Physical Universe
The physical universe God made is far more impressive than the part of it we can sense with our eyes, and our other human senses. The physical things we see and touch are made up of tiny little Atoms and groups of Atoms which are made up of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons. The Protons and Neutrons are made up of various kinds of Quarks. The Electrons are a member of the family of particles we call Leptons. There are some less well known Leptons like the Muon and Tau particle. Each of those have a Neutrino associated with it. Then there are the force carriers like the Photon, Gluon, and various Bosons. We can say that the Physical Universe is made up of Matter and Energy. It’s all there to amazingly display the wonders of the Creator.
Psalm 19:1. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”
In 1905 Dr. Albert Einstein proposed his famous equation, E=mc². To put it in simple terms, the amount of energy contained in a piece of physical matter is equal to its mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. Careful measurements have confirmed many times that matter can be converted to energy, and energy can produce particles of matter. We call this basic physical structure of our Universe the “Energy-Matter Continuum“.
Nuclear reactions are an example of energy being released as matter is changed in form where not as much energy is needed to hold the new structures together. For example, inside our Sun Hydrogen is converted into Helium. Four Hydrogen nuclei are forced together in an immense field of gravity. This combines them into one nucleus of Helium which needs less energy. That released energy produces light, heat, and other particles that stream out of our Sun. It’s also been observed many times that in high energy fields some energy directly converts into particles of matter.
There’s More There Though!
The Spiritual Universe
God also reveals in his Word that there is another level of reality which we know as the Spirit Realm. We are told that there are spirit beings, and that we humans have a spirit part along with our physical bodies. God is a spirit being, but unlike all the other spirits, he is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.
There is a whole “world” of other spirit beings created by God for the purpose of displaying his glory and carrying out his eternal decree. In Scripture they are referred to as angels, demons, cherubim, seraphim, archangels, Satan, and there is our own human spirit nature which continues after our bodies die. Some of these terms do not mean they are different kinds of beings, but hold different offices or duties they are called upon to perform. The general term “angel” (ἄγγελος / מלאך) simply means “messenger”. Satan himself is probably of the same basic form as the angels who serve in God’s presence. (For more detail see the first part of the article “Demons in God’s Creation”.)
The details of the nature of these beings who exist in the spirit realm are difficult for us to comprehend since we live during this present life where we are limited to examine things only in this energy-matter continuum except where God has given us information about the spirit realm in his written Word.
Though Satan and various other angels may temporarily appear to us in physical form, they are normally purely spirit beings. We humans have a spirit nature along with our physical bodies, but we exist for now in this energy-matter realm of the universe. Our souls stay with our bodies during this life so they have an identifiable physical location. Since the other spirit beings are said to come and go in the spirit realm they are not omnipresent like God who is altogether everywhere all the time. This implies that there is some spacial dimension to the spirit world, though it may be very different than the way we measure space in the physical world.
There is also the class of living beings which have only a physical nature. They have no eternal soul. Biologically we classify them as plants, non-human animals, protists, monerans, and fungi.
The universe God created appears to be made up of these two basic realms: spiritual, and physical. There are four kinds of beings that inhabit those realms. The purely spiritual realm is divided into two categories of beings: God who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, and the other spirit beings which are finite, temporal, and changeable. There is the physical realm which is also divided into two categories: the material beings which have no soul (the non-human living physical beings), and humans which have both a spiritual and physical nature.
We humans are unique since we have both a spiritual and physical component. Jesus Christ took on a real human nature so he truly exists in three of those categories of beings. He is an infinite, eternal, and unchangeable member of the Trinity. He took on a full human form which had both a limited physical body and a limited spiritual dimension which was temporal and finite, and changeable only in a limited sense. Jesus grew in his engagement mentally while in his changing human form from embryo to an adult (Luke 1:80, 2:40). (see details about The Creation and Nature of Man)
God’s Universe is a very active place.
The physical non-living parts of the Universe are busy with nuclear reactions lighting billions of stars embedded in galaxies swirling around their centers and swarming with comets, nebula, planetary systems, black holes and other such displays of the glory of their Creator. The spiritual space is teeming with angels, demons, and other such creatures all displaying the Creator’s amazing power, even those who are in rebellion against him. Our planet is also teeming with life from the depths of its oceans to the tops of its mountains. The life of each human takes its unique place in the unfolding of the Creator’s eternal plan, from the most influential person to the youngest of children.
All the things in the realms God made are at every moment pouring forth testimony to the amazing complexity, power, and glory of their Creator.
Psalm 19:1-2, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.