This is all very interesting. But no one has ever answered this question reasonably ; Where is heaven? I don't recall the Scriptures ever addressing this point and I think it's important to know where the future will be... don't you?
The kingdom… is in your midst. It is INSIDE you. How do we know? We know because “heaven” is where God and Christ are… and God and Christ… should be… in US. For until such occupation includes all of those who are called “to be God’s sons”… we are the “temple” of that One. For Christ is building us up into a “house” for God to OCCUPY… by spirit. That is how we live… how ones were able to perform miracles, etc. It was due to the spirit of God that was IN them.
Romans 8:9, 10
1 Corinthians 3:16
Aguest: You raise some interesting points. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.You are quite welcome.
One point, though. John received his revelation when in exile on Patmos when he was a very old man....well after the death of Paul. So, John could not have been the "man" that Paul referred to...unless John had an earlier revelation from God and shared it with Paul.
John shared with Paul that he’d HAD a revelation, but not what that revelation contained. Remember, Paul said he saw things too wonderful to utter? But sharing that he’d had it was required – prophesy is for the building up of the congregation. It is one of the main gifts of the holy spirit that we are to seek, along with love. And this is what we are to do, share our gifts (of the spirit) with all – give free what we receive free, whether it be the spirit itself… the gifts of the spirit… or the fruits of such spirit. When he became old, what occurred is as our Lord stated with regard to the holy spirit: “it will recall to you the things that I have told you.” Thus, John wrote down the things he SAW (when he was first taken in the spirit as Paul mentioned), the things he was SEEING, and the things he WOULD SEE.
(Please forgive me, but I am at work, so I can’t look up the verses to be accurate just now… but you most probably remember these things…)
The fact is that some Bible scholars think that Paul was using a literary form to describe his own experience.
Yes, but he wasn’t. If you read the account, Paul was talking about what he hoped would some day happen for him. In fact, he said he EXPECTED it to!
Another question I have is the period of the 1000 year reign. The Bible seems silent on any specifics.
Here is one (1) specific: it is the reign of Christ’s brothers that is limited to this time period – 1,000 years. It is a result of the promise he name to his disciples, that they would rule WITH him. THEIR (our) rule, however, has a timeframe of that 1,000 years. Our LORD’s rule, however, has no such limit. It is “indefinitely lasting” and he will rule “forever and ever”. I am sure you remember that, too!
It implys that there are "nations" existing when Satan is let loose. (Rev. 20)
There are: Gog.
Do these people live and die as experienced now?
No, during this time, death (to the flesh) is slowed ("though 100 years, his flesh will be as a mere boy's"). Why? Well, no influence by Satan to rush folks toward death, for one. Two, the “separation” of the sheep from the goats takes this 1,000 year period. Right before this time, New Jerusalem… the “bride”… has “come down out of heaven” to the earth. In HER… live those who have already been given “white robes” or spirit bodies. These, can go in and out of that City (which is why angels are posted at the gates – just like Eden). However, those OUTSIDE will not live FOREVER, for they are OUTSIDE the City wherein lies the Tree of Life from which they must EAT to live forever. They are “cut off”. Although the death process is slowed… their SPIRIT is being weakened by not being allowed the eat the “food of powerful ones”, the “manna” from heaven… the TRUE food… the “leaves” of the “Tree”… the flesh of my Lord.
Are these nations comprised of survivors of Armageddon and their progeny?
No, Armageddon has not occurred yet. These… are the ones misled by Satan and “gathered to the War” as Revelation 20:8 says. Armageddon is the War of the God; these (along with Magog, the spirits reserved for destruction) gather outside the Holy City, and are misled by Satan into thinking they can lay siege to it and capture it. Why? So that they gain entrance… and get to the Tree of Life! Why? Because if they eat from it, they WILL live… forever! Not as flesh… but as immortals… spirits.
The difficulty of interpreting Revelation is that it is not necessarily written in a "one deminsional" chronological order...as you aptly pointed out. This makes it difficult to be dogmatic on the events that are described.There is no dogmatism where there is truth, though, is there?
