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 What Heaven and Hell will be Like According to Scripture Intro and Parts 1-8

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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be Like According to Scripture Intro and Parts 1-8   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:09 pm

Hello everyone. I'd thought I'd post a series I made a while back. I believe it is an excellent (and fun) read and gives a lot of insight into what Heaven and Hell will be like. I use only scripture to prove all points. Now I realize there are other views of interpretation (I studied them too), especially of Revelation, but I am confident in my literal approach. There are symbols of course, but the symbols mean literal things and are applied literally as the text designates. Most times the bible tells us what a symbol means somewhere in the text.

First a little background of myself and how I interpret scripture: it is important to note that through my years of studying scripture that I have come to 3 fundamental conclusions. These 3 fundamental conclusions are important in guiding my interpretation of difficult text. Again, I am fully aware that not all Christians have these 3 conclusions. They are:
1. I believe that Salvation is by grace alone, and not by works, so that no one can boast.

2. Since salvation is by faith, and not by works, a Christian cannot lose his or her salvation by what he or she does.

3. Jesus makes all Christians holy as He is Holy and therefore we are accepted by the Father through faith in Him because we have the holiness of Christ, not by any holiness of our own. In other words, we are a new spiritual creation in Christ Jesus. The new has come, the old is gone. We have a new nature of holiness. We are sinning saints: or saints who sin, but our spirit is holy and pure, while our flesh (our physical bodies) are still corrupted in sin until Jesus resurrects for us new bodies. That's why absent from our [corrupted] bodies is to be present with the Lord. We cannot take our corrupted bodies with us. We are not our bodies. We are the spirit and soul that temporarily reside in our bodies.

So these 3 conclusions underline my approach to the rest of Scripture, and to me, it all makes sense (and no contradictions). I say this because if anyone does not share these 3 beliefs, then I am aware that Revelation can be interpretted differently.

It is a long series. It comes out to be 22 pages on a Word document. Please don't look at the length as a turn off because it is really good. Since it is so long, I am going to break these up into Parts. There are 8 parts (2 on hell and 6 on heaven). Enjoy!


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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 1   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:11 pm

Part 1

Okay, I am going to attempt to the best of my ability to explain what heaven and hell will be like according to the Scriptures. It’s a really long read, but if you want to know what heaven and hell will be, here it is. Now I can already tell you that what I am about to say will not be popular. What I am about to say many have never heard before. Not even many seasoned biblical scholars have heard it (please realize that I am truly speaking from a humbled heart—I’m just preparing you), but I ask that you give what I have to say your thorough attention and judge for yourselves if what I am saying is biblical. I am going to use scripture to prove each point I make. I am not claiming that mine is the most accurate interpretation. In fact, I am open to all ideas and interpretations others offer as long as they fit the Scriptures and do not contradict some other scripture in the bible then I will consider it. That was my disclaimer. Please listen carefully, and even better, have your own bibles opened as we peruse the scriptures together on this issue.

I am going to start off by explaining what hell is going to be like first. As I stated before, hell, as known by the lake of fire, is a future judgment and event. Non-Christians who die today go to Hades. Hades is a holding cell that was once a holding cell for all people until Jesus died on the cross. During the three days he was so called dead, He went to Hades and set the captives free (Psalm 68:18; Isaiah 61:1; Ephesians 4:8-9; John 20:17 (shows he didn’t go to heaven)). The captives He set free were the Old Testament Jews and whoever else worshipped the God of the Jews, that is, Yahweh, and abided by His law. Jesus freed the captives, but those who did not abide by the Jewish law were left there until they receive their future judgment of the lake of fire. Hades is the holding cell for all non-Christians until the judgment of hell.

Let’s take a look at hell as it develops in Revelation 20:7-15. Before we go there though, let me introduce a third place, another holding cell the bible speaks of—the Abyss. These three different places are often mistaken of as being the same place. A close read of the bible reveals that Hades is always tied to a holding cell for humans, whereas the Abyss is always tied to the holding cell for demonic angels. Let’s examine this first. The word “Abyss” is in the bible only 4 times. Three of the four times it refers to the Angel’s holding cell. The other mention of it (Romans 10:7) is just a casual mention of it, but the writer is making a different point there. So let’s take a brief look at the other 3 references to the “Abyss.”

Luke 8:30-31 says: Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

Note that the Abyss is not a place the demons wanted to go to.

The Abyss was also mentioned in Revelation 9:1-12 and Revelation 20:1-3. Note that man is not listed as being there in either passage, but we’ll just look at 20:1-3. It says: “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.”

So the Abyss is a holding cell, or prison that demons are committed to when God locks them up. It is a place demons do not want to go to. Yet it is a place that will be light as far as discomfort is concerned compared to the lake of fire that they will soon be committed to.

Perhaps I should briefly mention that the Abyss is also referred to as the “bottomless pit” in the bible. Revelation 9:1 the word is translated “Abyss” in the NIV, and it is translated “bottomless pit” in the NAS.

When God judges everyone who rejected Him, he is going to throw everyone who rejected Christ in the same place, the lake of fire, AKA “hell.” He’ll take those from the Abyss, and those from Hades and throw them both together into hell. God is going to throw Death itself into hell too, which we will see. The bible says that hell was never intended for man, but rather for God’s angels who rejected Him (Matthew 25:41). God created man with the intent for man to live with Him for eternity, but He gave man a free-will to choose Him, and man instead rejected Him. Since man chooses to follow Satan instead of Him here on Earth, what God decided was to let man continue to follow Satan into the same judgment He was giving Satan and his goons.

The anti-Christ and the false prophet during the time of the Tribulation will be the first ones in history to be thrown into hell. Revelation 19:20 reads—“But the beast [anti-Christ] was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

If you are reading through Revelation 20 and are curious about those in verse 6 who are saved, and what they are doing there…Remember I made the assertion that the rapture occurs before the tribulation, which means that all Christians will be with Christ when the tribulation occurs. Christians will not participate in the tribulation. The answer is that there will be many who will become saved during the tribulation due to the Two Witnesses (the resurrected Elijah and Moses) from Revelation 11. They will save many through their ministry. And also, many will be saved during that period due to the ministry of the 144,000 Jews who themselves got saved during the tribulation. Note though, that after the harvest in Revelation 14:16, there will be no more Christians on Earth. All Christians will have been either martyred or harvested by the angels. In Revelation 20:6, the Christians who died during the tribulation will be resurrected. This is called the second resurrection because there was a resurrection of the dead that occurred during the rapture, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Since I mentioned the passage, here is a very interesting connection I want to point out. Revelation 14:14-20 is the same event of Matthew 25:31-46 which talks about the sheep and the goats. Revelation 14:14-20 is the last time that the saved and unsaved are together. The purpose of the harvest is to separate the saved from the unsaved. Many people misinterpret that passage in Matthew contending that it shows that a person must do good works to get saved. But this passage in Matthew is not talking about the judgment of Christians who are saved during today’s time period (the day of Grace.) It is referring to the judgment of those who will get saved during the tribulation period: after the Day of Grace. In other words, since they missed the free gift of Christ during the day of grace, the way to salvation reverted back to the old way of observing the law as the Old Testament people did who followed the God of Israel. Therefore, Jesus is able to say in Matthew 25:34, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Notice in the next verse the criteria Jesus gives for their salvation. It is works.] “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger….The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you DID for one of the least of these brothers of mine [the saved 144,000] you did for me.’”
Note the goats got their eternal judgment punishment because of the works they did not do. Matthew 25:41 says, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart form me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I’m confident this is the correct placement of this passage because the bible says when this will occur. Matthew 25:31 says, “WHEN the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.” Note that this coming is with his angels. That does not describe the rapture, because during the rapture, Jesus comes with His saints in the sky, not His angels (see 1 Thessalonians 4:14: “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”) (You can read the rest. This passage in Thessalonians explains the Rapture). His saints are not here in Matthew when He comes during this judgment.

