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Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wrath of God

The wrath of God will be poured out upon the world and mankind during the Great Tribulation.  It is a time referred to as the “Day of the Lord.”  This is God’s judgment upon those who rebel against Him and will not repent.  The Church is promised that they will not experience the wrath of God.

Key scripture reference:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).

"But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Romans 2:5).

"What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction" (Romans 9:22).

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6).

"And said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand" (Rev. 6:16-17)?

Promise to the Church

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1-2).

"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Romans 5:9).

And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come" (1 Thess. 1:10).

"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9).

Last edited by wayne on Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judgment of Believer's Works

The Bible is very clear that our salvation is based upon the completed work done on the Cross by Jesus Christ.  Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6b).  It is also clear that we must individually receive this salvation by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are saved by grace through Faith.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).

We then ask the question, what about works? When we look at the next verse, we see the answer. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). God has a job description for each of us and he has ordained that we should walk by faith in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Our natural gifts are enhanced and we are equipped with special gifts at the time we are saved and it is God's will that we use them and let Him magnify them. We are saved from hell by accepting Jesus as our Savior but our works determine our crowns and rewards in heaven. We are not sure what this means but they could determine our roles and privileges throughout eternity. We should be very concerned about our role in eternity!

The apostle Paul tells us in Second Corinthians chapter five that each of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ for judgment. This is not judgment applying to our salvation but judgment of our works. "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."  (2 Cor. 5:9-10).

Paul also writes about the judgment of our works in First Corinthians. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:11-15).  

This is not the great white throne judgment where God will judge those who have not been saved. Our works will be judged in heaven to determine the crowns and rewards that we will receive. Our positions of service during the reign of Christ on the throne of David will be based upon those rewards. Works declared to be wood, hay and straw will be burned up. Therefore, the only works we are credited with in eternity are those of gold, silver and precious stones. How can we determine which is which? It behooves us to know what God expects in our works.

Only those works done through love, faith and humility will survive, but those done to gratify our own egos will be burned up. Our rewards will not necessarily be based upon our visual services, but they will be based upon what God sees in our hearts, and what motivates us to service.  “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48b), and “many who are first will be last; and the last, first” (Matt. 19:30b).

Paul's Christian walk with the Lord should be an example to each of us. He became totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit to lead His life.  He told the Church at Galatia: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). Paul also admonished the new Christians to love each other. "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma" (Eph. 5:2). "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up" (I Cor. 13:4).  Paul is saying that God can have our pride under control.

For the believer, God considers pride to be the greatest of our sins.

Love seems to be the standard by which we show the world that we are children of God. However, it should not be self motivating but a reflection of the Holy Spirit living in us.  The apostle John wrote much about Christian love in his first epistles - the Godly love that Jesus demonstrated. "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him" (1 John 2:5). "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). "No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us" (1 John 4:12). "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:2-3).

We are also told, as Christians, we will reign with Him. "If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12). "And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). Now this is where our potential rewards and crowns become important.  What will our role be in the Kingdom of God? Will we have rewards and crowns from our works of gold, silver and precious metals or will our works be burned up as wood, hay and straw?  Let us reread what Paul said, "If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15). This tells us that Christians will be saved from hell fire but go to heaven with few or no rewards and crowns.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crowns For Believer's

Crowns are a symbol of authority: As such, they denote the authority that will be granted to Christians during the millennial period when we reign with Christ for a thousand years. …  Christians are now earning their position of service for Christ during the millennium.  Our most enjoyable and profitable activities on this earth involve service for Jesus Christ.  In like manner our most exciting experiences in the millennial kingdom will include administration of his program. (Tim LaHaye)”

1.  Incorruptible Crown -The Victor’s Crown – “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown" (1 Cor. 9:25).  “This crown often called the ‘victor’s crown,’ it is conferred upon those who ‘keep under control their body and bring it into subjection.’’  “It is for those who have purged themselves from the inducements and pleasure of the world in order to be of profitable service for the Lord Jesus Christ”  This is for everyone who completes the race for Christ.

2.  Crown of Life – Martyr’s Crown – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.  Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev 2:10).  This crown is for those who suffer many injustices in life for Jesus.

3.  Crown of Glory – Elder’s Crown – “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away" (1 Pet 5:2-4). This crown is reserved for those who shepherd the flock.

