How many senses do we possess? To most people the answer would straightway be “Five”. This is the standard textbook analysis of the human senses, although occasionally we hear someone referring to their ‘sixth sense’, and we know by the context that they feel they are using a sense of a type altogether different to the normal five.
What are the normally accepted human senses? They are Vision, Hearing, Taste, Smell, and Touch. Every standard biology textbook will elaborate on these, and relate the senses to those bodily mechanisms which enable the senses to work. In this article we shall display the God-given truth that we are far more complex than we had hitherto realised.
Back in May 1969, whilst in Kenya, Arthur was given a vision of a propeller with four blades and a central hub. The Lord said that man had TWENTY FIVE SENSES, of which the five that we normally recognised were just one blade. Over the next few days, after waiting upon the Lord, further light was given, and gradually a whole new understanding grew up, the contents of which are displayed in this Telegraph. This subject was first published in “Except the Lord Build the House” Volume Six, in 1979, but in this article, we shall expand upon what was written there, because since 1979 further light has been received as to the significance of the material.
The normally recognised human senses are five in number. And if we look at these as a group, it will become apparent immediately that there are two pairs, and a single. Vision and Hearing are related, both being WAVE RECEPTORS. Taste and Smell are also inseparably connected. But the sense of Touch is by itself, and refers to whole-body sensations, not just the hands. These five senses may be displayed diagrammatically as follows.
THE SOMATIC INPUT SENSES
This was an early clue which led me to look for similar patterns of 2 + 2 + 1 in the other blades of the propeller. The first part of the further revelation I received was that just as the first five senses were INPUT SENSES, so the complementary opposite blade represented OUTPUT SENSES. I began to see that man had been given innate abilities to DO things of a type not possessed by animals, such as having an understanding of music, and rhythm, to be able to express himself artistically in pattern and design, and also in words (which we call poetry.) These also fell quite simply into two pairs. The fifth sense in this group was one which seemed to govern the other four, and could most usefully be called ‘creative’. It was the sense that produced ideas, and recognised useful material for expression in the other four senses. I saw that I had recognised the existence of a second blade. Whereas the. first blade had five INPUT senses, the opposite blade had five OUTPUT senses. There was a sense of balance, and it gave a sense of peace just to appreciate its existence. (Notice how often we are required to use the word SENSE when describing things, and usually it is NOT in the context of Vision, Hearing, etc.) A similar pattern may therefore be drawn for these five senses.
THE SOMATIC OUTPUT SENSES
Having established the meaning of these two blades, I saw that they both referred to the BODY of man, and so I called them the SOMATIC SENSES. In Greek the word for Body is SOMA, and it therefore seemed appropriate to give this label, in keeping with biological nomenclature. And so they became SOMATIC INPUT SENSES, and SOMATIC OUTPUT SENSES.These labels have therefore been added to the two diagrams.
I then realised that just as the BODY had its senses, so also must the MIND.In due course, after prayer and consideration, it became apparent that there were two pairs of mental senses, Communication + Language, and Wisdom + Knowledge, and these were related to a Single sense, that of Hope. It was at this stage that I suddenly became aware that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit were connected with the senses. Paul declared in 1 Cor. 12 that Wisdom and Knowledge were two of these gifts, and Tongues and Interpretations were two others, and this led me to investigate the degree to which we, as human beings, had degenerated from the pristine state of creation enjoyed by Adam and Eve. I saw the gifts of the Holy Spirit as the partial restoration of man’s senses. Paul said in Ephesians 1 verse 14, they are ‘the earnest (or guarantee) of our inheritance, until the actual possession of our inheritance, to the praise of His glory’. Once again, a diagrammatic representation may be drawn up.
THE MENTAL SENSES
I found it more difficult to receive information about the opposite blade. I knew that it represented the ‘Spirit’ of man, but as human beings, and particularly as FALLEN human beings, we are not so used to spiritual things, and the more so because it was like trying to find that which we now no longer possessed, by virtue of the fall. However, in time the Lord graciously assisted me in finding these lost items, and once again they turned up in pairs. The first pair were Discernment + Authority,which again appeared in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gift of discerning of spirits, and the gift of apostleship, which is a God-given authority. But the second pair, Space + Time was more tricky. How do these senses work? Some people do have an uncanny sense of being able to tell the right time without a watch, any time of day or night. They just seem to KNOW what it is, without ever understanding WHY. But what about Space? What did this mean?