Hey, this is my third page on my Word Document, so I’m going to end this here and call this part one. I didn’t even begin to describe what hell will be like. So it looks like there will be 3 parts all devoted to describing just hell alone. Look out for Part 2 coming soon. I need a break now.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 2   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:15 pm

Part 2

Let us continue from where we left off. I hope you have your bibles opened as you follow along. We are now at Revelation 20:7. It reads, “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.”

Gog and Magog just symbolize all the nations of the world.

It continues, “They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur [hell], where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

So Satan is the 3rd person in history that will be thrown into hell. The anti-Christ and the false prophet were the only ones who preceded him.

The next verse really begins our discussion on what hell will be like. Please follow along carefully. Revelation 20:11 says, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.” The first important thing to note is the setting of where everything in this passage takes place. The people who are about to be judged were on planet Earth prior to verse 11. Here, the great white throne comes to where the people were at, instead of the people going to where the throne was previously located. So therefore, the earth and the sky fled when the great white throne appears.

Note that this world that we live in is contaminated with sin. Satan was kicked out of heaven and cast down to Earth long ago. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden to a life of hardships that existed outside of the garden. The contamination of this world by sin is just my suggestion of why the earth and sky flees when the great white throne appears, but whatever the reason, they run away as if they were not worthy of the presence of Him who sits on the throne.

Since the throne came to Earth, and not vise versa, we at least see that the location of this setting is here, even though the earth and sky flees. Now the Greek word for earth (ghay) here is not necessarily the planet Earth, but it really means land, country, ground, or it can mean world. I contend here that the word earth is not referring to the entire planet Earth, but rather the land of the Earth that makes up our continents. Some of your versions translates the word “sky” for “heaven.” So some of your versions read, “Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.” I think that the NIV correctly translates the word that some of you have as “heaven” as “sky.”

Both of these words are the same words in Revelation 21:1 where it reads, “Then I saw a new heaven (really sky) and a new earth (really continents or land mass), for the first heaven (our blue skies) and the first earth (our current continents) had passed away.” This “new earth” is what we call “heaven,” which is where we will be for an eternity with Christ. I’ll explain what heaven will be like later, but I’m just explaining the setting for now. The word “heaven” means sky in the Greek here. The Greek word for sky here is the word “ooranos,” which means “sky,” “air,” and it is also used to denote “heaven” where God currently abides. The bible teaches that there are 3 heavens. The first heaven is the closest one to us, it denotes our blue sky. The second heaven denotes the stars and our universe. The third heaven denotes where God abides on His throne, which is above His creation. The “heaven” used here though in Revelation 20:11 and in Revelation 21:1, denotes “sky.” The first earth or land mass flees, and the first sky (our current atmosphere) flees to make room for the new earth and sky. Note that although the earth, (continents) and the sky fled, the sea is still here because in Revelation 20:13, it says, “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.” The sea is here although the land masses and sky fled. But somewhere between this verse and Revelation 21:1, the sea was stripped away too, because 21:1 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Since there is no longer any seas in 21:1, that means that God also stripped away the seas after they gave up their dead. I realize that some commentators explain the word “sea” in Revelation 20:13 as symbolizing “a great amount of people.” Even so if that is true, look at where we are at here. God strips away the all of the land on the earth, and somewhere between here and the next chapter, the seas are gone too. So let’s think here for a moment. If we take away all the land mass from our planet, and we also take away all of the great waters from our planet, what is left? Is there anything left? There is one thing left: a lake of fire is left. The core of our planet is a literal lake of fire. It consists of pure molten lava. This here is where hell is when sometime in the future God judges the non-Christians, He will strip away our land mass, and the great seas (and oceans) and open up the lake of fire that exists at the center of our planet, and cast the unbelievers there. Then God will “sew-up” the Earth so to speak, when in the next chapter, John sees God lay down the new heaven and new earth over the core. Our core will maintain, but the land masses that cover it will be brand new. Then in Revelation 21:2, John sees God lay down the Holy City on top of this new continent land mass. It says, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”

I contend that Philippians 2:10 says that hell is located under the Earth. I’ll quote it from verse 9. It reads, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Under the earth? What or who is down there? Those who will be bowing down to Jesus are who’s down there. If there is nothing under the Earth, then this verse would not totally be correct. It is apparent to me that hell is what it is referring to here. And we all know that the core of our Earth consists of molten fire. Again, since “hell” is a future event, this verse is applying to a future event when Jesus’ name is exalted above every other name. There is no one there right now, because the event of hell (the stripping of the Earth to reveal the lake of fire) did not occur yet.


Heaven is huge. It has to be to accommodate for the many, many people that will be there. Think about how this planet is not overpopulated (yet) because the previous generations of people have died. If no one ever dies, and yet more are born, these seven measly continents we have now would not be able to accommodate for the masses of people generation after generation. Moreover, no one resides on Antarctica, so we only have 6 continents to populate. God says that there will be no more sea when He lays down the new earth (continent/s). Instead of the majority of this Earth that now mostly consists of ocean, the majority of the New Earth will be much more land mass. And who knows how much land God will lay down when He does lay it down. It is possible that God can lay down enough land to double or triple the Earth size. He could make the new Earth as big as Jupiter if He chooses. The size of the New Earth depends on how much land He replaces the old with the new with.

The setting of hell is what I really wanted to point out here. I’ll explain heaven later on. But let’s quickly look at other things that the bible reveals hell will be like.

I hope you recall my post on Matthew 25. It talks about the sheep and the goats’ judgment. I would just like to remind you about 25:31. It says when this judgment will happen. It will be when the Son of Man comes in his glory and all of his angels with him. I mention that to point out that 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 is the same event. It says in verse 7, “This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with all his powerful angels.” Verse 8 speaks of hell. It says, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” So we see that hell will be a place that will be outside of God’s presence. Please keep in mind that God is and always will be omnipresent. Even in hell, God in some way will be there. But the presence of His fellowship will not be there.