4.  Crown of Righteousness – For those who love His Appearing – “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing". (2 Tim 4:8). “Reserved for those who, inspired by the imminent return of Christ have lived a very righteous and holy life.   God simply lays down the major requirement: that a Christian be clean”

5.  Crown of Rejoicing – Soul Winner’s Crown – “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy" (1 Thess. 2:19-20). “This special crown is reserved for those who have devoted their primary attention to the salvation of lost souls.”

Note: Some believe Crowns can Be lost but others do not. - “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown" (Rev. 3:11).  “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward" (2 John 8).  “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev 2:10).

Note:  The above material was taken from Life in The Afterlife, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, By Tim LaHaye.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Marriage of the Lamb

In the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, we read these words. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, 'Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God'” (Rev. 19:7-9).  We must ask the question – who is the bride?

The apostle Paul makes it clear that the bride is the Church. “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2).

“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Rom. 7:4).

Paul also writes: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:16-17). He said to Timothy: “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12a).

In the Old Testament, Israel is portrayed as the apostate wife of Jehovah who is yet to be restored. The entire book of Hosea paints a beautiful picture as Hosea draws a parallel between his relationship with his wife, Gomer, and God’s relationship with Israel. Christ is never portrayed as the wife of Israel. However, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom.

In the Gospel of John, we read these words as spoken by John the Baptist. “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled” (John 3:29). John the Baptist did not claim to be the bride, but the friend of the bridegroom.  He was the groomsman and friend who presented the bridegroom to the bride. He was never part of the Church, but he was an Israelite. He came to present the Son of God as the Messiah.

Both, the Old Testament marriage of Israel to God, the Father, and the New Testament marriage of the Church to Christ, the Son, are depicted in the ancient Jewish Wedding. There were two parts to the wedding – the kiddushin (the betrothal stage) and the huppah (the consummation stage). These two stages were separated by a period of time during which the two parties were considered legally married. We will recall that this was the situation with Mary and Joseph when Mary conceived the baby, Jesus.

The book of Exodus provides the details of God the Father’s marriage to Israel.  There were several steps in the Jewish wedding process. It began with God calling Israel out of Egypt, the offering of the law, which they accepted, and concluded with the consummation stage when they were covered with the huppah, symbolized by the covering of the cloud.

As we looked at the marriage of Christ to the Church, we start with the steps of the betrothal, which began when Jesus was on earth. The first step is the selection of the bride.  We are chosen. Paul says we were chosen before the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4). Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16b).  

In the second stage of the marriage process, the father paid the purchase price. God sent his Son to die for us, and Christ purchased us with His blood, which was shed for our redemption. This is followed by a marriage contract that is offered to the bride. The contract offered by Christ is the New Testament. The potential bride can agree to the contract or reject it. The Apostle John says it this way. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Our repentance and confession brings us into a covenant relationship with Christ.

The next step is very interesting. Both the groom and the bride sealed the engagement by drinking from the same silver cup. During the Last Supper, in the Upper Room, Jesus passed the cup to His disciples and told them to drink. Paul later instructed the Church.  “In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes”  (1 Cor. 11:25-26).  It was the custom for the bride and groom not to drink together again until the marriage ceremony.  In the Upper Room, Jesus added these words: “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).  Jesus will not drink of the cup again until the marriage feast in Heaven.

The giving of several gifts to the bride, probably including an engagement ring, sealed the contract. Christ also gave the Church gifts to seal the covenant. Paul writes, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit also brought us spiritual gifts, which we are to be use in His service.

The groom would then leave to go to his father’s house, and to prepare a place for the bride. Jesus said to the disciples. “In My Father’s house are many mansions;  if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). The groom did not return for his bride until his father gave him permission. Likewise, Jesus said that He did not know the date, and time of His return, but that we should wait, and expect Him at any time.
The last step of the betrothal was the washing, consecration, and veiling of the bride.  When we become the bride of Christ, we are also washed and sanctified.  Paul writes: "But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11b).  We are told in Scripture that we have been cleansed by the blood, and the word that we might be presented to Christ as a pure virgin.

The last steps of the Jewish wedding began with the hoopah or consummation stage. As the bride waits, the groom suddenly and unexpectedly comes late at night.   The bride is taken to meet him. This stage in the marriage process is portrayed with the rapture of the church. At this time, we will meet Jesus in the air with our new bodies.  With great celebration, we will be ushered into the bridal chamber of heaven where our marriage to Christ will be finalized. Christ will place us under the covering of the hoopah, and protect us from events that will be taking place on earth.

In the book of Isaiah, we read these words of comfort. “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain” (Isa. 26:20-21).  Many interpret this word “indignation” as the time of the great tribulation.

