Monday, June 18, 2007

Ultimate Triumph – Consummated in the Epistles and Revelation

Part 3 – Ultimate Triumph Series.

(*Applause*). Thank you. One of the reasons I’m here this week is because I want to be. Now I go to some places because I have to go. I have got an obligation or I owe somebody. But I am here because I want to be here. Frank doesn’t know I am going to say this but I consider him to be one of the emerging young princes in the church and anything this aging old cadaver can do to support and strengthen his hand – I want to be able to do it. He is the kind of young man I would want to invest in and when you get older you start to look around for people to invest in – like who you are going to leave your notes to. (*laughter*). So for him to thank you for coming is a bit over-humble. I think you are blessed in coming. He has not only got a studious heart and a devotional spirit but he has got a record of integrity – that is a rare combination nowadays. It is hard for clever people to maintain their integrity. The clever man that can maintain his integrity is a world-beater. Alright enough of my meanderings.

We have tried in these night sessions to talk about “Ultimate Triumph” under three headings; 1. Prophesied in the Old Testament. 2. Inaugurated in the Gospels and Acts and tonight; 3. Consummated in the Epistles and Revelation. I am assuming of course that we all believe that the Kingdom started with the coming of the King and that when Jesus Christ said, “The time has come!” – that He meant the time has come. He meant the time has come! He meant that time that we talked about when we dealt with the Old Testament prophecies – that time has arrived. All the things the Old Testament prophets spoke about futuristically were started to be fulfilled with the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. As Peter said on the Day of Pentecost; “Men of Israel know this – that the Jesus Christ who you crucified God has made Him both Lord and Christ”. Christ is anointed King! Messiah! So the kingdom started dynamically at that point – Resurrection and Ascension. It started potentially when John introduced Jesus at the Jordan but it didn’t start dynamically in its permanent form until Christ sat down at the right hand of God and the Father said, “Sit here at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool”. Now what do we know about the consummating acts of the Kingdom? Do we have any idea where it’s going? What it’s like? Have we any word from God as to what we should expect and what we can expect? Do we have any inspired scenarios or scenario about the end? Is there any kind of a divine agenda? Have we any systematic understanding of how it’s all going to move along?

These are all important questions that have exercised the minds of the greatest Christian thinkers from the days of Christ. You have a considerable literary history of men wrestling with these problems biblically. Then of course philosophically and existentially and sociologically and many other ways men have applied their thinking and whatever apparatus they’re using even in their unregeneracy to try to anticipate what is going to happen to world. Scientists, cosmologists – they want to anticipate whether the world is going to burn up or freeze up and they’ve got all their theories but you see the problem with unregenerate prognosticators is that they are confined to the realm of their senses. They can only make limited judgements based on the empirical evidence that they can acquire through their senses - whereas the Spirit-filled Christian who applies his mind to the Word of God has a dimension of information that the unregenerate man doesn’t have. We sometimes sell ourselves short on that. You say “We don’t a PhD – I don’t even have a graduate degree in any science. In fact I don’t have an arts degree – I didn’t even finish high school for that matter!”.

I don’t want to encourage sloth in the area of education but at the same time I don’t want to bar you from understanding this – that the most illiterate char-woman who maybe has no education at all yet is born-again has more cosmic information in her little finger than the most erudite academic has in his whole swollen head! (*laughter*). Any little char-woman who knows that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son – she is plugged into cosmic information that outstanding philosophers in the world aren’t even aware of. So I don’t want you to feel that we are ruled out because we don’t have graduate degrees and all of these things. We have got the Word of God. I don’t want to sound defensive about it. I just want to say that I am a canonical person. I stay within the boundaries of this book. If I ever stray out of the boundaries of this book to listen to what people have to say then I judge what they say by this book. They think that’s narrow and obscurantist and antiquarian. They can say what they like – everything that I believe has to be according to Christ. Christ is the touchstone of all knowledge and it is the lack of Christ at the centre of contemporary knowledge that has brought us now to the hapless state that we have in our society.

Alright. When you consider the Kingdom consummately you want to look at two things. 1. Gradualism. 2. Crisis. The whole matter of the kingdom has to do with historical process and final crisis.

A. Consummated Processively.
This introduces us to the theory and observable gradualism that the Bible calls for us to observe.

