BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN

AN HISTORIC OVERVIEW

November 4, 2013

 

 

   The book of Revelation is a series of visions of great and awe-inspiring events that Jesus gave to the Apostle John, some of which would take place in John’s day.  These matters were being presented symbolically:

 

“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant.”

– Revelation 1:1

 

    But more was given to John than just a symbolic vision of immediate prophecy.  John was given a glimpse of things past, present and future and was told to write them down as he saw them.

 

“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”

– Revelation 1:19

 

   And even though John’s impression of what he saw was fearsome at times, the overall message is a message that is designed to encourage, strengthen, and renew those who read it. The angel told John:

 

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”

– Revelation 1:3

 

   We believe the happiness that derives from reading the book of Revelation can be achieved once we understand man’s historic walk to salvation.  

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    Many are waking up to the truth that Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), would not go to war against his own creation. (Colossians 1:15-16) And they are inspired and encouraged by “The Ninevite Possibility” which suggests that we can avert any supposed worldwide destruction by teaching the plain and open teachings of Jesus and getting our generation to turn to God. (See Turning Back Destruction.) Nevertheless, many are not sure what to say about the dreadful personalities and the fearsome events contained in the prophetic book of Revelation.  After all,Revelation is a part of the same Bible canon that presents the plain and open teachings of Jesus, so it cannot be ignored. 

 

    However, it must be recognized that the book of Revelation was the last Christian writing to be added to the Bible canon.  For a long time, its characters, symbolism and authorship was in doubt.  About 100 years after the other writings were canonized, the canon was re-opened and the book of Revelation was added, though controversy continued about its content, with claims that the original text had been greatly altered by adding to or taking away. If this is true, then that would explain the quick transitions from vision to vision, and the strange and inconsistent verbiage such as we find at Revelation 14:4.  

 

     Nevertheless, we believe the overall message and purpose of the Revelation remains even though much of the symbolism continues shrouded. And to the extent that it is consistent with the plain and open teachings of Jesus, we accept it, as we do when considering all other portions of the Bible canon, as we explain in Receiving Truth

 

     We, the authors of this website, have hitherto refrained from commenting specifically on the visions in the book of Revelation for those reasons.  But the foremost reason we have withheld our comments is because not enough of Jesus’ plain and open teachings are understood which would open the door to a real understanding of Revelation.  As long as man holds onto ideas of a wrathful, jealous God who wants His Son to carry out a wholesale destruction of His creation, the true good news as revealed in Revelation could not shine through. Our words would have been nothing more than a sounding piece of brass among an orchestra of poorly tuned instruments and tone deaf singers, and it would have been a complete waste of time.

 

    But now we believe we have built a foundation of information upon which greater and weightier matters can be supported.  The time has come for us to speak more boldly, and with more candor, which will challenge the comfort zone of many, but it will lead to great satisfaction and peace of mind for those who sincerely seek truth and who are willing to allow themselves to be guided by the Spirit of Truth. We hope to, at the very least, get our brothers to open their eyes to the bigger picture.

 

    What we will present here is not new information. All of the ideas we will share are rooted in the Bible and already understood by most. But the way it is presented and developed may be an eye-opener – even revolutionary to some.  What we are doing is merely putting the pieces together into one grand historic overview beginning from before the days of Adam and Eve through to Jesus Christ and culminating in our day.  It is up to you, the reader, to use your own discretion as to the value of what we present. The Spirit will bear witness with you individually as to whether these things are so.  

 

God’s Purpose

 

    As we consider an historic overview of man’s journey on earth, we note that there are many paths we could take.  Science tells us that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So we will take the shortest path – a direct line leading to truth as embodied in Jesus of Nazareth.  

 

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

– John 14:6

 

    It would seem natural to begin in the book of Genesis with the account of Adam and Eve and their activities in the Garden of Eden.  However, the Bible takes us back a bit further, before Adam and Eve ever arrived on earth. 