I asked the Lord about it, and He brought to mind the story of Elijah and his meeting with Obadiah (1 Kings 18:12) when Obadiah said to Elijah, “As soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where – -.” I was also reminded that this happened to Philip after he had given instruction to the Ethiopian eunuch. This sense had to do with TELEPORTATION, and I was given the distinct understanding that Adam and Eve were able to do it AS BY A SENSE, rather than by an external agency. This came as a bit of a shock, and showed me that we really know very little about the glory of Man as he was first created. I tried to visualise Adam and Eve moving from one part of the Garden of Eden to another by this means, and the nearest I could get was something akin to Captain Kirk and Mr Spock ‘beaming down’ from the Enterprise (in the Star Trek series!), but clearly it was not like that at all. The single sense in the ‘Spirit’ blade turned out to be Faith, and once again I saw that it occurred in the gifts of the Spirit. The diagram of this set is as follows.
THE SPIRITUAL SENSES
Finally there was the ‘Hub’ of the wheel. The Body, the Mind, and the Spirit had all been represented in the ‘blades’ of the propeller, and it was not a difficult step to realise that the ‘Hub’ represented the ‘Heart’ of Man. According to the Bible, the Heart must not be confused with the mechanism that pumps our blood, even though there is a connection. The ‘Heart’ of Man is that which is central to his whole being. What therefore is central to God’s Whole Being? Clearly it is LOVE, the Greek word being Agape (pronounced agarpay, with the accent on the second syllable). In the New Testament there is a clear word “God is Love”. In fact the N.T. tells us just THREE such things about the nature of God, namely “God is Love”, “God is Light”, and “God is Spirit”. All three of these attributes help us to understand the nature of God, and how His nature differs from our own (created) nature, as well as to what extent our nature might REFLECT His nature.
But sadly, though God created us to have Agape-type Love in the centre of our beings, the Bible tells us that out of the heart of Man come all manner of evils. Jeremiah was told, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?”(17:9) Be this as it may, the heart is that part of man which may RESPOND to the Love of God at Calvary, and (as David said in Psalm 51) be broken and contrite, and eventually be created anew. When God sends the still small voice of His Holy Spirit to Man, He does not go to Man’s Mind, but proceeds directly to the Heart. It is there that the work of Grace is done. Paul said “With the Heart one believes unto righteousness” and this is why God goes ‘right to the heart of the matter ‘ when dealing with sinful Man.
The other two pairs were then quite simply received as follows:- Conscience + Peace, and Wonder + Praise. When the Conscience is clear, then the Peace of God presides in our Hearts, and conversely, when we lose our Peace with God, we straightway find that our Conscience pricks us until we do something about it. But why have we not before realised that these are all parts of a God-given sensory apparatus. And quite the majority of these senses are unique to Man, thus setting him apart from all the animals. The animal creation is wonderful indeed, but none of God’s creatures possess the fulness of man’s sensory apparatus. The final diagram in this series of “fives” is as follows.
THE CARDIAC SENSES
See how each one of the ‘Heart’ senses, forms a platform, a foundation stone, for the blades. The Somatic Input Senses are based upon Wonder; the Somatic Output Senses are based upon Praise. How right this is. Likewise the Mental Senses are based upon Peace, and the Spirit Senses upon Conscience, just as it should be. And now it remains to analyse these senses in more detail, and to find out more about ourselves.
VISION. The human eye is a most wonderfully made optical instrument. If man tried to copy what the eye could do, and actually make something like it, in a sphere just one inch in diameter, he could not achieve it even if he were willing to spend ONE MILLION POUNDS. To a physicist, a physician, or an optician, the study of the human eye should bring a man to his knees in praise to the God who created such a marvel of engineering. But today, our eyes are not even as good as they used to be when God first made man. Our range of colour vision extends from red to violet, but Adam was able to see further at each end of the spectrum. If we were able to do this now, we should have to invent new names for the extra colour sensations we saw. All we can do now is to call them infra red and ultra violet.
