HEAVEN – IT’S THE REAL McCOY! Is Heaven a literal, physical, tangible place? Or is it a wispy, ethereal, spiritual twilight zone? Opinions abound – But what does God’s Word say?

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God’s Heavenly Kingdom

Rev 09-23-16

Have you ever wondered: Is Heaven a literal, physical, tangible place?  Or is it a wispy, ethereal, spiritual twilight zone?  Opinions abound – we’ve seen them galore on TV and in the movies.  We’ve read of various concepts in books; even heard them shouted from the pulpit – but most  disagree with each other!  (Playing a harp, seated on a cloud!  Watching from above!)  

There is one dependable, authoritative Source of information regarding eternal things.  The Creator and Sustainer of life Himself has much to say about the eternal abiding place of the Redeemed in Christ – right there in His Word!

John 14:1  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  KJV   We will be with the Lord Himself.

I Cor 2:9  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  KJV The Heavenly City

First, God’s Kingdom in the Courts of Heaven Above

In our English translations, this one word “heaven” is used to describe 3 distinctly different things:  1) the atmospheric heavens; the sky  2) the realm of astronomy; unlimited space  3) the abiding place of God and all the angelic host.  It is this “3rd Heaven” we’ll be focusing on today, as this will be our home – for quite awhile!  And then … it gets even better!!  Watch this …

  • Our very physical condition will be changed from mortal to the state of immortality.

1 Cor 15:50-53  ”Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”  KJV

Our physical bodies will be transformed into the likeness of Christ’s glorified flesh   Phil 3:20 & 21  “…  the Lord Jesus Christ … shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body …”  KJV

I John 3:2  “… it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”  KJV

Question: Is the risen Christ a phantom, a spirit or a mere ghost?  Luke 24:36-43  “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.  He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?  Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself!  Touch Me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’  40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’  They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence.”  NIV

Isaiah 35:5, 6  “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart (a deer), and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”  KJV

still water

 

God’s Kingdom in the Earth-Made-New, Eden restored

Matt 5:5  “Blessed are the poor (humble) in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. “ NIV    “… and they lived and reigned with Christ 1000 years.”

mountain lake

New Heavens and a New Earth  

Rev 21:1-7   1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (About 2/3 of this earth is presently covered by oceans.)

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

6 And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.”  KJV

New Earth Band at Holy City

The Holy City New Jerusalem

Rev 21:10-27    The Bible expresses physical, linear measurement in “cubits”; but in today’s terms, The Heavenly City is 375 miles on each side, and is 20 stories high.  If it’s not a tangible, physical place, why would God bother to reveal its dimensions?

10 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27 And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”   KJV

Did you notice that there is no temple, no church, there?  Rev 21:22    Also, look at …

1 Cor 3:16  “Know ye not that  ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”  KJV

Eden’s Environment Restored 

sunset shore

Remember the Tree of Life in Eden? It would have sustained mankind forever, had they remained faithful.   Now here, we see the Tree of Life will be restored in the Earth made new!

Rev 22:1-9  1 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”    KJV

swan lake 

More on the New Earth: Isaiah 11:6-8  “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

Verse 9: “They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”  NIV

Ezekiel 47:12   “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for the healing of the nations.”  

What will we do there?   Isaiah 65:21, 22, 25  “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.   They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat … mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  KJV

How about sitting and talking, dining, walking with Saints of all the ages? Matthew 8:11 “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”  NIV

We will enjoy pleasures for evermore.  Psalm 37:4  “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  NIV 

No more hunger, thirst. The Redeemed are sustained by the Lord’s hand.  Rev 7:16, 17  ”They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. “   NAS

Zechariah 8:5  “The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”   NIV    Whaaat?  Children??

Best of all is God’s invitation to you: Rev 22:12, 17 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me …17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

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