Peter briefly mentions what hell will be like in 2 Peter 2:17. It says, “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” There will be absolutely no light in hell. Sort of, but I’ll explain when we look more at how heaven will be like. But, it is true that hell itself will be the blackest darkness. May I suggest that this means that this is a different type of fire here because this fire will give off no light. Just note that God is not bound by His own laws of nature. He will make this molten fire not give off any light.

Mark 9:48 reveals that in hell, “the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
This reveals two things about hell. One is that it gives some insight into the type of bodies those who go there will have. Their bodies will be able to feel pain. The bible reveals more about what the believer’s resurrected body will be like than what the unbeliever’s will be like, but one thing we know from this is that the unbeliever’s resurrected body will be able to feel pain. The fire will not be quenched for them. I just want to mention it here, but I will go into it in detail later, but Lazarus, who was sentenced to hell, begged Abraham to give him something to drink to quench his terrible thirst. Jesus says that the fire never goes out in hell in Matthew 9:44. This is a thermostat that no one will be able to turn down the temperature. One thing is for sure, hell will be very hot.

As said in a previous post, hell has different degrees of punishment, according to what the person does. God is just. Even for those who go to hell, God will give just punishment and just level of comfort. No one who is judged at the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20 will be saved, yet, they will get judged according to what they have done and be cast into the lake of fire accordingly. The thermostat will not be the same for everyone. (See a previous post).

This really concludes my commentary on what hell will be like. I just would like to add what Dr. Tony Evans suggested. He points out that the Lazarus who is in hell in Luke is able to speak and talk to Abraham. He suggests from this that Lazarus is not burning on fire like someone who is doused in gasoline with a match set to him would not be able to hold an intelligible conversation. Such a person would be screaming in pain, not able to speak. He does not think that people will be swimming in fire either. He describes it as an Alcatraz-like setting, where right after everyone has been judged in the great white throne judgment, God then takes whatever they are standing on, and casts that into the lake of fire. So his Alcatraz-like setting says that fire will completely surround the place that God puts everyone, just like how water surrounds the real Alcatraz prison. My only thing about that is that the bible does say that the land flees, so I don’t think that they were standing on anything. One interesting note I’d like to point out though, assuming if what Dr. Tony Evan says is true, is that the anti-Christ, false prophet and Satan were all thrown into the lake of fire before this land mass was thrown into the lake of fire. So the false trinity were thrown in without lifejackets right into the burning lake while everyone else who goes to hell at least has the land mass to stand on.

The thing that I would like to say about how Tony Evans it is a theory that could be accurate, or it may not be. It can’t really be proved or disproved. Bottom line, really, is all we know about what hell will be like is from what has been revealed in God’s word. Some things we can be absolutely certain about because the bible makes those things absolutely clear. The bible does reveal a lot about what hell will be like. Much more than many give credit for. I am not saying that I am completely correct in all of my commentary. I am just sharing to you what I have put together from what the Scriptures reveal. This concludes my commentary on hell. My commentary about heaven will be soon to come.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 3   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:19 pm

Part 3

I promised to give commentary on what heaven will be like. It will likely take me a few posts to complete it. An important prerequisite to this reading is to read my earlier post on “what hell will be like.”

To fully understand what heaven will be like, we should also know what the people who go there will be like, so I’ll start there. 1 Corinthians 15 speaks of what the resurrected bodies of Christians will be like in heaven. Verse 42, Paul says, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

There are several things we can glean from this passage. One thing for certain, Christians will not be left bear with just spirits without bodies. God is going to raise up a real physical body. Where Paul says, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…” he is clearly speaking of the flesh and blood that we now have. We will be given a different type of “flesh” called a body, different than what we have now, but as we will soon see, similar in many ways. So this body that God will give us will be physical in the sense that we can touch and manipulate physical things as we can in our current bodies.

Maybe I should state too that currently we live in our fleshly bodies. We are not our bodies. Our bodies just house our spirit (the true us) and God will one day raise up new bodies for the Christian.

We can also glean from the aforementioned passage that our bodies will be free from diseases, sickness, contamination, or decay. Our current bodies were made to decay and die. Our new bodies will be made in power and will never die.

Let’s go down to verse 48 in Corinthians, “As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”

Paul compares our earthly body to our heavenly one by comparing the bodies of Adam to that of Jesus Christ. He says that just as our earthly bodies bear the likeness of our earthly forefather, so it is that our heavenly bodies will resemble the body of our resurrected Lord. Fortunately for us, the bible gives us a lot of insight as to how the resurrected body of the Lord is. Jesus eats bread and fish with His disciples after He resurrected from the dead (see also Luke 24:42-43). It is clear that we will be able to eat and drink in heaven. Christians will be eating and drinking at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, which is during the 1,000 years that Jesus will be reigning on our current Earth. This will be after Christians have had their bodies transformed into spiritual ones. Christians will receive their bodies during the rapture as described in Thessalonians; then the tribulation occurs, then the millennium (Wedding Supper of the Lamb), then the Great White Throne Judgment, then “heaven”. Since our bodies can hold physical food that means that we need a physical body to be able to hold physical food. It won’t be intangible bodies that someone today can just walk right through.

Jesus could do some interesting things with His resurrected body. The passages in John 20:19 and vs. 26 describes how Jesus walked through walls. And at least twice Jesus disappeared after being in the presence of others. Jesus did not need elevators either, as when He ascended to heaven, He just floated up to the clouds.

I’ve heard some sermons that make some further extrapolations from what Jesus’ resurrected body is like. Some might consider this a stretch, but please consider this: Jesus was 33 when he died and resurrected. It is possible that we will all have a healthy 33 year old body. Just think of the babies who died as babies on Earth. Will they live eternity as a baby? And the really old decrepit people who live 100 years and beyond. Will they be stuck with a wrinkled, broken down, hunched back body for eternity? It does make pretty good sense that our body will be like His in the sense of age as well. It seems pretty clear though, that those born with just one leg will have two when their new body is resurrected, and so forth.

One thing that will be different between our resurrected bodies and His will be that Jesus will throughout eternity bear the marks of the cross on His hands, feet and side. Revelation 5:6 says of Jesus, “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.”
Jesus will bear the marks of the cross throughout eternity so that we will never forget what He did at the cross for our sins.

Finally, on our resurrected bodies will be the name of Jesus on our foreheads (Revelation 22:4). This is probably that name that no one knows because the bible does not reveal it. It is a name that reveals some trait about Jesus that has not been revealed to us yet (Revelation 3:12, 2:17). In the bible, the name of the person reveals the traits that person will have during their lifetime.

It is perhaps too much to get into the little details such as, Christians will wear white robes in heaven, or the many crowns that we will have in heaven (or not have). How many crowns we have in heaven depends on how well we live here in history. Some will not have much reward when they get to heaven because they are not living for Christ and doing His work now.