1. Biblical Illustrations of Gradualism.

a. Creation.
We talk about Creation because Creation is our number one illustration. We talk about fiat Creation (and by “fiat” we mean that God by a “fiat” of sovereign power spoke the worlds into existence). They didn’t evolve out of some nebulus – they came into being by an act of God. When something was not there one second and the next something was there – that is “fiat” creation. “Fiat” creation is the position of one who is biblically orientated but interestingly enough it was not “fiat” in the sense that it was all there in that second. It took Him six days. So right from the beginning we see a gradualism in creation. If you are a 24 hour person, it is still gradualism. If we are a geologic ageist person it is still gradualism. But God who spoke things into existence did it in a gradual period of six days and on the seventh He rested.

b. Revelation.
God had created in six days and early on He started to communicate. God is not only the Creator of the Universe but He is the Communicator to that which He created – which is equally important with His creation. It is tremendous that He created. But can you imagine how it would be if He had created us and given us a shove and said, “Lots of luck”? And go on to let us wander through space on our own? Having created, He communicated His purpose in creation. All our trouble tonight – the tremendous trouble that Frank was so devastatingly documenting last night – that is all the result of rational man on a God-given creation and not listening to the communication of the Creator! What God created, He communicated to His rational vice-regent man how to govern it. And man has thrown away the manual! He has got the bicycle but he has thrown away the manual that tells you how to put it together. So he can’t go anywhere! He can’t get the bicycle together! The Scripture for this is Hebrews 1:1-2;

“God who at sundry times”. Sundry times = gradualism. “And in diverse manners spake unto our fathers by the prophets hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son”.

Those two verses cover 1,500 years. God dropped a little here and a little here. There is a classic book called “The Progress of Doctrine” – it is not a new book, it’s about 100 years old but it is by Canon Bernard. I am sure you can buy it today – they keep re-publishing it because it is something like the Bible – it’s become just a classic. The thesis of that book is very simple but very necessary for us to understand. That as God starts growth with a seed and then the shoot and then the branches and so on as Jesus referred to it; this is the gradualistic process of God. God has given us illustrations of it in nature. Canon Bernard has established classically for us that it is the same with revelation. That revelation starts with Genesis which is the seed plot of the Bible. We dealt the other night with Genesis 3:15. If we couldn’t take subsequent revelation and go back at 3:15 we wouldn’t be as puzzled as Adam and Eve probably were when God said it. We have lived to see the day when the woman’s seed has crushed the serpent’s head. All down through the centuries there is an accumulation – there is a widening like Ezekiel’s river and revelation becomes richer and richer until it eventuates in the coming of the Messiah and He becomes the final voice of God.

But even then, there is a gradualism. For what He says as recorded in the Gospels, “He Himself says” is not the full thing. “I have many things yet to say to you but you are not able to bear them but when He the Spirit of truth is come” – so Jesus warned them. He said, “Look I am who you say – I am the Son of God – but I can’t tell you everything not because I couldn’t tell you but because you are not presently able to receive it and that’s not totally your fault – it’s because the Revelator has yet to come”. So you can’t receive any more than I’ve given you but when the Comforter comes you will all be personally equipped with an advanced technical receiving set and then I will have apostolic voices and Peter will talk to you and James and somebody you don’t even know right now – a little beetle-browed, hooked nosed Jewish rabbi and he is alive right now! He doesn’t know it yet but he is going to be My apostle to the Gentiles”. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus Christ in the days of His flesh had already stamped Paul’s words with the impromata of His authority and He was a rabbi that hated Jesus. Isn’t that amazing? That makes you hope in all your outreach that you might be winning an apostle to Christ. It’s not just winning a soul and saving him from hell – you may be winning someone who is earmarked for divine fame. So Revelation is an illustration of gradualism.

c. Taking Over the Land of Canaan.
(Deuteronomy 7:22) “The Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little, thou mayest not consume them at once lest the beasts of the fields increase upon me”.