It is hard to reconcile that the "camp of God's people, the city he loves" is the same as the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven.
It isn’t. The “camp” consists of those people just outside, ON THEIR WAY IN. They live under the protection of the City, and are simply awaiting white robes, spirit bodies, by which they can enter. They are… sheep.
On the one hand, the "camp, city" results in the destruction and annihilation of Satan and his hordes.
This is incorrect. Gog (the goats who have been cut off)… and Magog (the spirit beings who have been cut off)… attempt to come against the camp… or sheep… and against the Holy City. It is then that fire comes down FROM HEAVEN – from God Himself – and annihilates them. THIS… is the War of the Great Day of God Almighty. THIS… is the battle at Har-Mageddon… which is fought by God… Himself… as He brings “tribulation” against those “causing” tribulation for the sheep (who are about the enter the City), and those IN the City. And this… is AFTER the 1,000 years have ended.
But descent of New Jerusalem ushers in peace, harmony and life.
Yes, for those who live IN the City. For as my Father has said, “There will be no harm done, IN ALL MY HOLY MOUNTAIN (Zion, the mound on which sits ‘New’ Jerusalem).” It does NOT say that about OUTSIDE the City. Rather, OUTSIDE the City… are the dogs. Yes?
There still remains too many questions to be dogmatic.
Again, the truth is not dogmatic. Unfortunately, it is the misleadings and misteachings of those who call THEMSELVES and their “earthly organization” the “truth”… who are dogmatic. Rather than lead the sheep TO THE TRUTH, the One who said of himself, “I am the Way, the Life and THE TRUTH”… and that NO ONE comes to the Father except THROUGH HIM… the “narrow gate”… the “Door” through WHOM we must enter in order to gain access… these “seat” THEMSELVES in the “seat of Moses” and constitute THEMSELVES as our Mediator, when in fact they are false christs and false prophets whose sole existence is by authority of the Wicked One. Why? “To mislead, if possible, EVEN the chosen ones.”
Aguest seems to think that the "camp of God" and New Jerusalem are the one and same.
No, but Aguest does know that they are under the same protection of God. They occupy the same "realm", just as Eden was once on earth.
But the events described in the vision/s seem quite different. It still raises the question as to who comprise the "nations" that are deceived by Gog of Magog at the end of the 1000 year reign.
Gog, are those of the “nations” who were cut off from entering the city and inheriting the kingdom during the time the sheep were separated from the goats. They are the “goats.” Magog, are the wicked spirits “reserved for judgment.” Both of these groups are cut off from eating from the Tree of Life. Why? In order to “weaken” their spirits. Why? Because the spirit… does not die. It is the flesh that dies; the spirit… must be destroyed. And such destruction can only come from (heavenly) fire – either directly from heaven, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah and Armageddon… by being hurled into the Lake from which such fire originates. This destroys the body… AND the spirit!
They are cut off so that their spirits are no longer strong enough to withstand destruction. That is why the spirits that sinned are not yet destroyed. Their destruction will come at the same time as those nations who come against the Holy City. Why? Because it will be ONE war, done ONCE… for all time. For God will only fight one war – vengeance is His… and He will repay.
Like you, I've seen a lot of speculation but no concrete Bible information about this period of time.
It’s there. Truly.
Some have felt that the writer of Hebrews meant death inherited from Adam, not "second death" that brings total annihilation.
The “second death” is destruction... of the spirit. The “first” man… flesh… is from the earth, made in the image of Adam. The “second” man, is from the spirit, in the image of God and Christ. The “second death” is the destruction of this spirit. It CANNOT refer solely to death after resurrection for it would exclude those who died, were resurrected and died again. If it did, then there would even be a “third” death for them, and if they were destroyed, a “fourth” death.
1 Corinthians 15:47-49
The flesh is merely a “vessel” – a contained made from the earth that houses IN it the TRUE man… the spirit. That is why we are called “treasures hidden in earthen vessels.” It is not what we are on the OUTSIDE that Satan is after; it is what we are… on the INSIDE. We can sin with our flesh… and live. However, if we sin with out SPIRIT, there is “no salvation left.”