This is part one. There will probably be 3 parts to this.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 4   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:20 pm

Part 4

In part one I talked about how the Christian will be like when they get to heaven. I mentioned that we will be like Christ, but I think I failed to mention that that means we will be absolutely holy and pure like Christ. I want to speak more on this on a later post because there is more to be said about how Christ purifies the Christian.

So let’s pick up with part 2 in Revelation chapter 21. John is having a vision of what will take place when God established heaven. In verse one, it says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

Please see my commentary on what Hell will be like because I explained how this current earth will be stripped of all land to its core, hell (the lake of fire) is that core, and God will put back new land (the New Earth) to cover over and seal up hell. Please note that what is commonly referred to as “Heaven” is this New Earth that this chapter describes. What we usually refer to as “Heaven” before this New Earth comes is where God presently dwells, and where Christians go when if they were to die today. It is where His throne is and where Christ is who sits at the Father’s right hand side. The New Earth will be our eternal Heaven, sometime in the future when God creates it in an instant. Jesus Himself said I am going to prepare a place for you (more on that later). He was referring to a place on the New Earth, not the current “Heaven” where God is right now. According to Isaiah 66:22, we will not only have a new Earth, but we will get a new solar system with it: “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure.” Note the “s” on heavens denotes the solar system. As I explained before, there are 3 heavens that Paul mentions. The first heaven is our blue sky. The second heaven is either our solar system or the entire universe (that I don’t know), and the 3rd heaven is where God currently resides, which is beyond our universe. Scientists say Andromeda will collide with our galaxy in around 3 billion years from now, but we don’t have to worry about that because God is giving us a new solar system or universe. There are more details in my “what hell will be like” post, so please take some time to review it.

So God forms this New Earth. Verse 2 reads, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” That post I mentioned explains that the word “heaven” here means “the sky.” John saw God build the New Earth in verse one, and now God places a prebuilt city on this New Earth. God literally floats it down from the sky as if it is in his hand and he just places it down like how a child plays with his or her toys. God shows His special concern for His Holy City because this city is specially placed down from the sky. So special is this city prepared that it is like a bride prepared for her groom. Please note too that the Holy City, which is called the New Jerusalem, is not all of heaven. It is only a city within “Heaven.” Heaven, or I’ll say from now on, the New Earth, is massive, and the New Jerusalem is God’s Kingdom within the New Earth. There will be more land masses on this New Earth because there will no longer be any seas.

Verse 3: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” God used to dwell with His people in the Old Testament in the form of a cloud. Of course God is omnipresent, but when Israel looked up and saw this cloud, they knew that God’s dwelling was really with them, providing and protecting them. The problem with a cloud is that they have to hope that cloud shows up all the time. And the cloud is not omnipresent, so if some Israelites left the presence of the others, they would be leaving the protection of the cloud too. But on this New Earth, God won’t be using a cloud. He will live, or truly abide with His people like no other time in history. He will be much closer and available to us on a more personal level.

Verse 4: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” I’m going to quote Isaiah 33:24 here: “No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.” Zion is another name for the New Jerusalem, or God’s Kingdom. What I am about to say is really deep and would take a separate post to lay it out fully, but this chapter in Revelation is in chronological order. Note that the New Earth is finished, and God’s people are there in verse 3 with God dwelling with them. It is in verse 4 that their tears get wiped away by God. Not everyone will enter heaven jolly. There will be tears. There must be tears in heaven because the verse tells us God will wipe them away, so if there are no tears when we get to heaven, there won’t be tears for God to wipe and verse 4 then would not be accurate. So there will be tears when we get to heaven. The question is why? There are several reasons, some of which are deep and that is what would have to take a separate post to lay out. But here are a few reasons. For one, we will know God for who He is, and we will know Him in our perfected new selves. That means that we will know just how hurtful our sins were to God. Many people for the simple fact that they lived such sinful lives, did not commit to God while on this Earth, will be in heaven with a new nature, God’s nature, and we will see the fullness of how God grieves sin, therefore we will be grieving what we have done against Him. Another reason is because God will judge the Christian sometime before he wipes their tears away for eternity. Some will have no reward when they get to heaven. Everyone, even Christians will be judged according to what they have done (Romans 2:6). Christians received their eternal judgment sometime just prior to this time.
Also, we will start off with a fresh memory of the baggage we had when we were on this earth. Some are starting off in heaven with terrible memories of when they were alive on Earth. The wars, unsolved murders, rapes, and all of the things we leave this earth with, will still be a memory when we first get to heaven. It is when God wipes away our tears that Isaiah 65:17 will come to pass: “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”

Verse 5: “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.”

God is laying the New Earth down brand new, and it will be a perfected world without sin. Please look for part 3 sometime soon.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 5   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:21 pm

Part 5

We are in Revelation, and we left off with verse 6: “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” Let me first point out an interesting tidbit here. Who is speaking? Who is the “He” who said to John? Maybe verse 7 will help out: “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” Well, whoever is speaking just said that He is God. So that means that God calls himself the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. God is saying that He is the first and last of everything and should be the first and last of our lives as well. He came from eternity and will be to eternity. He wants to be first in our lives, and he asks for our first-fruits (a tenth) of all we have. Now turn ahead to Revelation 22:12. It reads, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Hmmm…So now who is talking here? God the Father? No, it is God the Son who is calling himself the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. Look at verse 16 and it tells us it is Him who is talking here: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright Morning Star.” It very well could be Jesus who was in Rev. 21:6. Nevertheless, we see that God is the Alpha and Omega, Jesus claims to be the Alpha and Omega, and truthfully, there can only be one Alpha and Omega. There can only be one first. There can only be one last. Thus, this proves that Jesus is God. And by the way, this same thing can be found in the Jehovah’s Witness bible. So Christians, if you sit down to have a debate with them, you can use this, and they have no answer for it.

Okay, back on track. We are on verse 6. I’ll quote it again: “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” In my last post, part 2, I pointed out that there will be tears in heaven. This verse shows us that there will be thirsty people in heaven. But their thirst will be satisfied when they drink from this spring called the “Water of Life.” There will be no sea in heaven, or on the New Earth, but there will be water. We have a spring here, and a river, which we will see soon flowing in the Holy City. This is not really anything untypical from God. Remember in the Garden of Eden there was a Tree of Life. Here it speaks of a Water of Life. There are no symbolisms here; this is a literal water spring, just as everything else in this chapter is literal, such as the New Earth. I like the way He said “It is done,” because when Jesus was on Earth, he said that I go to prepare a place for you. So at the time Jesus was on Earth, it was not finished. He said in My Father’s house are many “rooms.” Sorry King James enthusiasts, the Greek word that the King James translates as “mansions,” is really the word for “rooms.” But that makes sense anyways, doesn’t it? How can there be mansions inside the Father’s House? There has to be rooms inside a house. A house can’t be in a house, and esp. many mansions can’t be in a house. My point though is that He is in the process of “preparing” the place. I think the reason it is not done yet is because our work on Earth is not done until we die. How we live on Earth determines how furnished our room will be when we get to the New Earth.