The bride and groom stayed under the hoopah for seven days where the ceremony and actual wedding consummation took place.  Many believe that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the period under the hoopah, will last for seven years while the earth is going through the tribulation. Unlike today, the wedding feast did not take place until after the seven-day consummation period.  This entire process leads to the words written in Revelation: “Then he said to me, 'Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God'” (Rev. 19:9).

For a short period of time after the wedding, the bride and groom did not enter into public places without an escort.  We will now look at the cortege as the armies of heaven escort Christ, and His bride back to earth.

John saw heaven open, and someone riding upon a white horse, who was just in judgment and just in war. "His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS"' (Rev. 19:12-16).

Last edited by wayne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Millennium Kingdom


Much has been discussed and debated over a time period called The thousand year reign of Christ. Both the Old and New Testament teaches that Christ will reign during this time period. The time period is actually the time between when Jesus returns to restore the earthly kingdom and the time evil is completely wiped out. It continues until the bodily resurrection of the unsaved and the completion of the judgment at the “Great White Throne”. This time period will last for a thousand years.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”  (Rev. 20:4).

This verse makes it very clear that Christ will reign for one thousand years. The idea that Christ will reign on earth as the Jewish Messiah is taught throughout Old Testament prophecy. This promise was the hope of the nation, Israel.  The angel Gabriel had these words of promise to Mary about her promised new son.

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end”  (Luke 1:32-33).

One of the last statements Jesus made to the disciples was about the coming kingdom. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority’” (Acts 1:6-7).

Revelation chapter nineteen makes it clear that Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.” He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:13-16).

Upon his return to earth He will judge among the Jews and the Gentiles and determine those who will go into His kingdom.  Only the saved will go into the kingdom.

Who will reign with Christ?

In the last days before Jesus went to the cross, some of His disciples were requesting to set on the right and left hand during His reign.  The Old Testament tells us that King David will sit on his right hand as a prince. "I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them; My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:23).

The disciples were promised a role in the reign of the Messiah. “So Jesus said to them, Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).

Revelation 20:4 says the saints who were beheaded (or martyred) will reign with Christ. These would include the tribulation saints who died.

Scripture tell us that the church, as His bride and joint heirs, will reign with Him. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17)  “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12).

It also appears that the Old Testament saints will have a leadership role in the kingdom on earth.

There will be many jobs with different levels of authority in the Millennium kingdom. Our level of authority will be based upon our works while we are in our non-glorified physical bodies.  

“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

We are to be given rewards and crowns based upon our faithfulness as we serve Him. Our leadership role in His kingdom will be based upon the rewards we receive.

We are told that we will have leadership roles with the angels. “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life” (1 Cor 6:3).

The angels will also have roles within the kingdom and with glorified bodies we will be able to see and communicate with them.

At this point we should realize that the leadership of the kingdom would be those with glorified bodies. Those will glorified bodies will have great privileges. We will discuss this more as we talk about life in the Millennium.

Subjects of the Kingdom

A fact that we may not have considered is that many will go into the kingdom with natural non-glorified bodies. They will have a sin nature and be restricted by their bodies much as we are restricted today. These bodies will be what the Bible calls “corruptible” bodies (1 Cor. 15:53).

There are two groups who will go into the kingdom with corruptible bodies.

The first group consists of the Jews who are still alive at the end of the tribulation period and have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant” (Ezek. 20:37).

The second group consists of the converted Gentiles who are still alive at the end of the tribulation period. “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).
Although the Jews have been promised special blessings pertaining to the land, the Gentiles will also share in the blessings of the kingdom. The glory of the kingdom both for Israel and for the Gentiles will far exceed anything that the world has experienced before.

There will be people with natural bodies and a sin nature who will live out life much as we do today. These people will be those who have not died before the end of the tribulation period. People will till the land, go into the market place and perform all the other occupations that make up the kingdom. There will be births and deaths during this period. People going into the kingdom under the age of accountability and those born during the Millennium must be tested and some will reject Christ as their Savior and Messiah. Jesus will deal with them with justice.

Isaiah tells us about little children playing and others dying. “The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den” (Isa. 11:8). "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed" (Isa. 65:20).  

Perhaps people will live many hundreds of years as they did before the flood. In fact, some believe that only sinners will die during the Millennium.

Isaiah also tells us about life in those days. “They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isa. 65:21-24).  

We can see that the kingdom will be very stable and peaceful, the people will live to be old like a tree and God will bless them in a mighty way.

