John,About 26 years ago, in one of the conversations with Bill A, he asked me what I believed about the movement of the sun.No one had ever asked me that, or even brought up the subject, since 2nd grade, when I was taught about a rotating and orbiting earth.Suddenly, scriptures, like the following came to my mind:
Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Psalm 19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
The sun, like the moon, moves around the earth, there is a circuit in the heavens for them:
Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
This then would mean that the earth remains still, not rotating or orbiting:
Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
I was, in an instant, able to believe the scriptures, contrary to all I ever was taught about it, and what everyone else I knew, believed.It was similar to what also happened, the day I got saved.I was saved in my car, in rush hour traffic, after I left the laboratory, to drive to school, for night classes.I met up with all my buddies, which, like me were grad students, in physics, engineering, and other scientific or technical fields.Previously, I had been the group's most ardent promoter of evolution.I walked in, put my Bible on the table, told them that I was saved, and that I now believe that the LORD created everything in 6 days.They were greatly shocked, but less offended than Christians were, when I told them about what I later believed about the sun.
As to what I believed about the shape of the earth, that subject never came up, not even with Bill A.There were 2 scriptures that had early on caused me to consider the earth as 3 dimensionally round:
Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
These caused me to consider the earth as three dimensionally circular, which the sun and moon move around.However, in some of your posted letters, you brought up a few things that I needed to think about.If the earth is round, then what about the four corners of the earth?In a two dimensional world, it would be like a map, where two lines meet, at right angles, top-left, bottom-right, etc.North would be the direction towards the top of the map, east on the rights, etc.In that case, the devil would have ascended further northward, in the same plane as the map, but way beyond the top of the map:
Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
However, what would be directly above the map, orthogonally, perpendicular to it?It would neither be north, south, east, or west.It that case, the direction could be called, "up".If those things in heaven, to which things on earth were made after their pattern, like the tabernacle, are in the north, then what's "up"?In that case, would heaven also be flat, on the same plane as the earth, but northward?Or, if heaven is "up", orthogonal to the map, then what's in the north?But if north, south, east west, are four corners of the map, then it would be a diamond shape map, with north the top corner, etc.
In a two dimensional world, a corner is the intersection of two lines.In a three dimensional world, a corner is the intersection of two planes.As a boy, there were times that I had to stand in the corner.That was where two walls met, e.g. south and east.In a room there are actually 12 such corners:4 where the walls meet each other, 4 where the ceiling meets each wall, and 4 where the floor meets each wall.Then, in a room, there are 8 special corners, where three planes intersect, e.g. north wall / east wall / ceiling.So, considering a three dimensionally circular earth, in similar to a cartesian coordinate system frame of reference:It would referencing things relative to an inclosing cubic shape.Then looking straight at Jerusalem, the enclosing cubic shape would have a corner (where two sides meet), called the north corner.The same would be for the others.The question really is whether the earth has a corner, or if the corner is only a reference of someone viewing from above, i.e. the LORD.
When I worked in India, they flew us east, from Chicago, to go to India.When I worked in China, they flew us west, from Chicago to go to China.In China, people work there, who flew in eastward from India, Russia, and Europe, but Americans flew there westward.The directions of the flights were not false, verifiable by compass, or position of the sun.Before communism fell, when I worked in the Soviet Union, we had to first fly to Europe, then to Moscow.After communism fell, I was able to take a direct flight from O'Hare to Moscow.The direct flight from Chicago to Moscow was much less "flying time", than when making a stop in Europe.On that flight, we went up, mostly over arctic regions.On some other kind of trip, we were flying westward, but far up north.We couldn't actually keep up with the sun, but we left in the afternoon,and it took many hours longer for the sun to set, from our viewpoint in the plane.
So, if the earth is three dimensionally circular, then what about the foundations of the earth, hell, or the bottomless pit?I actually believe that space-time relationships change, the farther down into the earth one would go.So that it would seem like an infinite distance to get to the center of the earth.Or that it would seem to take an infinite amount of time to get to the center of the earth.The foundations of the earth are deep, strong rock, or other material,and shaped so as to be able to hold up the weight of the surface, and all that is beneath it.
Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
This would indicate that there is also some kind of open space in hell.Regardless of the size of any open spaces, deep down in the earth, the foundations of the earth still hold up all that is above it.Also, there has been water down there as well:
Psalm 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Which water came up during the flood, as well as the simultaneous rain that came down:
Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Ezekiel 26:19 For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;
Psalm 104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
And that is a lot deeper that the Marinas Trench:
Jonah 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
The bottomless pit, would relate to the seeming to take forever to reach the center of the earth.As to east and west, on a three dimensionally circular earth:It would be similar to the angle away from a prime meridian, in this case, through Jerusalem, rather than Greenwich.North and south would be similar to the angle above or below the reference, in this case Jerusalem, rather than the equator.That way, there would be more degrees south, i.e. 31° 46' to the equator, and 90° more to the southern bottom of the earthThis way, if one goes due east, they would forever be going east, not west, even though they kept going round and round the earth.
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Would probably be understood from the perspective of direction, rather than a specific location.Yet, there is a physical east border of Israel, and the west border is the sea (Mediterranean).A three dimensionally circular earth makes it easier for me to understand the following:
Ezekiel 32:18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.
Psalm 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
It also helps me understand, how, when I called someone in Chicago, while I was working in another country,I saw the sun rising in the east, as they simultaneously saw the sun setting in the west,or how it had been dark night for hours where I was, and simultaneously had been light for hours where they were.
I'm not totally adamant, as no doubt, there are some things easier to explain from the two dimensionally flat earth perspective, as well.e.g. ends of the earth, as the edges of a two dimensionally flat map, rather thinking of it as the complete opposite side of a globe.Anyway, I look forward to seeing some of those explanations you can give.