And what does it mean to drink this water of life? Please see my post on the Tree of life because, because of that tree is why Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden. We get to both drink from the spring of the water of life and eat from the tree of life that will once again be given to us. Today we can taste this water now. Jesus said, “I have come to give you life, and give it more abundantly.” Jesus says that he is the bread of life and he tells us to eat his bread. John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Life means a lot of things in the bible, but it means everything good. Death is life’s opposite. And the wages of sin is death. So life is holiness, it is happiness, it is peace, it is life.

Verse 7: “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” This verse speaks of the overcomer, and the Christian’s inheritance. Of course this brings up questions. This verse says he “who overcomes”… “will inherit all this.” But Distinguished, I thought you said that salvation was free without works. This says that you have to be an overcomer to inherit this. So here I should lay forth all the characters that will be in heaven, because it is a bit more complicated than what it may seem. There are different “dispensations” throughout history. By that, I mean, there are different times in history, where God deals with man differently depending on the time. So far there has been 2 true dispensations. One is the Old Testament, before Christ dispensation. That is where God demanded His people follow the law of Moses and all of the ordinances that God prescribed to His people Israel, the Jews. After Christ came a new dispensation, where we now live in. This dispensation is called “the Day of Grace.” This is where God allowed salvation to not just Jews, but to everyone else: the Gentiles. This “Day of Grace” dispensation is where salvation is strictly by faith alone, and not by works. The Day of Grace will end soon as Christ returns again. Christians on earth at the time will float up to meet Jesus and those who died in Him in the air. These people will have their bodies transformed in an twinkle of an eye into a new body, one like Jesus’. The spirits of those who died in Christ who came with Christ during his return, will have their bodies resurrected from the dust of the Earth. Their bodies will be formed, and will float up to meet the spirits in the air, and those spirits will have their new bodies, in a twinkle of an eye, that will be like Christ’s body. Those left behind are those who did not accept Christ in this day, the Day of Grace. The 7 year tribulation will befall on them. Here is where the complication begins. There will be people saved during the tribulation time. They did not get new perfected bodies available to those before them. That was only available during the day of Grace. The day after Grace people who are saved will have different bodies when they get to heaven. During the time of the tribulation, people must be overcomers to become saved. They must survive the mark of the beast, by not accepting it. But if you don’t accept the mark of the beast, you don’t eat, or you’ll get killed. Faith covers those in the Day of Grace and before. But a certain works is available for those who get saved during the tribulation period. Matthew 25 shows how works becomes a necessity. Verse 45, Jesus says: He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous [also by works; read the whole chapter] to eternal life.” The righteous are righteous because of what they did: saw fellow saved Christians and fed them, saw them a stranger and invited them in, needed clothes and clothed them, etc. Yes, this is all works, but that is because this is after the dispensation of Grace. This is the Day of Wrath. During the Day of Wrath, people will get converted to Christianity, but they won’t have all the benefits in heaven as those who got saved during the day of Grace. They won’t have the same resurrected bodies as those who were saved during the day of grace. A very close read of Revelation, you will see that Christians who were saved during the Day of Grace were given white robes, but those who were saved during the Day of Wrath were given white garments. It is very particular. These “different” saved people have a different place in “Heaven” because they are treated differently by God, they don’t have the same bodies as those saved during the day of Grace, and they received salvation differently than those who were saved during the day of grace. We must understand the characters that will be in Heaven to fully understand the rest of Revelation 21 and also 22. Note that these “different” saved people will be able to have children during the Millennium, according to Isaiah. During the Millennium, Isaiah 65:23 says, “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.” Another passage in Isaiah says that the child will lie down with the lion in that day. Well, Christians who are saved during the day of grace, the bible says that there will be no procreation, nor will there be given to marriage because Jesus will be married to the Church. But those who are saved during the Day of Wrath will be able to procreate. So they will have a different body than us who get new perfected bodies, and their children will also have different bodies. It is these people who will be with us on the New Earth throughout eternity, and we must understand that they are there to fully understand the rest of Revelation. Part 4 is coming soon.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 6   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:22 pm

Part 6

Last time we left off at verse 7 in Revelation 21. Let’s begin with that verse: “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” Here is a basic rule when reading the New Testament. Whenever the bible talks about “inheritance” it is talking about “reward” and not “salvation.” Overcoming is the key to receiving this reward, inheritance. This will sound peculiar when you first hear this, but please bear with me and it’ll all make sense soon. The Kingdom of Heaven is the inheritance or reward for the overcomer (and for the believer). Not everyone who will be saved for eternity will have access to the Kingdom because the Kingdom is available to the overcomer, only. Who is the overcomer? In the day of Grace, believers are the overcomer because Jesus overcomes for them through faith, but in the day of Wrath, in Revelation/tribulation, those who are saved during the day of Wrath and abide with God to the end of their lives are the overcomers. I know most Christians have not heard anyone say before that not everyone will have access to the kingdom of heaven, even though they’ll be in heaven. Please note, though, that the Kingdom is not all of heaven, it is within heaven (or the New Earth). The Kingdom of heaven is just one city in Heaven: the New Jerusalem. This Kingdom will have gates that lead to the outside. Hell isn’t outside the gates (please see the post “What Hell will be like”), but rather, the rest of the New Earth is outside the gates of the Kingdom. Let’s skip ahead just to point out a verse that backs up what I’m saying. Revelation 22:14-15: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life [only located inside the Kingdom] and may go though the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

So this verse speaks of who will be outside the gates. If you are saved in the day of grace, Jesus covers over all of your sins so that you are sinless before His eyes. If you refuse to believe in this life, but get converted by the two witnesses, Elisha and Moses, or by the 144,000 coverted Jews, then you must be an overcomer if you want access into the Kingdom, otherwise, you will only be allowed outside the gates where the bible calls those people “dogs” and sinners. There will be 12 gates to this Kingdom, and an angel will be posted at each gate to keep those who don’t belong inside out, and to allow those who can come and go access in. The gates will always be open, but the angels at the gates will refuse access to those who do not belong.

Also, Revelation 21:27 supports what I’m saying, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Note again here is a mention of “works” being a criterion to enter this Kingdom City. It says “anyone who does.” That’s works, and yet salvation is by faith alone. But as I explained already, the kingdom is free to those in the day of grace, but by works to those who are saved after the day of grace.

If you need a quick analogy to picture the Kingdom as being a part of Heaven, again AKA the New Earth, then you can think of the Capital of the United States. The Capital of the United States does not consist of all of the US. It is only a city within the US. So it is with the Kingdom of Heaven, is only a city within The New Earth.