The kingdom will be a worldwide kingdom with all of the nations coming under the reign of Christ. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).

Justice and Peace.

The New Kingdom will be one of harmony, peaceful coexistence, and very little evil activity. Some of us remember when we did not lock doors and were not afraid to hitchhike. This was true because punishment for crime was more severe and people feared the consequences of criminal activities. During the Millennium, evil activities will be dealt with swiftly and with justice. Jesus will rule with an Iron rod.

During these days people with corruptible bodies will have a sin nature, however Satan and his demons will not influence them during most of the thousand-year reign because they will be bound in the bottomless pit. If people sin and rebel against the Messiah, they only have themselves to blame and they must pay the price. Jesus will use the death penalty many times. The sin nature is taken away with physical death and those with glorified bodies will not commit sin.

The kingdom will be an absolute monarchy. We could say that Jesus will be a benevolent dictator. “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).

The psalmist has these words about Jesus. “Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel” (Ps. 2:8-9).

Isaiah also has these words.  “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.  Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist” (Isa. 11:2-5). Jesus will use the death penalty as a means of punishment.

The law of the land will be the Sermon on the Mount. This will be the standard by which Christ will rule his kingdom.

The Sermon also states that evil thoughts will be dealt with harshly. There will be zero tolerance from the King of kings.

This dispensation will be a time of final testing and the overthrow of all evil and rebellion. God will remove all who will not conform to His kingdom of justice and righteousness.  The final testing will come at the end of the thousand-year reign when Satan will be let loose for a short time to deceive the people (Rev 20:3, 7-10). Many will choose to follow Satan and will be killed and be cast into hell. All those who remain faithful will go into eternity with God.

The Environment

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and He said it was very good (Gen. 1:1, 1:10). God created a beautiful garden called Eden and He placed man and the animals there. In the garden there was absolute harmony between the man and land and between man and the animals. There was utopia on earth with perfect peace and perfect communication with God. Since God’s ultimate goal was to have fellowship with man, He was very pleased. Soon under the temptation of Satan, man sinned against God and the destruction of the earth began. Death came upon the scene and the beautiful harmony was disrupted.

Animals turned on animals and because Satan controlled the earth it began to be destructed. The apostle Paul tells us about this destruction. “For the creation was subjected to futility” ( Rom. 8:20). “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Rom. 8:22).  

Today we have smog, evaporation of the ozone layer, scarcity of resources, hunger in the world and major pollution of the earth, rivers and the ocean. Tyrannical dictators around the world are raping the land and placing people in bondage. Experts tell us that the civilization, as we know it, will soon disappear if changes are not made to the environment.

Revelation tells us about the great tribulation which will come and make things worst. During this period God will pour out His wrath upon earth which will bring about major changes and civilization, as known today, will indeed disappear. The entire earth will be destroyed if Christ does not return as King of kings and Lord of lords.  

God will use the tribulation to prepare the earth for the millennium age. The earth will be in great upheaval, seas and inlands will disappear and new islands will appear because of the massive forces of major earthquakes.  Volcanic activity will turn the earth inside out and spread rich volcanic ash around the world. Since demolition must take place before renovation can take place, God will use the tribulation to bring about demolition.

Isaiah put it this way: “Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth”  (Isa. 40:4).

Christ will begin renovation of the earth very soon after He sets up His kingdom on earth. Much of the renovation will be miraculous but the subjects of the new kingdom will also play a part in the reconstruction. Those with glorified bodies and with the mind of Christ will manage this effort.  The earth will be returned to Edenic perfection.  We cannot imagine what it will be like to live in a land of utopia.

Paul reminds us: “But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).

Throughout the Bible God has left us with little tidbits of information about the Millennium kingdom. Ezekiel said: “Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them” (Ezek. 34:27). "And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations”  (Ezek. 36:30).

Isaiah tells us about the harmony on the restored earth. "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” ( Isa. 55:12).

With pure water, fertile soil, and a pollution free atmosphere, the earth will bloom and bring forth food for all the people for one thousand years. New technology will make transportation and industrialization pollution free. Since technology will be greatly advanced, we will live in a much more efficient world.

There are some who believe that the 22-degree tilt and wobble of the earth will be corrected. Some meteorologists say these irregularities contribute to the climate extremes: hurricanes, floods, blizzards, droughts, etc. We know that tilt of the earth creates the seasons of the year.