 

   By way of revelation from Jesus to the Apostle Paul, we learn that God’s purpose for mankind ‘before the founding of the world’ – that is, before Adam and Eve – was that mankind was to be adopted into the heavens as God’s sons.

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

– Ephesians 1:3-5

 

   This is the purpose God had, and continues to have, for his earth children.  Yes, from the very beginning, Jesus Christ was to be the one through whom this adoption would take place.  Without there ever being evil or rebellion in our world, Jesus was destined to come and to show us the way into heaven.  

 

“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

 

   From this we learn that man has a two-fold development.  The first Adam was the one through whom we would acquire physical bodies.  But when the last Adam arrived – Jesus Christ – he would complete our development and give us the means to acquire heavenly bodies!  No, it was not God’s purpose that man continue in the earth bodies forever!

 

The Rebellion and the Fall

 

    Before God’s purpose could be revealed to mankind, rebellion broke out in heaven when the once beautiful celestial being, Lucifer – aka the Shining One – no longer wanted to assent to divine rulership. He wanted to be a divine ruler himself who would bring his own form of liberty that he felt was superior to what he perceived as the restricting rulership of the Father. The prophet Isaiah prophetically spoke of this ‘pre-Adam and Eve’ rebellion when he wrote: 

 

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

– Isaiah 14:12-14

 

   As Isaiah wrote, Lucifer sought a seat on the ‘mountain of meeting.’ His rebellion vanquished heavenly nations and caused a great upheaval. ‘Vanquishing nations’ is indicative of war, and war implies some type of organization of opposing forces.  This beautiful ‘shining one’ obviously captivated the support of many lower beings who simply could not imagine such a powerful one would go astray and be so wrong.  The Bible indicates that many celestial personalities followed Lucifer and were misled into judgment:

 

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment.”

– 2 Peter 2:4

 

“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.”

- Jude 1:6

 

   But war in heaven is not a physical battle as such a conflict might be conceived on earth.  We suspect it would be a war of words, a war of ideas – with one side arguing against the divine will of the Father and one side arguing for it.  Such a war would continue until every one involved had firmly made a decision by taking a stand on one side or the other – a battle plain of decision.

 

    Even though it was not carnal, it was no doubt very terrible and very real. There would not be the displays of barbarities that are characteristic of physical warfare on earth, but such a conflict would be far more deadly.  Physical life is in jeopardy in an earthly war; whereas war in heaven was fought in terms of life eternal.  This war began before Adam and Eve were placed in Eden, but it did not end there. 

 

   While this war continued, as one of his many acts of rebellion, the Devil, and those who sided with him, turned their attention to the earth.  Through the Devil’s cunning, represented as a serpent, Eve was seduced into believing that Lucifer’s distorted form of liberty would make her ‘like God.’

 

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

– Genesis 3:4-5

 

    As she considered the proposition, it began to appeal to her.  Perhaps by being ‘like God,’ she could better and more quickly complete their commission that God gave them: 

 

“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

– Genesis 1:28

 

    Through her desire for expediency, she sinned against the will of God for her, pushing ahead without first consulting her husband, her partner, who it appears would likely have advised her to stay the steady divine course.  But when he found out about her sin, it was too late.  And so he cast his lot in with hers – this woman whom he came to love so completely – agreeing to accept and undergo whatever punishment would befall her together. 

 

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

– Genesis 3:6

 

    But the seriousness of this grave error quickly presented itself.  Both of their consciences were seared as they knew they had failed.  The divine protection they once felt seemed to disappear and in their minds, they were naked and without divine cover.  Guilt had set it.

 

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

– Genesis 3:7

 

    These two tragedies – the rebellion of Lucifer and the default of Adam and Eve – threw our world into a ball of confusion. The gift Adam and Eve were to give their offspring was tainted.  Their failure to follow the divine will affected their children as Cain jealously slew his brother Abel.  And as Cain when off on his own, he took with him, not the pure love and purpose of a divine Father, but the distorted and defeated unreality of disobedient guilt-ridden parents. (For a further discussion, see Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?)