Continuing, verse 8, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immortal, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Verse 8 is the last mention of hell in the bible. Note “the unbelieving” is listed here with these people, and their plight is the burning lake of sulfur. Since they were unbelieving, Jesus did not cover their sins and renew them to new life. They did not accept the free gift of salvation. Therefore, their sins will always be with them throughout eternity. Not only do they have to suffer with whatever thermostat God has for them in the burning lake of Sulfur, but they also have to suffer in that eternal state of sin forever. The cowardly will always be cowardly, the murderers will always have that mentality, etc. They will be stuck in their sins and yet they will know exactly why they are there and they will know who Jesus is because the bible says that one day, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, both in heaven (the angels, and whoever/whatever is beyond our new solar system), on Earth (the New Earth that is), and under the earth (hell: these people). People in hell will submit to Jesus too even though they will be locked into their sinful minds forever and ever. And they and everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So the first death, of course, is when we physically die, and the confinement to hell is the second death. Christians never die. We lose our bodies, but we are not our bodies, we are our spirit and we avoid death altogether. Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord for the Christian. No Christian will stick around to see their own funeral. It will be an instantaneous transition from this life to the next and we will not experience death. The non-believer, on the other hand will die. The last thing that I will mention here about death is that if a Christian is living in rebellion against God, they are living in death. They are walking dead men. The biblical definition of death is “separation from the life of God.” Sure, they are saved, because salvation is by faith alone, but they are in death, and are not in God’s fellowship, so they don’t have His presence with them (I’m not speaking about the Holy Spirit here). They have lost fellowship with God, and with death in this life, comes all the consequences of not having God’s provisions and protection of your life. That means that things that can go wrong, will go wrong. The prodigal son is a great parable that expresses what I’m saying here. But when you get back in fellowship with God, by renouncing your sins then you are living in life and you are in His fellowship again and can experience His blessings. This applies only to Christians, because sinners are always dead until they accept Jesus. God says that He only disciplines His own, so even though sinners are walking dead men, they may not experience the repercussions of living outside of the fellowship of God---in this life. God withholds their judgment until the next life.

Verse 9-10 reads: “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And He carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.’”

This verse speaks of Jerusalem, the Holy City, AKA the Kingdom, as a bride, the wife of Jesus. That goes back to verse 2: “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” It is interesting that the Church elsewhere is referred to as the bride of Jesus during the Wedding super of the Lamb that will take place during the Millennium. But here, the City is the bride and Jesus is the Groom. This is His city, His Kingdom. John is the one who is getting the angelic tour of the Kingdom, and he was told to write it down. The Apostle Paul was the only other human in the New Testament who was offered a tour of the Kingdom, but Paul said that he was not allowed to utter what it looked like, only that it was superior to this Earth. Paul even placed himself in the third person when he said this because he did not feel worthy to even testify about it. Paul said I know a man (meaning himself) who saw the third heaven. So even though John expresses it as best as he can in Revelation 21 and 22, according to Paul, it is too grand to even be put into words. So however we read John’s account, I think we can times it by 7 because Paul said it is too great to be expressed in the human language.

Side note: this angel in verse 9 was the one who had one of the worst bowls of judgment in all of the tribulation period. This angel goes from a terrible plague judgment (wrath), to showing John God’s Kingdom (grace). God always ends with Grace, even after He unleashes His Wrath. God always has that lamb in the bush after He shows His wrath.

We will pick up with verse 11 in Revelation 21 in Part 5. I’ll end this here.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 7   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Part 7

John has just been carried away to see the Holy City, The New Jerusalem, which is a city on the New Earth. This is the capital city where Jesus’ throne will be and where he will reign from. This city is described in Revelation 21:11—“It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.”

The first thing that stands out is the brightness of this city. It’s brightness comes exclusively from the glory of God, as the New Earth no longer has a sun to shine on it. I like the word play our language allows: We will no longer have light from the s-u-n, because we will have light from the S-o-n. Rev. 22:5 reads, “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light…” The bible says that God is light and that in Him there is no darkness at all. “No darkness at all” means there will be no shadows in the Holy City because a shadow only exists when light is blocked, creating darkness. Moses experienced the light that came from God as he stood on the mountain to receive the 10 commandments. When he came down from the mountain, his face was glowing because he stood in God’s glory. Jesus showed the light that was within Himself on the Mount of Transfiguration, where his disciples witnessed him revealing His glory. The bible says that He shone as bright as the sun. When Paul got knocked off his beast on his way to Damascus when the post-resurrected Jesus appeared to him, a bright light shone that blinded him for a few days.

God’s glory will be the glorified light-bulb for the Holy City. But interestingly, this light is only exclusive to this City, Jerusalem. Look at Rev. 21:22-25—“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.” Where do these verses say that the light resides in? Exclusively in this city. However, the kings of the earth will be the light for those outside of this city. Please stick with me here. Remember how Moses glowed when he came down from the Mountain with the 10 commandments because he was in God’s glory? The same thing will take place, except in a much, much grander way on the New Earth. Kings of the Earth (I’ll tell you later how you and I can become a king in heaven) will have access in and out of the Holy City. Not everyone will have access in and out of the city because an angel is posted at each gate to guard who comes in and out, just as an angel with a flaming sword was posted at the entrance of the Garden of Eden to keep Adam and Eve from returning inside. The kings of the Earth will have access in and out of the Holy City. They will come to the Holy City for a light refill, by which, they will return to the particular nation they are ruling over and be the “mini light” for that particular city. When their light runs dry because they left the full presence of the glory of God, they have to return to the Holy City to fill up again. The kings of the Earth will be like glow in the dark toys that we have. The toy only glows in the dark after it has absorbed light for itself. Verse 24 says “the nations will walk by its light.” “Its” refers to the light found in the Holy City Jerusalem.

The other notable thing to realize about this city aside from its brightness is its clearness. Rev. 21:11 “….its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” Verse 18, “The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure god, as pure as
glass.” Verse 21, “The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” I know, before you point it out…pure gold is not transparent. This is a New Earth we are talking about, with new kinds of resources. The pure gold on this New Earth, will be transparent. The transparency of the Holy City is significant because of how the New Earth was put together and where hell is located. Where did we see hell was located? In the center of the New Earth. And if they look up, and the streets of the Holy City and everything about it is transparent, yes, I’m suggesting, and will soon prove that “heaven” can be seen from “hell.” To be sure, the bible says that hell is complete darkness. It is the darkest of darkness. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t see anything. Looking up, they will see what they can’t have. Looking up, they will not only suffer because of the conditions in hell, but will also suffer because they will forever see an oasis that they can never have. Although heaven can be seen in hell, the opposite is not true. No one can see hell from heaven. An example is at night time when you are inside your home with your light on and curtains open, you can’t see outside into the darkness because the room you are in is lit up. But those who are outside at night can see you. Okay, I said I will prove that heaven can be seen from hell. Luke 16:19-31, Jesus sees the future of a rich man who is in hell. Verse 23 says, “In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus [a beggar the rich man refused to help] by his side.” Abraham is far away (in heaven) and Lazarus, who is in hell, looks up to see him. It continues, “So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” Now I don’t know what a dip of water off the tip of Lazarus’ finger will do for him, but that shows his eternal agony he’ll have in hell. Verse 26 is a great verse that gives more insight to our topic, “[Abraham talking] And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from there to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” Some might quickly ask, “Why would anyone want to go from here, “heaven” to “hell.” To see a loved one, maybe? If your loved ones don’t know Jesus, and you do, unfortunately you will not be able to visit them in eternity—and vice versa. But my point here is this chasm that exists between the two, yet the rich man can see heaven from hell.