One of the necessities of gradualism is that you shouldn’t conquer what you’re not prepared to control. How many of us in our greed have gone to a smorgasbord and by the time we have got to our table we knew we have overdone it? We conquered what we couldn’t control. We have come away with a trophy of this bulging platter but we get it to the table and say, “If I eat that it will kill me!”. (*laughter*). Now God said! This wasn’t Mosaic strategy – God said! You wanted to go in there with your expansive greed and beat up all the Canaanites and then find out that you don’t have the resources. Do you know the ratio of suppliers to fighting men in an army? For every one of our pilots, tank drivers and so on there are probably 10 supports back on base. The beauty of a well organised church is not just that you have got a good general who is capable of strategy. What Frank is doing here and men like him is not just to get people to come and preach but people to come and be a part of the army – not necessarily the out front ones but the entire support apparatus that is essential for the success of the army in the field. Don’t conquer what you don’t plan to control.

d. 2 Prophecies of the Messianic Kingdom.
I have chosen two although there are others. Daniel’s stone and Ezekiel’s river. Daniel 2:35;

“The stone that smote the image became …”. Let’s say “Became” – that is gradualism. “Became a great mountain and filled the whole earth”.

Now here’s the gradualism. All of the human systems of government which have been tried through the centuries have failed and they are going to be blown away like the chaff in the wind and there will be no place found for them and the stone that crushed them is going to grow until it fills the whole earth. Now we’re not even to crisis yet – we’re still on gradualism. Don’t make that a crisis situation because that isn’t crisis. That is gradualism. Now you see we have opted out of gradualism. Dispensationalism with its “any-moment-coming-of-the-Lord” mentality has paralysed us and we have no plans for the future! Evangelicals for 150 years have said, “We don’t plan”. Their watchword was you don’t polish the brass on a sinking ship. Who has got the right to call God’s creation a sinking ship? It may be in trouble but it is being rescued! Well what did evangelicals do? They opted out of the public square. I started to tell you in one of my sessions about this, but I got lost and didn’t finish it but they have opted out of the public square.

One of our very influential modern theological sociologist writers who is the editor of an influential publication called “First Things” – he wrote a book on the “Naked Public Square in which he said that Christianity to its shame has left the public arena to unregenerates. I know when I started to talk about it – when I started to talk about the North-Eastern Universities. We lost them all because we opted out of the public square. You say, “We’ve got nothing more to say to you fellows – go to hell”. That is brash but it is the premise of Dispensationalism. “We can’t help you – if you want to get saved and join our any-moment church then come but we have got no plans for education, no plans for agriculture, no plans for finance, and no plans for sociology we are not going to talk to you about how you should live. That is the very reason why Jesus Christ left us here so that we can leaven the lump! We’re too confoundly Pharisaical to get our religious robes sullied by touching the world! Go on and get them dirty – you can wash them at night when you come home! I don’t know how you address abortion but you must address it! You out of your Christian consciousness must have an attitude towards it and be prepared to address it. That is something you have to wrestle with but you can’t let the world go by. Now about five years ago (I may be wrong in that time – it maybe longer) a bunch of evangelicals got together and said, “Look we’ve ridden this any-moment thing long enough now. We are so embarrassed. When the newspapers came to talk to us about what we think about some public issue we aren’t interested and we have lost our voice therefore they don’t come anymore because they know that the pastor at the Baptist church or Pentecostal church doesn’t give a hoot about what happens to society”. So they don’t come anymore. Do you know at the turn of the century in Great Britain, the Sunday morning press regularly reported either the sermon material of Charles Spurgeon or Dr Jowett – they were front page news! You not only don’t get a sermon in now – the only time we hit the press is when some of us screw up. We don’t make a positive contribution! We are part of that stone.

You say Jesus Christ is the stone. Yes – Jesus and His corporate body. We are not breaking anything up – we’re getting broken up! So the evangelicals 5 or 6 years ago published a book for the first time called, “An Evangelical Social Agenda for Society”. They were pressurised into it. They could no longer hide behind the any-moment coming of Christ. They were shamed into having to say something in the public square. Now we dealt with Ezekiel’s river but you talk about gradualism – the river came down from under the altar. Remember it issued down – came forth – ankles, knees, loins, water to swim in – wherever it went everything grew. Just a prolific demonstration of life wherever the river went! How did it start? It started as it came out from under the Cross of Calvary – the altar – and it redemptively started to flow through Pentecost and on down through the apostolic revelation and down through the centuries and it is flowing and will keep on flowing until the Dead Sea – until whatever is dead in the world has been livened by the life of God. You say “Really? I can’t handle our neighbourhood!”. Well that is your part of the place to handle but you must have the big picture!

e. 2 Kingdom Parables given by Jesus Christ.
We are dealing with gradualism remember. (Matthew 13:31-32) – The mustard seed.