HEARING. Here again, we have a wonderfully made instrument. Just as the eye was designed to pick up light waves and send them to the brain, so the ear picks up sound waves and transmits them to the brain. Light waves are what scientists call ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES, travelling one million times faster than sound waves. But the ear is capable of registering the most amazing range of sounds, from the very lowest frequencies of just above a throb, to those which are nearly as high as the bat’s signals. Originally, man would have been able to listen to the bats, but now he has lost some measure of his ability. The structure of the middle ear is so delicate, and the measurements of the bones so exacting, that whilst everything else in our body grows, the Lord has made these three bones to be the same size from birth to adulthood. How can the evolutionist explain that?
TASTE. The tongue and the roof of our mouth have small sensors known as ‘ taste buds’ which enable us to recognise the differences between things that we eat. From birth we need to learn the various tastes, and feed the information into our memory banks. Various parts of the tongue are designed to receive the sensations of sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. But the middle of the tongue seems to be less sensitive than the rest, and it seems quite likely that originally Adam was able to recognise and distinguish more varieties of taste than now we are able.
SMELL. In the back of the nose and in the throat we have sensors which are able to respond to and recognise different smells. A smell is produced by actual molecules of a material floating in the air, and by practice we become able to distinguish between these molecules as they impinge upon the sensory mechanisms. Taste and smell are inseparably connected. A simple test will prove the point. Make up a paste of stewed apple, and another of mashed potatoes, each of the same consistency. Blindfold a person, and hold his nose whilst feeding him first one and then the other of these foods. He will not be able to distinguish between them unless his nose is released.
TOUCH. Different parts of the human body have different sensitivities to touch. The hands are always considered first whenever anyone mentions the word ‘touch’ for we touch most things with our hands, and learn what they are by their feel. Blind people can do this with greater distinction than those who have eyes, because they need to learn to use this mechanism to a greater degree. The sensations of touch are very important to us in life, and have to do not only with what the hand feels, but also the very complicated variety of body sensations that encompass the sexual sides of our life. Also, we are able to distinguish differences of temperature, and air movements, by body sensations. Some people have greater sensitivity than others, and those who possess hypersensitivity find life rather trying, for example they may be extremely ticklish.
These five sensations allow us to experience the outside world, and the primary function is to enable us to be aware of God’s creation, and to render Him the praise most surely due to Him. King David said, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows right well.” (Psalm 139:14)
MUSICAL & RHYTHHIC. Animals do not possess these senses. It is absurd to try to formulate a theory of evolution to explain why humans have such abilities and animals don’t. God gave us such abilities, and He gave them to us to use to HIS glory, and even though men’s lives are often far removed from righteousness, still they are able to ‘create’ in an artistic way. Sinner or saint, every time we hear a song, or read a poem, or look at a painting, we are witnessing a God-given ability. It may be corrupted, violent, or hideous, but the ability is still evident, and God is the Author of all such.
These musical gifts are latent senses. The musical sense enables us to know and understand MELODY and HARMONY, whilst the rhythmic sense enables us to arrange music according to systematic groupings of notes, beats, measures, and phrases, thus to give an overall-pleasing effect. The latent power of music is very great. The effect that it has on us cannot be fully assessed. No small wonder that the Devil has taken charge of today’s output of so-called music, for he knows full well just where it is leading. True harmony and symphony are uplifting to the human soul and spirit, whereas atonal discords and decibelic noise are debasing, and tend towards mental disorders.
ARTISTIC & POETIC. These senses are related. The artist uses his ability to convey information visually by using pencil, pen, crayon, or paint-brush. He has something he wants to say, and he uses his ability to say it in this medium. On the other hand the poet uses words to paint his picture. Each is able within his own degree of expertise to produce a final product that captures the imagination and conveys something of importance within the mind of the artist/poet. Here again, we find that the God-given abilities are often prostituted and violated, thereby conveying something that can only be called devilish in origin, but even so, the ability, and its expression, always reflect God’s own creation. He gave the power to man, even if man misuses it.