 

The Devil’s Plan

 

    The Devil has a great and profound hatred for our God and Christ Jesus. This whole conflict – the entire rebellion –  is about Lucifer vs. God – Lucifer’s own creator!  Mankind was not the target; we were simply pawns and collateral damage. In his distorted mind, the Devil believed he was doing man a favor, giving them ‘true liberty,’ showing them how to be ‘like God.’ When they fell into sin, the Devil took advantage of the chaos he created, and asserted himself as man’s ruler, concocting one nefarious plan after another to distract and confuse those foreordained sons of the Great and Eternal Father in heaven. His true anger was against the Father to thwart His foreordained purpose and desire for man to ascend to the heavens and meet their God face to face, with Christ Jesus showing us the way. No, rather than destroy man, the Devil wanted man as his own particular possession, for them to serve him as ruler, even as their god!

 

   For his plan to work, the Devil would have to trick man into believing that an earthly existence is all there is.  And he has developed several insidious schemes to accomplish that, including atheism, agnosticism, materialism, earthly kingdoms – anything to keep man from seeking their true hope and heritage in the heavens!  Anything to embarrass the Father, interfere with, and, if possible, defeat His eternal purpose. 

 

   Those in the spirit world were very well aware of God’s purpose for man, and they knew the truth of the words spoken by the prophets: 

 

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

– Isaiah 55:11

 

“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”

– Joshua 23:14

 

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.” 

–  Isaiah 45:22-23

 

   Yet, they were perplexed at how the foreordained adoption of mankind would be accomplished since the tragedy of the rebellion and the default of Adam and Eve had divided the human family so completely.  Brothers warring against their brothers. Brothers dominating brothers to their injury.(Ecclesiastes 8:9) Brothers stealing, and lying, and murdering one another.  Tribes devastating tribes with no real hope of worldwide peace in sight.  Until . . . 

 

The Father’s Answer

 

    Having lost connection with the true God, man across the globe set up their own gods and proclaimed their gods were superior to all of the others.  To this day, religious superiority of their gods is a major reason why we have not been able to heal the family of mankind.  So much so that the prophets, the angels and various celestial personalities wondered:  How could man be brought together as the unified family they truly are and receive their foreordained adoption?  

 

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.  It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.”

– 1 Peter 1:10-12

 

    We cannot deny that the Devil and his cronies were having quite a bit of success until the Father put into motion His answer to the Devil’s challenge.  Christ finally arrived in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. During his ministry, Jesus demonstrated God’s answer to those who ‘were desiring to peer’ into the divine purpose. First, he revealed to us the foreordained purpose that we may enter into the kingdom of the heavens as sons of God: 

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

– Matthew 5:3, 8-11

 

     And he taught that since God is our Father, we are all brothers:

 

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” 

– Matthew 23:8-9

 

     Through his life and ministry, he showed us the way to receive the divine destiny: 

 

“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

– John 14:1-6

 

     And he accepted everyone who wanted the glorious promise of heavenly adoption as sons of God:

 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

– John 1:12-13

 

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

– Romans 8:19-21

 

     From this point forward, the kingdom of the heavens is what mankind is instructed to pursue:

 

“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has forcefully advanced, and the strong take it by force."

– Matthew 11:12 (Modern English Version)

 

    The ministry of Jesus is the ministry of reconciliation that he asks his followers to complete.  It is a ministry of reconciling man to the God from whom they had been alienated through the trickery and machinations of the Devil and his comrades:

 

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

 

The Conquest

 

    Much of Jesus early life is not revealed in the Bible.  But we do know that whatever he had done during that time, it was enough to gain the Father’s unconditional approval, even before he began his ministry:

 

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’"

-Matthew 3:16-17

 

   By means of his ministry of successfully revealing the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and man’s foreordained heavenly destiny, Jesus defeated the Devil’s plan and conquered him along with his cohorts and accomplices:

 

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

– Luke 10:17-19

 

“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me.”