Another parable He put forth unto them saying, “The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sewed in his field which indeed is the least of all seeds but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof”.

It is a small seed that generally looked like an inconsequential philosophical deviation in history but that seed grew and grew. We may be in some kind of retardation movement in America but in Africa and South-East Asia, the Kingdom of God is running rampant. I have every reason to believe that by the grace of God it will continue to run rampant through the Communist nations that have broken out into some kind of democracy. See some of us thought that we would have to capitulate to Communism. I hate to say I told you so but years ago I said that the seeds of its own destruction were in that movement! It couldn’t live! It parasited and parasited because it was a parasite. It can’t produce anything to keep itself alive so it keeps gobbling up others to keep itself alive but there comes an end to what you can gobble. So it died.

The second Kingdom parable – (Matthew 13:33) is the parable of the leaven. Now before I say anything about this, I imagine that right into your head bounces the idea that leaven is a type of sin. Yes and a lion is a type of the devil but having said that the lion is a type of Jesus. Let me say something to you about metaphors and symbols. They all have a negative and a positive. Water can be judgement – the Flood – but water can also be life-giving. Water out of the rock! The lion is the conquering beast. Jesus is the lion of Judah. Satan is a lion of the negative. Fire is a type of judgement. The fire is a type of perdition. Tension! Tension! Don’t get yourself fixed. There is never a metaphor that doesn’t have a negative and a positive. You say, “Well what determines it?”. Context. Now let’s say leaven is sin. Alright now let’s read the Bible; “Another parable He spake unto them, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto … sin”. (*laughter*). How many believe that the kingdom of heaven is like unto sin? So the context says to you that you better do something about that word “leaven”! Leaven is leaven is leaven! What does leaven do? You women who make bread know. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures until the whole was leaven”. One of the processes when you are making bread is that you have to kneed it. It is the kneeding part that we don’t like too much.

(Matthew 4:26-29). “And He said so is the kingdom of God as if a man should cast seed into the ground and should sleep and rise night and day and the seed should spring up and grow and he knoweth not how”.

He knoweth not how! Let’s say it altogether. Do you know how? No, you don’t know how! There is a mystery that God is constantly trying to get through to us – Jesus told it to Nicodemus. He said,

The wind blows where it wants and we hear the sound thereof but we know not from whence it came nor whether it goeth. So is everyone that is born of the Spirit”.

There is a mystery in it. “I know not how God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known”. An old Scotsman said, “I did all I could against getting converted and God did all He could for it and God won!”. Now watch this; (v28); “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself – first the blade …”. Gradualism remember? We are talking about gradualism.

First the blade then the ear after that the full corn – but when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle because the harvest has come”.

Now I believe that is an age-long gradualistic process but I believe that everything is not only age-long but it’s also episodic - that the age-long is a repetition of the episodic. “In the last days perilous times will come”. Well we’ve been in the last days for 2,000 years and we have had our perilous days but we have also had our revival days. Don’t look at it in the short term only!

f. The Shining Light (Proverbs 4:18).
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn shining ever brighter until the first light of day”.

Shining ever brighter – gradualism! (John 1:5) “His life is the light that shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it”. (1 John 2:8) “For the darkness is beginning to lift and the true light is now shining in the world”. What happens in relation to the light? It cannot extinguish it – but rather the darkness is lightened. As the light grows – so the darkness recedes. Okay. Alright now let’s look at the critical.

B. Biblical Illustrations of Crisis.

We have been dealing with ultimate triumph gradually – now critically.