During the last dispensation mankind will be tested in an almost perfect world. It cannot be perfect because some people with natural bodies will continue to rebel and sin.  There will be no more excuses about a person’s environment contributing to their behavior.

The Animal Kingdom

A most interesting aspect of this dispensation will be our relationship to the animal kingdom. Hosea tells us that God will enter into a covenant with the animals. “In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18).

Isaiah provides some very interesting details.  “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the LORD” (Isa. 65:25).

Before sin entered the world the animals lived in harmony with each other – there was no death. Both animals and man ate of the fruit of the land (fruits and vegetables).  After the fall of man, many of the animals turned carnivorous. Also, after the flood, man was allowed to eat the flesh of animals. It appears that during the Millennium both man and beast will be vegetarians.

Isaiah also tells us about the relationship that man and the animals will have. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea”  (Isa. 11:6-9). What a beautiful harmony will exist between man and the animals and they will truly enjoy their relationship.

We have to speculate about the insect world but God will probably deal with the insects so that they will not harass us or destroy the crops and vegetation.

World Capital

Christ will set up his capital at Jerusalem. This has been a major prophecy of the Old Testament. “Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously” (Isa. 24:23). "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts” (Jer. 3:17).

Christ will begin His reign by returning to the Mount of Olives in the same way He ascended into heaven – in a cloud (Acts 1:11).  Zechariah gives us these details. “Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south” (Zeck. 14:3-4).  “And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.  And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be; "The LORD is one," And His name one” (Zeck. 14:8-9).

During the final days of the tribulation period, major changes will occur in Jerusalem. The earthquake will split the city thus the land will rise to a higher level. Waters from the Mediterranean Sea will flow into the Jordan valley flooding the Dead Sea and life will return to the Dead Sea. When Christ sets up His Theocratic Kingdom, major renovations will take place in the world capital of Jerusalem. In fact, the whole land of Palestine will undergo major changes. Air traffic to this area will be the busiest in the world.

Many will go there for the worship of the Lord. "Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says the LORD, "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD” (Isa. 66:20). “And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem”  (Isa. 4:3).

People will be required to go up to Jerusalem each year. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (Zech. 14:15-17).

Jerusalem will also become a major education center. “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3). “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children” (Isa. 54:13).

The glory of the Lord will flow out of Jerusalem and fill the whole earth. “And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen" (Ps.72:19).

A two-tiered Millennium Society

It is difficult to conceive of an almost perfect world consisting of some people with glorified bodies and some people without glorified bodies. The apostle Paul tells us that when we are translated in the rapture that we will receive new power with a body like Christ. “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1 Cor. 15:43). We will be blessed with new pleasant energies and can enjoy the full-spectrum of live. Our five senses will be intensified and we will be given flawless memories. We will be given wisdom and understanding capable of grappling with the problems that now baffle the world’s greatest minds. We will have the minds of Christ. Our bodies will become very mobile and we will see and be able to communicate with the spirit world.

When we look at the resurrected Christ, we can get some insight into the type of bodies that we will have. He ate food, had the ability to move freely from place to place and could walk through walls. We will be able to do all these things. During the Millennium, we will be very content and efficient with our new bodies. This is why God can use us in the management of the kingdom.

During those years, perhaps some of our jobs will be consulting, advising and teaching. Christian education will enhance the learning process thus increasing wisdom and knowledge to a level beyond our imagination. We will lead worship services as we worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. The angels will also be assisting in this role.

It has been said that sin is to the mind as sand is to the gears of a machine. Today, we use only about seven percent of our brains so there is a much room for mental growth. Those living in earthly bodies will grow mentally to highs never dreamed of. Millennium advances in technologies will be incredible. With atomic and magnetic power, machines will have silent and efficient propulsion. Controlled and safe atomic energy will revolutionize transportation, industry and commerce.

Millions of people with non-glorified bodies will not have the physical or mental capacities of the glorified saints. However, they will be far superior to any previous generation.

They will live long lives and retain their youth for many years.  When they are one hundred years old, they will still be considered as children (Isa 65:20). Their childbearing years will be extended; thus there will be large families.  Sickness may be wiped out, as people will live healthy practically sin free lives. A pollution free environment will bring healing to the bodies. The land will become so fertile that there will be an abundance of food.

We have never lived in an atmosphere free from human and demonic pollution. We will all enjoy the beautiful scenery with clear streams of water, rainbows, waterfalls, singing hills, exploding greenery and beautiful flowers with a new sweet fragrance. We may not realize it but sin has a very bad odor. Our new Edenic environment will not only be clean but will also smell clean. There will be no choking weeds, no devouring insects and no floods and droughts which bring about death and destruction.