The Law Covenant, mediated by a man of FLESH… Moses... was written with regard to sins OF the flesh. The NEW Covenant, mediated by a man of SPIRIT (for it wasn't until he entered to offered his sacrifice, which was after his death and after his resurrection)… the Son of God... was written with regard to the sins of the SPIRIT. Contrary to what Paul said, adultery, covetousness, murder, drunkenness, etc., can be forgiven (think Lot, Moses, David, Saul of Tarsus, the woman at the well, the woman of John 8:1-11). It is the sins of the SPIRIT that cannot be forgiven, and such sins come out of the HEART, not from weakness of the flesh… and they are sins borne out of hatred and hypocrisy… intentional harm to another, even when one has been warned BY the Holy Spirit (think Cain). It is when tries to FOOL such Holy Spirit, tries to prove FALSE to it, and blasphemes it either by crediting Satan/bad spirits with its works, or falsely accusing it of works that are/were done by Satan/bad spirits.
Aguest, being "caught up to the third heaven" I was using the example Paul is speaking of a certain place (third heaven) and another place in v.4 "paradise" and the relationship of these two places.In my Father’s house are MANY dwelling places (abodes), as well as MANY territories, regions, principalities, etc. Heaven is not a one-level realm, for it is not bound as the physical world is.
You are correct in that I presented the quoted scriptures as if it were Paul in the third heaven/paradise. My point is that there is such a place.
I understand and you are correct.
"I am directed by my Lord to tell you what that Tree (of Life) is... whether you hear or you refrain." I’m not sure what you mean by that.
Nor can I tell you, unless you truly desire to know. If so, my Lord will permit to respond.
Gen 2:9 "tree" was used to expound the fact of where this tree was located not the metaphorical refrences to the "Christ." But point taken.
You are mistaken. The Tree IS my Lord, the True Vine. It is HE that God “planted” in the garden as a means by which those who eat from him can live. When you read Revelation, perhaps you still subscribe the WTBTS’ false use of “trees”, versus the true word, “tree”. But my Lord grants me to give you another basis:
Do you recall the words of the first Psalm – “Happy is the MAN that…”? Do you recall that is says, “And he will be LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY RIVERS OF WATERS…” This very Psalm is speaking of my Lord. As are all of the Psalms, save less than ten. Re-read them, from beginning to end, and you will “see” it.
This is only a generic veiw, that I present to your question posed about heaven/paradise sorry for any confusion.
Adam death; Gen 3:19 'until you return to the ground...." spiritual death ; Gen 3:7
There is no spiritual death – the spirit does not die, but returns to God.
It can, however, be destroyed. Thus, there is DESTRUCTION of the spirit… “in Gehenna”. The “soul” or BODY that sins… will die, but can be resurrected. However, the SPIRIT that sins… will be destroyed and there is no resurrection.
I can agree with death inherited from Adam, as well a spiritual death.
We inherited only death of the flesh from Adam. When humans have children, they pass on their flesh, including its genes. However, one cannot pass on one's spirit to one's offspring... unless one IS a spirit ("the children of God and the children of the Devil are EVIDENT by...").
We can blame Adam for our maladies in the flesh, but we cannot blame him for our own "bad" spirit. Thus, destruction of the spirit is something we gain all on our own. And it is the VERY thing that Satan wants. He does not care if we die in the flesh, for he knows we can be resurrected. However, if he can get us to sin WITH OUT SPIRIT – that is, to “curse God” – well, then there is no longer any salvation for us, for the very One God sent to save us FROM everlasting death we have cursed, by means of cursing the One with whom he is “in union”. If by means of doing to US, you did to HIM, then certainly if you cursed God… you cursed him.
Satan… does not want your flesh… he wants your SPIRIT. He... is a SPIRIT. What need does he have of your flesh? The flesh... is of no use at all. But your SPIRIT... THAT... h e wants to be destroyed. Why? Because it is not we in the flesh who are threat to him: it is we IN THE SPIRIT. HE… is a spirit! What can we, flesh, do to him? However, we, AS SPIRITS… will have the SAME “power” as he. THIS… is what he wishes to thwart.