CREATIVE. (Greek KTISIS=Creation) This sense is really the basis for the other four. It is the sense which tells us the rightness of things. It tells us that music sounds right when we use 2, 3, or 4 beats in a bar, and that no music can be created having, say, 5 beats in a bar on a regular basis. It tells us that the diatonic scale has to be created from vibrations that vary in exact relation to each other, for example middle C on the piano has a frequency of 256 hertz, whereas C’ (an octave higher) has 512, exactly twice that of middle C. And the notes between are found to be in very definite proportions between these limits. The ear TELLS us to accept these values, and we cannot help ourselves. Why? Because God has placed within us certain values of ‘correctness’ that we can hardly even evaluate. We do not know why it has to be that way. We just accept it because of the pleasing (or unpleasing) effect that it has on us. Likewise, the artist will find that he soon adjusts automatically to the ‘golden section’ of proportions, whereby the size of a painting will give the most pleasing effect when it has the longer side about 1.5 times the shorter side. (The exact proportion is 1:1.618.) And the musician will find (if he makes investigation) that the chords he uses give the best sound when they are based upon ratios of frequencies that employ the ‘golden section’ in its other form, known as the Fibonacci Sequence, of 1,2,3,5,8,13 etc. And so the basic tonic chord is Doh,Me,Soh,Doh, which is 1,3,5,8 and so on. The poet uses the sounds of words to weave magic pictures of delight. He carefully chooses words to give highlight and relief to his theme. If he were to study Hebrew, he would find that the Old Testament writers frequently used formations of words in the same way, but they are now lost in translation. Even in the prophets, we find the Lord using poetic language.
All these things are just the start of a discussion about the creative sense. We forbear to go further. God has given some men greater artistic abilities than others. That is his prerogative. Those of us with lesser abilities can enjoy the work of those with greater. But with all such abilities, we must constantly show in our lives (as believers) that we give God the glory for all His gifts of senses.
WISDOM & KNOWLEDGE. Both of these senses are renewed when we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we come to realise that the original endowment to Adam & Eve was of a much higher order than we now possess by natural birth. Wisdom may be described as ‘right judgment’ about any matter, and knowledge includes an almost uncanny sensing and knowing which flows, not from the tiresome process of study and application, but from the innate fountain springs of knowledge God provides. To some it may have come as a surprise to think of wisdom and knowledge as senses, but with a little reflection, it will be seen that man’s complete endowment ‘in the likeness of God’ includes many areas which cannot be expressed in any other language than that of sense.
LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION. Here again, the spiritual gifts help us to know and to understand what God gave originally. Language is an innate ability of man. Furthermore, he could know and understand more than one language, without effort of learning. This is now lost. But when a man receives the gift of tongues, what happens? Straightway he is speaking in another language, and quite fluently at that. It is an exhilarating experience, even if we cannot understand what we are saying. And the gift of communication is that area of the mind which is able to relate to others without the spoken word. Sometimes this happens between human beings, and we call it telepathy. Often Christians do not like thinking about telepathy because they know that occultists major on it, but this is an unjustifiable fear and dread of anything that may be mishandled by ‘the other side’, and cannot be helpful to us in our quest for truth. What is more important is the ‘telepathic’ ability that we can have between God and ourselves, which in the Bible is called ‘prophecy’, or ‘speaking forth the words of the Lord’. And by this we can appreciate how it was for Adam, and how easily he was able to know the voice of his Lord. How degraded we are these days, six millennia on from the creation. If only we could obtain a glimpse of Adam and Eve we should be in for a shock. Imagine a man 7 feet tall, and his wife 61/2 feet tall, both of amazing physique and physical prowess, possessing powers of mind, body and soul beyond anything we can now envisage. We might even think of them as space visitors’ (in this day of science fiction) instead of our own foundational parents. Their ability to live just short of 1,000 years shows how strong life was in those days. What might we think today of a man who could easily remember the Battle of Hastings in 1066?