– John 14:30

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

– John 16:33 

 

   After his resurrection, Jesus present himself to the Father to report his victory, and he was given even greater authority than he had before he came to earth:

 

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 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, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

– Philippians 2:5-11

 

    This event was prophesied by the prophet Daniel who had been given a vision of this coming encounter: 

 

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

– Daniel 7:13-14

 

    In spite of all the Devil’s machinations and generations-long antics, Jesus prevailed.  The sacred secret was out!  Man no longer had to suffer under the chaotic rulership of a mentally diseased and power hungry potentate.  He was free.  He was given the freedom of the sons of God!  And by reason of Jesus’ faithfulness, the Ancient of Days granted him an everlasting rulership and a kingdom that would never be destroyed. 

 

    When Jesus returned to earth after appearing before the Ancient of Days, he told his followers:

 

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:18-20

 

    Jesus had begun ruling as king and now he entreated those who love him to spread his glorious message of victory and salvation to the whole world so that the peace of God and the glorious future that was ‘foreordained from the founding of the world’ could be realized.

 

The Devil’s Response

 

    Now that the Devil has lost his battle to thwart the implementation of God’s purpose of adopting man into the heavens as His sons, the Devil turned his attention to those remaining on the earth to ‘persuade’ them not to pursue the heavenly reconciliation. And he is not limiting his activities to Christians, but Christians are at the forefront of his attack because they have been entrusted with the work of bearing witness to Jesus and revealing to all mankind their true, eternal and glorious future.

 

    The Devil is using various methods, including theocratic domination (getting us to follow men rather than Christ), ideological confusion (teaching ideas that distort our understanding of God’s purpose, some of which cause one to reject God’s purpose), preoccupation (social, economic and material advantages to take up our time), upheavals (political crises and social unrest to discourage and mislead us) and lastly physical persecution and premature death.  

 

    But the Devil was defeated.  From then on, he knew he will never be man’s true ruler.  Whatever control he manages to assert is without any real authority and only exists over those whose minds are blinded so they cannot see the glorious good news about our heavenly inheritance.

 

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 

– 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

 

    However, one thing God will not do is interfere with our free will.  No divine being is allowed to do that, so, it is up to us individually to make the decision to pursue God’s purpose for ourselves. And when we do, our celestial family (those who had been peering into earthly matters for generations) gets behind us, educates us, and supports us so that we can endure and attain our true destiny.  

 

    Jesus and the Father fully know what we are up against.  Our planet has been severely handicapped by the rebellion by Lucifer, the default of Adam and Eve, and the anger of a cunning, yet defeated, adversary.  So the bar is low.  All we need to do is exercise faith in Jesus and follow his example.  And as Jesus said, all it requires is just a little faith. 

 

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

– Matthew 17:20

 

“He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

– Luke 17:6

 

   Contrary to modern day ‘ideological confusion,’ we do not have to know the answers to all theological questions. 

 

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.  The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.  They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”

– 1 Timothy 1:3-7

 

    We do not have to search out the origin of every practice and holiday and custom, and meticulously avoid those with questionable roots.  

 

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.  But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?  You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!  I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.”

– Galatians 4:8-11

 

   We do not have to abandon common sense to follow the whims of men who set themselves up as theocracies.  

 

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?”

– 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5

 

     We do not have to be sinless, flawless or literally perfect. 

 

“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” 

– Galatians 2:15-16

 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.”

– Ephesians 2:8-9

 

   What we do have to do is to pursue the heavenly career by doing ‘God’s will’ – the best and right thing under the circumstances, as explained in the article The Perfect Will of GodIn truth, it is easier to do the 'perfect will of God’ than it is to do the imperfect will of man. 

 

   But if we can manage just that, we will attain our reward of everlasting life in the heavens, advancing ‘with ever-increasing glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18) until we come face to face with our Infinitely Grand Father who has blessings for us that we cannot even fathom. 