The Psalmist says that we will all rejoice in the lord. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD” (Ps. 96:11-12).

Ultimate happiness will be experienced and the Lord will give the glorified saints the joy and peace of the Lord – His joy and peace which is beyond our comprehension. We will have peace that passes understanding. Since we have never known what it is like to live in a harmonious tension-free world, this will be a welcome change and it will be pure ecstasy.

Probably the many changes to the climate will eliminate the harsh winters and summers thus giving us spring like conditions the year-round. Similar conditions presently exist in the tropical islands where many of us like to vacation. The warm weather would allow year-round lush growing seasons, therefore; providing bountiful harvests for the feeding of the people.

Final Testing

The entire Millennium is a period of testing to determine who can live in God’s eternity. Christ will know their hearts and will judge with justice and righteousness. At the close of the Millennium, Satan will be released and there will be a final testing in which he will tempt the people one last time.  We must remember that the glorified saints are not being tested. “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city”  (Rev. 20:7-9).

It appears that millions will choose to follow Satan again and will rebel against the Messiah. War will break out and there will again be major destruction on the earth.

However, it will be short lived as the King of kings will conquer the enemy and bring an end to all sin. “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:9-10).

God’s final judgment will come at the Great White Throne. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15).

The saints, who come out of the Millennium with natural physical bodies, will be translated into glorified bodies and will enter a sin free eternity. If there are saints who died during the Millennium, their bodily resurrection will probably take place at this time.

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away"  (Rev. 21:4).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The New Heaven and New Earth

Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two of Revelation provides us a preview of what the new heaven and the new earth will be like in eternity.   In verses one through eight, we have a review of eternal issues – a summary view of things.  The New Jerusalem is described in verses nine through twenty-seven, and the first six verses of chapter twenty-two.  The remaining verses of chapter twenty-two provide a Divine epilogue of practical messages from the glorified Lord.

The twenty-first chapter begins with a statement about a new heaven and a new earth.  “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea” (Rev. 21:1).  The concept of a new earth is foreign to most of us for we have always assumed that when we die we would go to heaven.  We sing about its beauty and of our going there.  But what do we know about the earth?   We know it is going to be burned up, and we assume there will be no need for the earth.  However, Jesus said that both heaven and earth will pass away (Matt. 24:35).  The new heaven and new earth will move close to each other, and the New Jerusalem will be the center of the universe.  All creation will revolve around the New Jerusalem.

Both Isaiah and Peter write of new heavens and a new earth.  However, they place the new creation in the context of the Millennium or “The Day of God”.  "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isa. 65:17).

Chapters sixty-five and sixty-six of Isaiah provide us some of the details of the Millennium. We should also note that Isaiah and Peter use the plural, heavens, indicating that they are talking about the physical universal - not the City of God.

From the writings of Isaiah and Peter, it is easy to assume that the new heavens and new earth will be created before or during the Millennium. Since the new heaven, new heavens and new earth are sin free, this can only be true if the Millennium precedes the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth.  It is difficult to determine the sequence of events and programs from the written prophecy.  All prophecy must be looked at as a whole and in view of God’s grand plan for the ages.  However, there will be much renovation taking place preceding and during the Millennium.

Isaiah tells us that our memories will fade, and we will not remember many things of the past. How much we will remember is not known, but the Bible is clear that we will know each other in our new glorified bodies.  We may not remember many sad things like our sorrows, and tribulations and those who have perished.

The apostle Peter said this when discussing the events to come.  “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:7-8).

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13).

It seems that Peter is giving us a summary of events beginning with the return of the Lord to earth.  We must keep in mind that the Bible speaks of three heavens.  At the end of the Tribulation period, both the earth and the first heaven, the atmosphere, will be burning.  This probably refers to the destruction during the final days of the Tribulation.

There is another issue.  In eternity, since the light of the Lord will be our light (Rev 21:23), there will be no sun or moon.  This means that the sun and the moon will be destroyed and raises questions about the rest of the stellar heaven – the second heaven.  What is going to happen to the stars and planets? In some form they are to be recreated.

Although there has been much discussion about the New Heaven and New Earth, we must remember that John saw the vision after the Millennium was completed.  Also, there was some rebellion and evil on the earth during the Millennium, but chapter twenty-one and chapter twenty-two of Revelation clearly states that there is no evil in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Some scholars suggest that there are two views of the New Heaven and the New Earth – taking place at two different times.  However, this is not unusual in the prophetic word as there are many prophetic shadows. After all evil is removed from His presence, God will complete His final creation.