HOPE. Yes, hope is a ‘sense’. It is not the type of hope that is constantly expressed today. We might say ‘I do hope it stays fine’, or ‘I hope I soon get better’, or ‘I hope I will win a fortune’. But all these hopes are vanity. The Bible HOPE (Greek=Elpis) has more of the solidity of EXPECTATION. Hear the word of the Lord in Col.1:27 “Christ in you, the HOPE of glory,” and Titus 1:2 “The HOPE of eternal life,” and Titus 2:13 “The blessed HOPE and appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” There is a certainty, surety and expectation about these ‘hopes’ that far outweigh anything we ‘hope’ for today in the world. A Christian must learn to HOPE in the Biblical sense, and his life will straightway be uplifted. Courage will develop, and fear will lift like the morning mist. Strength and purpose will grow towards spiritual maturity and the inward eyes will behold the Master’s destiny for our lives. This is why HOPE is the central member of this group of Mental Senses. All our mental processes, our thinking and reasoning, our language and communication, whether on the earth as between man and man, or with heaven with our Lord, will be based upon the surety of HOPE that is REAL. And the HOPE which is steadfast and sure, shall become the grounds for acting in FAITH, the sense which is found on the opposite side of the propeller, and in the complementary position. Only by studying the Bible carefully, do we find the truths that are locked away there. Let us study to find out what we can about Adam and Eve, and know what Man was like when God first created him, so that we may bewail our fall and present condition, but at the same time have the most sure and certain HOPE of Life Eternal and glory once again, glory that was once lost and may now be found in Christ.
DISCERNMENT & AUTHORITY. These are all ‘spiritual’ senses, and as a result of the fall they have suffered more than most. When God allows us to have the gift of ‘discerning of spirits’ we come closest to understanding what this sense was originally. All that we have left with us today is the ability to discern between ‘good’ things and ‘bad’ things, and ‘in the flesh’ we are not very good at making THIS sort of judgment. When we are ‘born again’ we become able to use this sense afresh and invigorated, and find that we begin to see the ‘rightness’ and the ‘wrongness’ of things in life in a new light. Satan tempted Eve on this sense. He made her believe that the enlightenment of this sense could only come about through eating the forbidden fruit. “You will know good and evil” he said to her, and she fell for it. The result was disobedience. Had she waited, and allowed things to develop God’s way, she would have learned to discern in a manner that was well-pleasing to God, but she was overcome and fell.
Take the twin sense of authority. God said to Adam and Eve, “Have dominion -“, and we can now only dimly understand what this must have entailed at that stage. Due to the fall, this sense of authority was taken away, but Genesis shows us that man still had some degree of control over the animals until the Flood. Noah would have used the abilities of certain creatures to help in the construction of the Ark, and in gathering the animals singled out for survival. Only after the Flood did God say, “The fear and the dread of you shall be upon them.” It was a new scene altogether. God is now training His people for positions of government in His Kingdom. In that day, there will be those who are least expected from amongst men, placed in positions of government by the Lord. Once again the sense of authority will prevail and the government will be a RIGHTEOUS government. But for now, there are few upon this earth who have ever managed to hold positions of authority without corruption and eventual destruction of themselves. History books are full of examples of the most up-and-coming of men who began with the highest ideals for the good of all, and ended up exercising the most violent and tyrannous form of control over the lives of other men. In the fallen state, the sense of authority shows man’s sinful nature in the raw, with uncontrolled power and lust.
SPACE & TIME. These two senses are virtually non-existent to us now. As I said before, some individuals seem to be able to ‘know’ (instinctively) what the time is, day or night, and amazingly, get it right almost to the minute. This is rare. But the ‘space’ sense is 100% absent. No longer is it possible for man to ‘teleport’ himself from one place to another without the aid of some mechanical device. And by this means, the Lord restricted the evil designs of man in the fallen world. Today, our cars and planes have to some extent done away with these restrictions by artificial means, but see what havoc we cause ourselves thereby! Would it not be better for us all if we were limited once again to the horse and cart? (Without a divine intervention, we are not likely to see THAT come about!) Eastern religions have for centuries trained their devotees in methods of self-hynosis, so that they can once again employ these forbidden abilities. We have heard of their achievements and to them, they must seem amazing and self-elevating. But what they do not realise is that the more they ‘play around’ with forbidden powers, the greater will be their punishment by a God who has proclaimed, “Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.”