 

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

Conclusion

 

    Yes, the future for mankind is glorious thanks to the person and authority of Christ Jesus!  When on earth, 2,000 years ago, he conquered the opposition. He opened the floodgates of the heavens and finally revealed to mankind what man has been in eager expectation of and keenly searching for – the freedom of the sons of God! (Romans 8:19-21) Not just for a few, but for ‘all who would receive him.’ (John 1:12) 

 

    Jesus’ arrival on earth was an unequaled turning point in human history. It was not just the walk of a wise man or a great prophet, or the mere institution of another religion.  It was the presence of divinity (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-16) come to save his confused and lost children, not from just one nation, but the entire race of mankind!  

 

    Jesus did not come to tell us that he would die and be resurrected. Those events occurred, but that was not his message. He came to tell us he lives, and we can live forever in the places he is preparing for us. (John 14:2)  The message Jesus brought was spread by the 12 apostles and the 70 evangelists, among others.  It was good news – glad tidings of victory and salvation!  The theme was the Kingdom of the Heavens! The Kingdom of the Heavens! (Matthew 13:24; 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 18:23, 22:2, 25:1) It is the same destiny that the Devil fought so hard to hide from us – ‘so the illumination of the glorious good news God, might not shine through.’ (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

 

    With the arrival of Christ Jesus, we can let go of the old pre-Christian system. We should not be looking for ‘greater fulfillments’ of ancient prophecies. We should be looking to the words of one who is more than a prophet, the one who long ago fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 5:17) For whenever we hold on to the past, we are delaying our own future. 

 

  And when considering prophecies given after Christ’s resurrection, we should ever keep in mind the goodness, the mercy, and the love displayed by Jesus while on earth.  We should never allow our own interpretations to sully the fine reputation and character of Jesus as man’s savior, not his destroyer.  He truly is the Prince of Peace! 

 

  When an angel of Jesus gave the series of visions to the Apostle John which he recorded in the book of Revelation, John was told that those who read it would be happy. (Revelation 1:3) It was good news.  It was never intended to frighten us or to cause dread.  It is a story of victory already achieved!  

 

   This message of hope is for all mankind, not just Christians.  Jesus is the creator of everything in our world; not just the progenitor of one religion. (John 1:3)  His good news is the answer to the scientists who study our physical world looking for clues to our existence.  It is the answer to the astronomers who search out into space for signs of our origin. It is the answer to the atheist and the agnostics who long for an understanding of how a loving God could allow the current systems to exist. And it is the answer for the downtrodden, the persecuted, the hopeless, and the hopeful. By means of the ministry of reconciliation, God’s will and purpose becomes the answer to everything.  

 

“When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:28

 

   It is now up to those who willingly pick up our torture stakes to serve as ambassadors of the good news and tell the glad tidings to all!  The heavy lifting has already been done by Jesus. All man needs to do is preach the proper message of victory and salvation, and when the good news is preached in all the inhabited earth, then the end to man’s suffering and sorrow will come. (Matthew 24:14) 

 

   Only then can we expect the fulfillment of the promises:

 

“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. saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘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.”

– Revelation 21:1-4

 

“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.  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.”

– Revelation 22:1-5

 

   Yes, we must do our part.  Those who love the Christ must join in the harvest work. We must not leave ourselves and our generation to the same old doom and dread of outdated and decaying religious systems. The Father and Christ Jesus have everything already in place and ready to go.  The angels of the congregations are standing by. Man just needs to respond, even with just a flicker of faith, but faith indeed!

 

   Having taken this brief overview of man’s path to salvation, can your spiritual eyes see what is going on?  Can your figurative heart understand the importance of Jesus’ coming and the need to spread the plain and open teachings of the true good news?  And can you now get a glimpse of the true meaning of the book of Revelation?  

 

   If not, do not worry.  Being right or wrong about prophetic interpretations will not cause anyone to lose his or her reward as long as they do not reject the plain and open teachings.  

 

“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved —even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

– 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 

 

    But, if your answers are yes, you are on the path to greatness by understanding God’s goodness.  You will know that “The Ninevite Possibility” is more than a mere possibility. It is the will of God.  And if you grab hold onto it, you will save not only yourself, but also those who listen to you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

 

    We welcome your comments.

 

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