a. Parousia.
This is probably the major Greek word for the Second Coming of Christ. There are several words but they all speak of the same thing. The Parousia was a word used of a king and his retinue when they came to a certain place. That was the Parousia. It is really the arriving. Apocalypse is the unveiling. Parousia is the arrival. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). You know this – but I wonder brothers and sisters if you have ever sat down as Rapturists and really read this instead of reading into it – everything that popular Dispensationalism reads into it. Let it speak to you! I have been amazed by Scriptures that I took for granted because they were part and parcel of my particular persuasion and yet I never investigated them. They were proof texts for my view point and then I got around to reviewing the proof texts and I realised that I had brought someone else’s definition. When I started to go through my process of retreat from Dispensationalism I was chagrined when I realised I could no longer hold that position. I will never forget it. I had built a large church on that eschatological viewpoint. For six months I had to never mention the term, “Coming of the Lord”. For six months I was holed up in my study and I realised that I was a Word man. I was bothered to realise that I had brought my whole eschatology out of books and not out of the Bible. I realised that I owed those people in my church an apology but I couldn’t just come up with some concept to send them away with. I had to come to them prepared to provide an apologetic for what I was doing. For six months I never mentioned the coming of the Lord but all that time I was in the Scriptures and I thought a good place to start from was the Second Coming. Now any of you who have a history in Dispensationalism will know that they make a difference between the Parousia and the other words. One is a coming for the Church and one is a coming with the Church and the other is a coming for the Jews and they have got a system. But when you check the system it isn’t sound. I will tell you what shocked me. I was sitting in my study reading an article called “The Five Comings of Christ”. (*laughter*). Why do you laugh? You mustn’t do that – you will offend people. I looked at the article and I said, “You dummy – there aren’t five comings” and a little voice inside me said, “Well how many do you have?”. I said, “Four”. (*laughter*). So you see I said dummy with one finger there and three fingers pointing back at me.

Now when I did my research and started on the Second Coming I found that the word “Parousia” and all the other Greek words all refer to the same time. I landed up in Hebrews and I found my affirmation about the Second Coming as just as simple as what it said there. “And He shall come the second time apart from sin unto deliverance”. I said, “I have found my roots”. Now I had to work through Antichrist and Beasts and Prophets and Armageddon and blood and battles and secret raptures and partial raptures and mid-tribulation raptures and man it was six months of torture as I pulled my teeth and pulled my hair and put a gun to my head again and again. But at the end of six months I was ready for the first time in my life to defend eschatology. Now I was young and bold so I called the entire congregation together on a Thursday night when we gathered as members and I stood up and told them in much more detail what had happened to me and where I was now and how I owed it to them to tell them. I explained that if they got up and walked out then I wouldn’t blame them but what I had taught them I had got mainly out of books and I apologised. I promised them that I would textually prove what I now preached from the Bible and I wouldn’t quote William Kelly and W Grant and Lewis Bowman – I wouldn’t do that anymore. I would quote Bible and I never lost a soul. But I turned my young people into a bunch of raving radicals. (*laughter*). I had to put chains on them to keep them in their seats. I was travelling in those days and I had a big church. I would invite prominent preachers to come in and replace me and I had a bunch of young men who wouldn’t stop. They were crazy! They latched on to the new victorious eschatology and they would get the new visiting preacher in a corner after the sermon and would grill him! (*laughter*). I would be in Africa somewhere and I would get a phone call from the preacher saying, “Mr Baxter I am sorry but I have got to leave. Your young people know a whole lot more than I do – I can’t stay!”. So when I got home I would have to get my young people together and fix them good. I said, “You lay off my preachers!”. (*laughter*).

Alright let’s read 1 Thessalonians 4;

Now we do not want you my brothers to be in doubt about those who fall asleep in death or to grieve over them with no hope – after all we believe that Jesus died and rose again … all who are asleep in Him”.

“Here we have a definite message from the Lord. It is that those who are still living when He comes will not in any way precede those who have fallen asleep. One word of command – one shout from the archangel and one blast from the trumpet of God – so by all means use this message to encourage one another”. Now what it doesn’t say is that we shall be forever with Him in heaven. We have read that into it. If you are caught up to meet Someone in the air then you are going to meet them. They are coming and still coming. That is all I am going to say. Let’s deal with number 2.

b. The Day.
(1 Thessalonians 1:6-10). This is one of the most important Scriptures that dispensationalists do not major on;

“On the day He comes”. When is this going to happen? The whole dispensational position is that after Jesus raptures us up, then there are going to be 144, 000 Jewish flaming evangelists who will evangelise the people who are left but there is nobody left! (*laughter*). Now don’t fight me on this! Read the text! Who is left to be evangelised? The Jews aren’t even left! He is going to punish those that believe not the Gospel. That takes care of that and He’s going to do whatever He’s going to do – they having met Him in the air. Of course that brings us to the new heavens and the new earth – but He is going to do that as He is glorified in the believers. What’s left? There is no-one left to be evangelised. Okay. Alright let’s move to the final scenario. I’m going to be very bold on this one. But I want you to turn to 1st Corinthians 15:20-28. I want to say this to you – this section is the locus classicas of eschatology. That is – here is where it all winds up. So let’s read it;

“But the glorious fact is that Christ did rise from the dead. He has become the very first to rise of all those who sleep the sleep of death”. Or the King James Version says, “He is the first fruits”. “As death entered the world through a man so has rising from the dead come to us through a man. As members of a sinful race all men die as members of the Christ of God – all men shall be raised to life each in his proper order with Christ, the very first and after Him all who belong to Him when He comes. Then and not till then comes the end”.

