Have you ever watched a 3D movie through those specially designed 3D glasses? If your answer is yes, then during the movie you have also most likely taken on and off your 3D glasses because you were intrigued with what the picture looks like without the glasses and then how the picture changes with the glasses. But have you ever experienced seeing 3D naturally in a special form of art rather than in movie form with 3D glasses?
This form of art is generally called "3-D Stereograms" and can be viewed in books, posters, and even on the computer screen. If you are not familiar with 3-D Stereogram art and do not have access to a 3D Stereogram book, please visit the following website and view some of the stereograms that are presented.
A variety of techniques exist to help us view this form of art. One of the easiest is to hold the picture up close to your face so that your nose is almost touching the center of the picture. Then relax your eyes and stare at one spot on the picture and "phase out" which means to stare out into "Never Never Land" like we do when we stare into space during a boring lecture. Everything should then look a little blurry.
Once you are staring at that spot, gradually move the picture away from your eyes, but continue staring blankly at that spot. As you move the picture away from your nose and as you stare at your spot, you should begin to see the picture transform into a 3D image. If you do, then transition your stare away from the spot and toward the picture and you will begin to see an image of some sort. If you do not see anything in 3D appearing, then pull the picture back up to your nose and start again. Don't worry if you can't do it on the first time as sometimes this can take awhile to see because our eyes are not used to relaxing.
Just in case you are feeling silly pulling a picture up to your nose (or placing your nose up against the computer screen if you were looking at the related website above), let me tell you a fun story. Prior to writing this study of the word "PERSON," I went to a used book store to purchase a 3D Stereogram book. The clerk on duty was not fluent in English and the woman who apeared to be the owner was even less fluent. Therefore, I was not surprised to learn that the clerk had no idea what type of book that I was asking for. I tried to explain that this was a 3D form of art where a person could see a picture within a picture. He was giving me a blank look (like the kind that you need to view the 3D art!)
Suddenly, the owner, who was picking up bits and pieces of our conversation, began speaking excitedly to the clerk in her native language while at the same time holding her hands out flat like a book and moving them back and forth away from her nose. I then knew that she knew what I was looking for and my bookstore venture ended in success. From this little incident I learned that the method of viewing 3D art is consistant wordlwide and in every language.
Since God Uses Everyday Things to teach us about Him, let's review some of the truths that we can learn about God from 3D art.
First, 3D art will teach us about the "PERSON" of God.
Second, 3D art will teach us about the "EXISTENCE" of God.
Third, 3D art will teach us about our "VIEW" of God.
Let's begin by looking at how 3D art will teach us about the "PERSON" of God.
God is one God, but He is described throughout the Bible as three persons. Just like we looked at one picture and we saw three dimensions within that one picture, we can believe in one God who is introduced to us as three persons.
But this can be confusing because if God is one God, then how can He be three person? Let's use our 3D picture to help us understand. When we look at a 3D picture normally from a distance, we see what appears to be a normal picture (a meaningless picture, but none the less "normal"). But is there more to this one picture than meets the eye? The answer is "yes" for those of you who have seen the three dimensional aspect of the picture. And for those of you who have not seen the image yet, keep trying because you will also want to experience the excitement of seeing and experiencing the fun of 3D stereograms.
In the same manner that we can see 3D in one picture, the Bible clearly speaks of God as one God who reveals Himself in three person. In order to understand this further, let's look at the following verses.
The first verse is from the ten commandments in Exodus 20:2-3:
"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. Do not worship any other gods besides me."
Question: Is God claiming to be one unique God or a representation of a variety of gods?
Answer: God is claiming to be one unique God.
The second verse is from Deuteronomy 32:39
"Look now; I myself am He! There is no god other than me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one delivers from my power!"
Question: Is God claiming to be the only God or are there other gods?
Answer: God is claiming to be the only God.
The third verse is from Isaiah 43:10-11.
"But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the LORD. "And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the LORD, and there is no other Savior."