Back to Rev. 21, verse 12, “It had a great, high wall with 12 gates, and with 12 angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.” We already spoke of the significance of the angels at each of the gates. They guard the city to prevent access to those who can’t come in (those who are saved during the tribulation period, but were not overcomers). Verse 14, “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” I love verses that need no commentary!

Verse 15, “The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia [equivalent to 1,400 miles] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured the city with its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using.” I want to point out here that everything was used “by man’s measurements” or tools. This is not some unknown angelic calculation. God wants us to know what Heaven (at least His Kingdom) will be like. Remember, this is not all of heaven, but just a city in heaven. But this capital city is huge. 1,400 miles is about half of the size of the US, and we are talking about a city, not a state or country. And it will be as tall as it is high. Not only will we have the room to go from on the horizontal plane, but we will have access to the vertical plane too. Since it says it is as high as wide means the city fills the sky as well (half of the US tall). It doesn’t give more details than this, but I am envisioning streets stacked on each other like a Metropolitan highway type of thing. Maybe even the streets are floating from on different planes from the ground to the sky. Remember these are transparent streets so we can see what’s above and below us. Also, since our bodies will be like that of the resurrected Lord’s, and he just floated up to the sky when He left His disciples, we won’t even need an elevator to get from one level to the next. We can just ask the Holy Spirit to take us up to the next level. Interestingly, that’s how John traveled. Look at verse 10, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem…” The Spirit or our new bodies could be our means of transportation from one level to the next. Doors won’t be needed either, as the resurrected Lord walked through doors. He was able to disappear and reappear elsewhere too.

It mentions different precious stones that represent each wall and gate of the city. I heard a great study on these stones that brilliantly connects this to the Old Testament 12 tribes of Israel. I just want you to know the connection exists. It is too much for me to go through that. Verse 21 says that each of the 12 gates were made of a single pearl. I know you know how pearls are created—they are formed in oysters. Well that’s a huge oyster that produces these pearls!!! But again, we are on the New Earth, so resources may be different, and also, God can produce a pearl as big as He so chooses.

I’m almost done with this series! I’ll have to pick up with part 6 soon. We’ll pick up with verse 24, and I’ll mention how we can become kings on this New Earth.
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PostSubject: What Heaven and Hell will be like Part 8   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:24 pm

Part 8

We are picking up from Revelation 21:24, “The nations will walk by its [glory of God and the Lamb] light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” The word “splendor” here from the NIV is the same Greek word for “glory” that speaks of God’s glory in the verse before. So the kings of the Earth will have their own glory and that they will bring to the city, but will get refilled by God’s glory because the nations of the New Earth will walk by the light from this city that the kings will bring to them. The kings themselves will be light for the nation they are overseeing. We are all familiar with the Scripture where Jesus says, “You [the church/Christians] are the light of the world.” These kings will literally be the light for the nations. No glory comes from man. It says that the kings will bring their glory into the city, but they got their glory from God.

A sort of parallel passage to this verse is Zechariah 2:10-13—“Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”

Deductive reasoning says that if there will be kings on the New Earth, then there must also be subjects under the kings. How does one become a king in eternity? I propose that kingship is a reward to the Christian who lives this life in loving and serving others. Jesus’ disciples asked him in Matthew 18:1, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus responded, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” They asked Jesus on another occasion which one of them will get to sit at Jesus’ left hand or right hand in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said to them there, “…but to sit on my left hand or on my right hand is not mine to give, but it is given to him who serves.” Notably here, Jesus did not rebuke His disciples and tell them they should not ask for such high positions. Instead he said that if you want to be great in the Kingdom of heaven, you must become a servant. You must be a servant to others to be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. The greater you serve others in this life, the greater stature you will have in the next. Keep in mind that Christians will have access to come in and out of the gates of the Holy City. It is those who were saved during the tribulation and populated during the Millennium who are outside the gates and cannot come into the Holy City. They will have kings over them. To be qualified to be a king, we must serve in this life. And taking on the quality of a little child means to humble ourselves. No person who is prideful in this life will be crowned a king in the next.

2 Timothy 2:11-12 reads, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us.” The first part here speaks of our salvation: “If we died with him, we will also live with him.” The second part speaks of our reward and is conditional: “If we endure, we will also reign with him.” Not all Christians will reign with him because not all Christians are humble, servants, and righteous living people. Reigning is conditional. Salvation is unconditional. The last part is not speaking of salvation: “If we deny him, he will also deny us.” That is speaking of our discipline if we are living in sin. If we don’t acknowledge Him before our friends, Jesus will not acknowledge us before His Father and His angels when He is passing out blessings.

Let’s move on. Rev. 21:25—“On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.” The gates won’t ever be shut, but an angel will be posted at each gate to keep out those who do not belong. And since light exclusively comes from within this City, the opened gates will help to illuminate outside its walls, along with the kings that go back to their ascribed nation with the glory of their light. Crazy ain’t it?

Verse 26—“The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.” We have reciprocal glory giving here. Everyone will be giving glory to God and to the Lamb Jesus. The kings of the Earth will be bringing back to the Holy City the glory given from the nations they are over, and the kings return to their nation with God’s glory of light.

Verse 27—“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are writing in the Lamb’s book of life.” If you have been following this whole series closely, then you are able to explain this verse to me. The angels are there to keep out all who are impure. Christians from the day of Grace are pure because Jesus purified us from our sins. He will raise us up with new perfected bodies too. Not so for those from the tribulation period or millennium period. They will be kept out of the city. Hell is not outside the gates. Hell is in the center of the New Earth. The rest of what we today call “heaven” is outside the gates of the Holy City. So let me skip ahead and quote Rev. 22:14-15: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” This is more proof that outside the gates is not hell because they are coming from outside to inside through the gates. Here is verse 15, “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” To be an idolater does not mean one is an unbeliever. If someone loves money more than they love God they are an idolater.

Rev. 22:1-2—“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Another reason the kings will go back and forth to the City will to bring these leaves to the nations for their healing. Interestingly, the nations get leaves even though the tree bears fruit. As mentioned before, one reason Adam and Eve were kept out of the garden was to prevent them from eating the fruit from this tree of life. The tree of life was not barred from Adam and Eve when they were in the garden. Here is that tree again. It’s leaves go out to the nations, and I believe that the fruit is available to those who are able to be in the City.