Now I haven’t got time to support all this but I am going to say to you very quickly that the Second Coming and the end are co-terminus. That is the Second Coming is the end and the end is the Second Coming.

“Then comes the end when Christ having abolished all the other rulers, authorities and powers hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, Christ’s reign will and must continue until every enemy has been conquered. The last enemy of all to be destroyed is death itself”.

Now let me give you an eschatological agenda and you can fool with it as you like but let me give it to you as I have derived it from this text. Here’s the order.

1. Christ the first-fruits.
2. Christ’s heavenly reign.
What is Christ doing in heaven? He is reigning!
3. Christ putting all enemies under His feet.
4. Christ abolishing all over governments.
Remember the stone? The stone that smites the image? They are blown away as chaff. That is another way of saying that all other governments are destroyed.
5. The Parousia and Resurrection of they that are Christ’s.
6. The last enemy – death – is destroyed with the resurrection. Points 5 and 6 are co-terminus and coincidental.
7. (v24) Handing over the Kingdom to the Father.
8. The end comes.

Now what ensues? This brings us to point c.

c. The New Heavens and the New Earth.
I am going to truncate my material because my time is up. I want to give you a Scripture – 2 Peter 3:13. “But in keeping with the promise we are looking forward …”. What are we looking forward to? This isn’t me! This is God’s Word! Peter says we are looking forward to something. Someone says looking forward to the coming of the Lord – yes that is the crisis. What are we looking forward to as the subsequent ultimate? The new heavens and the new earth. Now I don’t want to be simplistic but how many of us are looking forward to the new earth? Our whole evangelical emphasis is getting saved to go to heaven. Peter says that we get saved to go where? The new heavens and the new earth. Now let me read it again; “In keeping with this promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and new earth – the home of the righteous”. I am quoting from the NIV – the home of the righteous. Where are you going brother? Where do you eventually hope to land? We are all too heaven-orientated.

Now I could take 4 days and talk to you about the place of the earth in God’s eschatological future but Peter does it for me in one verse. Now when you go researching it you will find quotes like this – from a classic that I read. It says that the dualism of heaven and earth is not retained after Revelation 21:21; “For the New Jerusalem has come down out of heaven so that now is the time of consummation. Behold the dwelling of God is with men”. Here it is now; “The heavenly order is now subsumed in a terrestrial kingdom where all things are new”. What is he saying? The heaven/earth dichotomy is now joined so that the veil between heaven and earth is removed. Where is heaven? You know that isn’t a valid question. You may say that heaven is up – but that is a metaphorical symbol to accommodate our thinking. Heaven is up. Well in Australia in those terms heaven is down. Now I am not trying to confuse you I am just saying that God accommodates revelation to our concepts of up and down so heaven is up and we think hell is down in the core of the earth. But probably the new insights in physics should help us – that heaven just may be “there”.

You say “there?”. Well where did Jesus go when He disappeared? He seemed to go in and out. My suggestion to you based on this is that in the final analysis the veil between heaven and earth will be taken away so that heaven and earth will join and there will be one vast mega-metropolis. I wish I hadn’t started this because I can’t tell you everything I want. Well if I have challenged you to think even if you don’t agree then that is worth something. But let me ask you to spend a little time researching the new heavens and the new earth. Will you do that? Adjust yourself on the whole heaven concept. Personally I have always had a problem with cold gold streets and bare feet wrapped in a white sheet taking harp lessons. (*laughter*). There has to be more to it than that. If God made the earth for man then when He made it, He couldn’t have made a better earth. Earth is our habitat. Earth is heaven’s order and God’s original intention that will be achieved ultimately is “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. In the final eschatological reality heaven and earth will be one and we will live in it with trees without bumps and lumps and bodies without hereditary diseases and animals that don’t bite.

Well I think I have done enough damage for one night. Go think about it.

~ End of Transcript ~

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