“Then I, John,  saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'  And He said to me, 'It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things,  and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving,  abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death'”  (Rev. 21:2-8).

John saw the New Jerusalem, which is the crowning glory of God’s creation, descending out of heaven.  The New Jerusalem will be the New Heaven, and God will dwell in it and have fellowship with His people.  The New Jerusalem is moving to a new place, probably to the New Earth.  The Bible does not tell us that the New Jerusalem is created at this time.  We do not know when it was created, but it is being moved to a new location.  It is going to be the capital of the eternal kingdom, and Christ and His saints will rule over His kingdom from the New Jerusalem.

Based upon the fact that the above, verse two, follows the statement about the earth, John is seeing the city move to the earth.  Most prophetic scholars believe that there will be a New Earth, possibly larger than the present earth, with the New Jerusalem attached to it or just above it.  We must remember that God has promised the Jews an eternal home on the earth.  It appears that those coming out of the Millennium will receive new glorified bodies, and will live upon the New Earth.   Seas, which have separated the Nations for a long time, will no longer exist.  The people will also have a pure language.

Description of the New Jerusalem

John described the New Jerusalem as a foursquare city that is 1500 miles (12000 furlongs) wide, 1500 miles long and 1500 miles tall. Its shape could be that of a cube or a pyramid.   Some think the view may be better from a pyramid, which would look like a huge mountain.  However, the view will be great from any point in the city.   The glory of God will provide the light of the city, and it will shine as a precious jasper stone – clear as crystal.  The walls of the city will be over two hundred feet thick and made of jasper.  The wall will be symbolic of the exclusiveness of the city – the gates will never close.

We will get a better understanding of the size of the city when we compare it to a landmass with which we are familiar.  The city would encompass an area from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Eastern Seaboard.   There will be enough room for everyone to have a great mansion.

The wall sits upon twelve foundations made of twelve precious stones (see separate description).  Some have speculated how these stones will be laid.  They may be side by side with each being about 500 miles long or they may be laid on top of each other.  Some have suggested that they will become columns supporting the New Jerusalem above the earth.   On each foundation is written the name of one of the twelve apostles.

The twelve apostles were promised by Jesus that they would sit on twelve thrones, and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:27-28).   Now we see that their names are written on the twelve foundations of the city.  This is symbolic of their role of bringing the gospel to the world.  Paul tells us:: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2:20).   The question remains, who will be the twelfth apostle – will it be Matthias (Acts 1:26) or Paul?

The city has twelve gates, three on each side, and each gate is made of a single pearl.  Standing beside each gate are twelve angels, and on each gate is the name of one of the tribes of Israel.   It was through Israel that God revealed Himself by the law and the prophets, and from Israel that God sent His Son to pay the price of sin.

The city is pure gold and appears as pure glass.  At the apex of the city is the throne of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.  There is no temple in the city since the Lord is the temple.  There is no longer a need for a temple as the people have free access and fellowship with the Lord.  The people worship God at His throne.  From the throne, the glory of God shines with more brilliance than the sun.

A great street will run down from the throne of God and the river of life, which is as clear as a crystal, will flow through the middle of the street.  No one will ever thirst again. The trees of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, are on each side of the river.  The trees will yield fruit each month leading many to speculate that there will be a different type of fruit each month.  In the Garden of Eden, man was not allowed to eat of the tree of life, but now he can eat freely thereof.  The leaves of the trees are used for the healing of the nations on earth, a symbol of peace and goodwill to all.

In the New Jerusalem, there will be many mansions.  We are not told this in Revelation, but Jesus said that in His Father’s house there are many mansions and that He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14:2).  Based upon the size of the city, it seems that these mansions are going to be very impressive.

There will no longer be a curse on God’s creation.  No longer will there be death, mourning, crying or pain.  

Darkness will pass away and there will always be light and the people will serve the Lord and Lamb.  God will write His name on their foreheads.