Satan and those spirit beings like him believed the inheritance should have gone to him... rather that to our Lord. By means of HIM... it would have passed to HIS children. However, since our Lord inherited, it is OURS. Satan... is out wage war with us... in the hopes that we will RELINQUISH power to HIM. And we do, every time we let him "win." But those are only "little" victories - he wants... the kingdom. That is why he tried to start with the destruction of our Lord: if you can destroy the HEAD... the Body (of Christ) cannot live. That was his purpose in "tempting" our Lord... to get our Lord to worship HIM. When you curse God, then, you are worshipping Satan.
I believe the spiritual death inherited from Adam shows us how far we fell along with Adam into sin, unable to do anything on our own.
Even if we are dying in the flesh, we can STILL live in the spirit. The flesh that we inherited from Adam carries disease and death in it. However, when challenged by Satan, even though his FLESH was attacked, JOB… held on to his spirit! Satan “touched” him… as far as his bone… saying that “SKIN in behalf of SKIN… and all a man has he will SURRENDER… for his SOUL (fleshly life)!” But Job was willing to DIE… in the FLESH… because he KNEW that God would protect his SPIRIT. And so, he held on to his integrity and did NOT curse God… and thus maintained his SPIRIT.
The flesh… is of no use at all. It is what is IN the flesh… what that vessel CONTAINS… that is the target of the “wicked spirit forces in heavenly places.”
Aguest, help me understand your theology with regards to the presence of Christ, on earth. Is it as follows 1. born a virgin birth
Yes, his flesh was born of the woman, Mary, a virgin, as was his spirit, the woman of God, His "free" wife, Jerusalem Above. Adam, was born to God's slave wife, the earth. Thiese are represented by Sarah (Abraham's free wife - the New Covenant - whose "children" are free, because they will be SPIRITS) and Hagar (the Law Covenant - whose "children" are slaves... as they are bound... by the flesh).
2. "invisably" returned at some point
Yes, as an invisible presence. On the night of Pentecost 30 CE, as evidenced by the “stiff rushing breeze” and outpouring of holy spirit. 40 days after his resurrection, my Lord ascended to offer his sacrifice, which was accepted. At that time, he was INSTALLED AS KING, “inaugurated.” Thus, he could say TRUTHFULLY, “All authority has been GIVEN me.” However, he was now a SPIRIT. Invisible to the fleshly eye. However, Peter, Paul, Ananias, John, etc. could HEAR him. It was as he said, “Look! I am WITH YOU… ALL THE DAYS… until the conclusion of the age.” He did not say, “Look! I will BE with you….”
3. to gather his choosen ones
This is when he returns LITERALLY, “arrives”… only this time he is NOT invisible. Although a spirit, EVERY eye will see him. My Lord only comes back to “receive [us] home to [himself] once. His “2 nd coming” then, has not yet occurred. He came once… in the flesh… and the world, although they did not RECEIVE him… BEHELD him. He will come again… and again, the world will behold him.
4. maybe again if your pre-trib
Not sure what you meant here, but his invisible presence started at Pentecost 30CE (versus the WTBTS lie of 33 CE to support their false teaching regarding 1914), and his literal presence will be “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” It did NOT occur with the fall of Jerusalem, for then such fall and such tribulation was with regard to the flesh and things “of the earth”. It will not be so again.
Death as a result of Adam's sin is temporary in the sense that one can be resurrected from the grave.
But with "second death" there is no hope of a future life. It means total annihilation as indicated in the term itself "second DEATH."That is why it is the destruction… of the SPIRIT… the entire “life force” of such individual. THere is nothing to put into another vessel, whether such vessel be earthly (terrestrial) or heavenly (celestial).
Of course, those who believe in Hellfire believe that those thrown into Gehenna are tormented forever and ever.
Well, it does say that about some.
It would seem to contradict the definition as well as the attributes of God. (Love, mercy, kindness, etc.)