Question: Is God claiming to be our only Savior?
Answer: Yes, God is our only Savior.
Question: Can there be two Saviors?
Answer: No, there can only be one Savior.
The fourth verse is from Psalm 143:10.
"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing."
Question: How is God being described in this verse?
Answer: God is being described as Spirit
The fifth verse is from Psalm 89:26.
"And he will say to me, "You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation."
Question: How is God being described in this verse?
Answer: God is being described as Father.
Just a reminder, we are learning how 3D art can teach us about the "Person" of God. In 3D art we are looking at one picture which portrays itself in three dimensions. In the first two verses that we read above, God claims to be uniquely ONE with no other god in existence other than Him. And yet as we study closer (like we studied the 3D art closer), we see that the last three verses further describe God as Savior, Spirit, and Father.
Let's take a moment here to look at the "God as Savior" portion by reading a few more verses because, if you are familiar with the Bible, then you may have already noticed the connection between "Jesus being the promised Savior" and "Jesus being the Son of God" and "Jesus being God in human flesh."
First, let's review Acts 13:23.
"And it is one of King David's descendants, Jesus, who is God's promised Savior of Israel!"
Question: Who is the Savior?
Answer: Jesus is the Savior.
Question: From our Isaiah 43 verses above, who can only be Savior?
Answer: Only God can be Savior.
Second, let's consider Luke 2:11.
"The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!"
Question: Who is the Savior?
Answer: The Messiah and Lord
Question: What has the Savior done in this verse?
Answer: He has been born which means he was born from a woman as a baby here on earth.
Question: Who was born in Bethlehem that was declared to be Savior, Messiah, and Lord?
Question: For those of you who know the context of this verse from the Christmas story, who made this claim that the Lord God, the Savior, was born in the flesh as a human?
Answer: The angels who exist in heaven. Note: This is important to realize. Mere man is not making the claim that God was born among us as a man, but rather angelic beings who serve and worship the God of the universe. They should know who is and who is not God, shouldn't they?
Third, let's read John 4:42.
"Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe because we have heard Jesus ourselves, not just because of what you told us. He is indeed the Savior of the world."
Question: What did many people who saw and heard Jesus conclude about Him once they heard Him?
Answer: That He (Jesus) was the Savior.
So far we are seeing that the Bible is describing Jesus (the Son of God) as the Savior and since we now know that the Savior is God, let's see if this next verse in Colossians 1:15 begins to make sense as we read it through our 3D eyes.
"(Jesus) Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation."
Question: When we look toward Jesus like we looked deeper into our 3D art, who will we see?
These last four verses that we have just reviewed actually demonstrate "The Transitive Property of Equality." Don't worry if you are a non-math enthusiast because this mathematical principle is actually pretty simple. The Transitive Property of Equality is stated as follows:
IF A = B
AND B = C
THEN A = C
Now let's look at the verses that we just read again and apply our newly understood Transitive Property of Equality.
According to our Luke verse:
A = B or Jesus = Savior
which simply stated is "Jesus is Savior."
According to our Isaiah verse:
B = C or Savior = God
which simply stated is "Savior is God."
So that according to the Transitive Property of Equality, we can conclude:
A = C or Jesus = God
which simply stated is "Jesus is God."
As you have just proven through this mathematical property, these verses make it pretty clear that Jesus is Savior and Lord. And since the Savior can only be God, then Jesus is God. When we remember that the Bible consistently refers to Jesus as "The Son," we can better understand the doctrinal belief of the Trinity. From all of the verses that we have just read, the Bible clearly describes God as three persons.
In summary, our 3D art (three dimensions within one picture) helps us to understand the Biblical truth that there is only one God described as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirt. This description of God as three persons does not take away from the unique oneness of God, but rather gives us better insight and understanding of Him.
We've just learned how 3D art can teach as about the "PERSON" of God. Now let's look at how 3D art can teach us about the "EXISTENCE" and "VIEW" of God.