The Epilogue

In the last few verses of the Bible, we are told that these words are faithful and true and that these things must shortly take place.  Jesus says that He will come quickly and blessed are those who keep the words of the prophecy of this book.  Jesus said that He would bring His reward with Him.  We will be receiving crowns and rewards based upon our works.  Jesus said that He is the Alpha and the Omega and those who do His commandments may have the right to the tree of life and may freely enter into the city.
John is told to not seal the words of prophecy, which he has received.  We will remember that Daniel was told to seal his words of prophecy.  The word of prophecy is now complete and John is not to seal it.  It can now be understood.  A final warning is given to us not to add to or take away from prophecy or our names will be taken out of the book of life, and we will be eternally separated from God.  He will not allow mankind to modify His plan for the ages and we cannot devise a plan to save ourselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Profile of the New Jerusalem

•  Crowning feature of the creation of God.

•  Earth and New Jerusalem move close to each other – Center of creation.

•  Foursquare City – Each side 12,000 furlongs (1,500 miles) in length.  As high as it is wide.

•  Approximately size consists of the space between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mississippi River and the Eastern Seaboard.

•  Shape of a cube or pyramid (the mountain of God).

•  Shines with the glory of God, brilliance like Jasper, clear as crystal.

•  Twelve foundations garnished with precious stones.
      a. To reflect the glory of God.
      b. On them were the names of the twelve apostles – Church built on the foundation of the apostles (Eph 2:20).  

•  High wall with twelve gates of a single pearl – three gates on each side.
     a. On the gates were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel – From Israel came the law, prophets and the Messiah.
     b. Twelve angels were at each gate.

•  Each wall was 144 cubits (216 feet) wide and was made of Jasper. Each wall suggest an exclusive city.

•  The city was pure gold, as pure as glass.

•  No temple in the city – The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple.  God will be with and have fellowship with His people.

•  No sun or moon – all light will come from the glory of God and shine with more brilliance than the sun.
•  There will be no night or darkness.

•  The throne will be at the apex of the city.

•  A great street will run from the throne.

•  Down the middle of the street a river of water of life, as clear as crystal will flow from the throne.
•  On each side of the river is the tree of life bearing twelve crops of fruit and yielding its fruit every month.

•The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations (Everlasting peace and goodwill to men).  

•  Many mansions (John 14:2).

•  There will no longer be any curse.

•  There will no longer be death, mourning, crying or pain.

•  The people will serve the Lord and Lamb and his name will be on their foreheads.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Precious Stones of the New Jerusalem Foundations

•   Jasper – A clear gem that could be a massive diamond.  

•   Sapphire – A clear blue gem similar to a diamond in hardness.

•   Chalcedony – A greenish agate with possible a few stripes of other colors mixed in.

•   Emerald – A bright green stone.

•   Sardonyx – A reddish white onyx similar to the color of healthy fingernails.

•   Carnelian – a fiery red and blood-colored stone from Sardis.

•   Chrysolite – A transparent golden-yellow stone.

•   Beryl – A sea green emerald lighter in color that the third foundation.

•   Topaz – A transparent greenish-yellow stone.

•   Chrysoprase – A yellowish pale green stone similar to the modern aquamarine color.

•   Jacinth – A violet hyacinth-colored gem.

•   Amethyst – A purple –colored stone.

Note:  These stones are the same as used in the High Priest’s breastplate.

Comments:  The number twelve is used in the Bible for administrative completeness.  It is used throughout the description of the New Jerusalem.

The city has twelve foundations made of the precious stones listed above.  Many believe that each foundation being 500 miles long was laid flat, next to each other under the 6,000-mile wall of the city.  Some speculate that the stones were built on top of each other, each layer extending 6,000 miles around the city.  Others even think that the foundations form columns holding the New Jerusalem above the earth.

The light of the Lord would shine through these stones presenting a gorgeous dazzling display of light and color - beautify unsurpassed.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God’s Plan for Our Activities
During the Eternal Order

What will we be doing throughout eternity.  Here are some of the answers from the Bible.

•  A life of fellowship with Him (1 Cor. 13:12, 1 John 3:2, John 14:3, Rev 22:4).

•  A life of rest (Rev 14:13).

•  A life of full knowledge (1 Cor. 13:12).

•  A life of holiness (Rev. 21:27).

•  A life of joy (Rev. 21:4).

•  A life of service (Rev. 22:3).

•  A life of abundance (Rev. 21:6).

•  A life of glory (Col. 3:4).

•  A life of worship (Rev. 19:11, Rev. 7:9-12).

•  A life reigning with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12).

I believe that each of us has a job description in heaven and God will use us in activities that we enjoy most.  He will enhance our gifts and skills in heaven.  We will not be sitting on a cloud playing a harp for all eternity.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except as noted, all Scripture is quoted from the "New King James Version".
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