No, it wouldn’t. Sometimes, to protect ALL whom you LOVE… and who love YOU, you must take drastic measures. Especially if you promised them that some day you would.
I believe the second death to be eternal separation from God.
Actually, it is total separation from God that allows such death. If there is ANY connection to God, however minute, there can be on destruction. That is because to some degree, spirit is still shared. And God’s spirit… is “life-giving”. Once such total separation occurs, however, such spirit CAN be destroyed. Utterly. For there is no “life” any longer left in it.
“Total annihilation.” That phrase is a little dogmatic for me.
Does sound harsh, doesn’t it? But we humans are FAR harsher than God can ever be. Do you remember David asking to be punished by God, rather than man? Humans have little mercy. God IS merciful. He begs and pleads and sends folks to beg and plead… and asks us to return. WE… CHOOSE… not to. Thus, when one has surpassed HIS (God’s) range of mercy… well, they most probably deserve whatever they get. I used to have a problem with it; now, I have come to know God… through Christ… and KNOWING them (which means everlasting life)… I have no problem with whatever they decide to do. Trust me, it would be completely justified (documented, even – “and scrolls were opened”).
Their are also many other attributes of God. Most of the time we choose not to think about Gods anger or judgement, which we find condem us.
God does not judge and condemn us, unless you are “Israel” who adheres to the Old Covenant, by means of blood or by means of going with them. They are in a covenant for such. God has granted the judging of US… to Christ. Who judged… no one… except the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. Even then, for those who left off their hypocrisy, he forgave and loved. And, unfortunately, WE… who claim to love and belong to God and Christ, rather than IMITATE Christ… judge… and condemn… one another. Daily. Hypocritically. HE (Christ)… forgave and released from sin everything from harlots and adulterers, to tax collectors and extortioners. Why? Because it was as he said, “All things that you wish men to do to YOU… you MUST do… to them.”
Who of us wishes to be judged? Who wants to be condemned? Did not the One in whose footsteps we are to “follow closely” say STOP judging? Did he not say, “GO releasing?” Did he not say, “Receive holy spirit and whoever sins you forgive will STAND FORGIVEN?” Did he not teach us to ask that OUR sins be forgiven JUST AS we FORGIVE those who sin AGAINST us? When asked HOW MANY TIMES are we to forgive, did he not say “UP TO SEVENTY-SEVEN TIMES?” Did he not say even to love… OUR ENEMIES?
Yet, the question we have to ask ourselves is… do we have ears to HEAR? Do we try to walk in that LIGHT that he gave us… or do we continue to put our trust in earthling man, to whom NO salvation belongs, and let him lead us back into the darkness… of slavery to what is “bad”… death?
Can you truly live if what you wish in your heart is for your brother to DIE? Your fellow man? Your neighbor? You ENEMY? Yet, the Son of GOD said, “You must LOVE your enemy.”
Luke 13: 22-31 why did the rich man spoken of wind up in a place of "agony" were the poor man Lazarus wound up in the bosom of father Abraham. And the rich man begs for his brothers not to end up in this place of "torment."
Because the Rich Man has his reward in full when he was alive in the flesh. He had an abundance, and yet, although seeing Lazarus in need, would not “distribute” something to him. It is as James said, “If I seeing you in need say, “Go away and keep well fed and warm,” but I do not give you the MEANS to do so,” what good have I done? The Rich Man considered himself faithful – his “works”… or rather, his LACK of works, showed otherwise.
Was the rich man already judged, the text does not say.
The Rich Man… judged himself. He “reaped” the same “reward” he put upon others.
Even though the rich man received his reward while on earth. But, does not God allow it to rain on the righteous as well as the unrighteous.
And so, the Rich Man got his “share” of the “rain” while he was on earth. Lazarus was to receive his at this new time. The difference? The Rich Man’s reward, although he did not know it to be so, was temporary (that's why he wanted to warn . Lazarus’… was eternal.
Just a note: the “drop of water” that the Rich Man cried out for was the “water of life”… holy spirit. If he could have had just a DROP… his agony would have been “cooled”… for by means of such drop, he would again have had life.
I bid you peace.
A slave of Christ,