FAITH. Yes, this is a spiritual sense, and by God’s grace, He has not removed it all from us by virtue of the fall. Indeed, although men may not realise it, every living person has a small but definite sense of faith. Were this not so, it would be impossible for us to respond to God when He makes Himself known to us. Some forms of ultra-Calvinism would have us believe that even this is impossible, almost as though Faith had been totally obliterated at the fall, but such teaching leads to the dangerous position whereby the elect have their destinies mapped out beforehand whether they like it or not. This is very wrong. Not all Calvinists go this far. When we believe, the sense of faith leaps up and greets us, and we do well to feed it and foster its growth through life. Like other senses, it may grow and develop strongly, or be left at a miserably low level, quite unworthy of the Lord who redeemed us. Sometimes, the sense is boosted by the additional ‘gift of faith’, one of the grace-gifts mentioned by Paul in 1 Cor.12. Compared with other gifts, very few have known the full workings of this gift, maybe due. to the propensity to pride.
The HEART SENSES are the foundation-stones of -the other sets of senses. Each one has a strong bearing on the group to which it is assigned.
WONDER. This sense is the base sense for the somatic input senses, such as vision, hearing. All that we see and hear of this world, when properly understood, tends towards a sense of WONDER and AWE, because we are amazed at the creative ability of God. Little children have this sense quite clean and bright, and as parents we should never do anything to spoil it for them. “Except you become as little children” is the expression our Lord used in this direction. But so often, as we grow up, we get blasé about the world around us, and people tend to laugh at us, so we throttle the sense, and only allow it to be used when alone in our thinking.
PRAISE. Whenever man contemplates a thing of beauty, as a product of creation, God receives praise, whether that man is a believer or not. But in these sad days of evolutionary dogmas, Paul’s words in Rom.1:20 have swollen to unexpected heights of meaning, “Since the creation, God’s eternal power and divinity have been clearly perceived by the things that have been made, so that they are without excuse.” It is very sad to report that even in the Christian churches today, there are still many who, although saying that they believe in God, do not praise God for His creation as they should, and favour the man-made dogmas of evil-ution. (The spelling mistake was intentional.) Praise is amplified when we are born again. We find the sense growing, and as such it should be fostered, like the sense of Wonder. Notice how the sense is the base for the somatic output senses, whereby we can actually use our God-given abilities to render praise to God. This is no mere coincidence.
PEACE. Here again, it may come as a surprise to find ‘peace’ described as a sense, but there is a trigger within the human heart which tells us whether or not we have ‘peace’, that is, peace with God. The sense is inseparably bound up with the twin-sense of Conscience. Conscience is in fact that ‘trigger’. When we are at peace with God, we have knowledge of forgiveness and a sense of well-being before the Throne of God. Under these conditions, the ‘mental senses’ are able to work in a peaceful atmosphere, but if peace is lost, then our whole mental system becomes ‘out of joint’ and nothing more can be done until peace is regained. This usually means that we have offended the Lord in some respect, and He triggers our conscience to say, in effect, “This is the way, walk in it” because we have wandered off to the left or to the right.
CONSCIENCE. Every man alive has a conscience. What he does with it is another thing altogether because as we are told very clearly in the N.T. it is possible to ‘sear the conscience with a red-hot iron’. This is a figure of speech, by which we may learn that the sense can be rendered all but inert by the continual pursuit of unrighteousness. To a believer, there should be a measurable growth in the conscience on starting a walk of faith, as with every sense. It is a foolish man indeed who takes no note of the ‘winking red lights’ when walking out of harmony with the Lord.
Peace governs the mental senses, and Conscience governs the spiritual senses. If a man of authority pays due heed to his conscience before God, the position he holds over other men, should not either corrupt him or dismay them.
LOVE. Here is the central hub of all the 25 senses, and rightly so. Paul said, “There remains then Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.” The Greek of the N.T. employs a word for love that is seldom found in classical Greek. It is AGAPE. The other words for love, PHILIA (hence ‘filial’) and EROS (hence ‘erotic’) are related to feelings which arise by virtue of what we experience of others, a ‘receptive’ form of love, depending on what pleasure it gives us. But AGAPE speaks rather of the love which is outward looking, and loves the other person for what they are, rather than how much pleasure they give us. No wonder that God has placed this in the very centre of our beings. And when we become sons of God by faith, we begin to learn what this love means, first of all as God has loved us in Christ, and then to love others in like manner.
Putting all these things together in a composite diagram, we get the following.