Verse 3—“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

And check out verse 19 of Chapt 22—“And if anyone takes words away form this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share (so it is a reward) in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Access to the city and to the tree of life is a reward. Salvation is free, but the tree of life and the Holy City, or Kingdom of Heaven is not completely free. Those saved during the day of Wrath can earn their way into the Holy City and tree of life if they can overcome Satan and his temptations and sacrifice themselves to be humbled and submissive to God. Herein concludes my series, “What Heaven Will be Like.” God has put on my heart to make a series about “Our New Identity in Christ” and “Biblical Healing.” I’m not sure if I will have anything other than answering your questions after that. God bless.
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PostSubject: Addendum   Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:21 pm

Addendum

Someone who read my "What Heaven is Like" series that I originally wrote in this thread, asked a great question about why I said that there will be different types of bodies in the next life depending on which period of history they died. So I would like to post my answer here too so it can be a supplement to that series.

Here is my answer:
You asked about how people will have different types of bodies in the next life depending on when they die.

I came to this conclusion based on several factors. Firstly, not everyone will have their newly transformed bodies at the same time. When the Jesus returns, the souls of those who have passed away in Him will return with Him, and their earthly bodies will rise up from the graves of the Earth and float up to the sky and meet them in the air and will in a twinkle of an eye be transformed into new spiritual bodies. This is in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15. Then those who are believers who are alive will float up to the sky with Jesus and the rest of the believers and have their bodies transformed into spiritual bodies like Jesus'. But that leaves those who are still alive and have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They are still on the Earth and will experience the seven year tribulation period. So at this moment, we have two types of bodies: the spiritual bodies of the believers who just got their bodies, and the fleshly bodies of all human beings left alive on Earth, which are all non-believers. There is another group of people at this moment: the non-believers who passed away. The non-believers who have passed away did not get spiritual Christ-like bodies. Their bodies are briefly explained in the bible in Mark 9:48 as having the worm that does not die and the fire that is never quenched. That means they feel pain in their bodies. From pure extrapolation we can say that they had bodies raised to them because a pure spirit cannot feel pain. Pain itself is based on nerves that sense pain and sends it to our brains. If a nerve gets severed then a person no longer feels pain to wherever that nerve used to supply. So imagine a person who dies and since we are spirits and not our bodies, we leave this body of nerves and so a spirit alone cannot feel pain. God will raise up a type of body for those who go to hell where they will be able to once again feel pain. So, so far, we have covered 3 types of people and we are at the tribulation period. Let's review: we have the people on Earth, who have been left behind from the rapture, and they have their same Earthly bodies that we know and have today; and we have the Christians who all have just gotten their new bodies; and, there are those in hell who at some point in history, not expressed in the bible will have a body raised up to them so that they will go from the bare naked spirit form, to being incased in a body that feels pain. Well, there is one more group of people, and that are those who become saved during the tribulation. They missed the period that Jesus came and gave everyone new bodies, and yet, they will be given a type of body to cover over their naked spirits in eternity, but it will be different than the ones given to the believers who were saved during the day of grace.

Concerning Christians who have their new bodies, Jesus says in Matthew 22:30, At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Here it says we will be like, or similar to angels, and in Corinthians, it says that our bodies will be like Jesus' resurrected body. So they will be angelic, spiritual bodies, like Jesus' resurrected body. But the point here I want to emphasize is that Christians will not procreate or be married in heaven or throughout eternity. But that is not true for everyone. Remember our last set of characters? Those who become saved during the tribulation will be able to procreate and have children, and this will be mostly expressed during the Millennium, which, by the way, there is an almost seamless transition between the Millennium and Eternity.

Let's look closely at Isaiah 65:17-25 to see this procreation that takes place from those who are able to, which are those straight from the tribulation because Jesus said that we, Christians from the Day of Grace, won't be marrying anymore because we will be married to Him. Verse 17, Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Eventually, a zillion years from now, we will no longer be thinking about the things we experienced from this life and this Earth. Just a note here: notice that the word heaven is plural. It is also plural in Isaiah 66:22. Not only will God make a New Earth, but He will make heavens. God is going to make the entire solar system new for us. Will He redo the entire universe? I don't know, but at least our current solar system will be redone along with our planet. We see in the next verse that this solar system will last forever: [18] But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. Of course, this is referring to the New Jerusalem that Revelation speaks of in Revelation 21 and 22. Verse 19: I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. That directly coincides with Rev. 21:4. Verse 20: Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. Well this verse should be raising your mental red flags right away. We are talking about the period of Eternity and yet we are speaking of people who are still dying and infants growing and maturing to old ages, and old people living until at least 100 years old. As I stated, the Millennium period and Eternity are a seamless transition. This is referring not to Christians from the Day of Grace because we have our new bodies and we will never die again. This is referring to those convert Christians from the Day of Tribulation. They will have new bodies, but not quite like our own. They will live out their time from the Millennium period and will be quite healthy because Jesus Himself will be with us. They will die at some point and be resurrected with a new body that will not die again. What will this body be like? Well, they missed the time when Jesus gave everyone new spiritual bodies, and see my last paragraph I wrote at the conclusion of this. I think they will be different than ours.

Let's continue: verse 21, They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. Yes, we will be working in heaven. Verse 22, No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; the works of their hands. So there will be no corruption during the Millennium period, transitioning into Eternity because Jesus Himself will be reigning. Verse 23, They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. So here is the procreation verse. We, Christians from the Day of Grace cannot procreate because we are directly married to Jesus. But those who come from the Day of Tribulation will be able to have descendants during this time because they have different types of bodies than us. In my opinion, this verse completely highlights the difference between our type of bodies and theirs.

Just to close out the chapter: [24] Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. [25] The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,' says the Lord. Interestingly, here, there will be animals in heaven on this New Earth, and yet the serpent will still have its curse that it received in Genesis. The Great Serpent, Satan was thrown into the lake of fire, so he won't be here. But the animal serpent will still have its former curse even on the New Earth.

And lastly, when you read through the rest of the What Heaven is Like series, you'll see that those who were saved from the Tribulation do not have the same freedoms as those who were saved during the Day of Grace. Those from the Day of Grace will have access in and out of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Revelation says of those from the Day of Grace that they have been given robes, and it says of those Christians from the Day of Tribulation that they have been given garments. Even our crowns are different if you keep careful track of them. And so I hope that I sufficiently explained why I believe that our bodies will be different too.
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PostSubject: Re: What Heaven and Hell will be Like According to Scripture Intro and Parts 1-8   Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:40 pm

You guys, it has come to my attention, after much more study, prayer for understanding, and review, that I made some errors in this Heaven and Hell write up. I am currently working on it to perfect its accuracy. I am rewriting it so that it can be more easily followed as well.

Please don't be too alarmed if you've gone through it already. A lot of what is here right now is great stuff, and will be a great starting point if you are just starting to read the book of Revelation and about the end times. But look forward to the updated version. I will post again letting you know when I've updated it.
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