BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN
AN OPEN AND CANDID DISCUSSION
October 31, 2013
This series on Bringing Heaven Down is an extremely important one. Somehow we must get our brothers to see the power faith has to change our world. Somehow we must invigorate our brothers to take an active role as ambassadors substituting for Christ, doing what he did and continuing his work. If his followers fail, his work will have been in vain.
Jesus brought spirit and heavenly gifts to mankind and asked those who love him to take his message to the ends of the earth. In nearly 2,000 years, man has been spreading a message about Jesus, but not the message of Jesus – the message Jesus himself taught. His message was not that he died and was resurrected. His message was that he lived as the Son of God on earth who prepared places in heaven for everyone who exercises faith in him. Bringing heaven down places the heavenly hope within the reach of all men, and thereby causes a chain reaction of love and peace resulting in a spiritual brotherhood of man – the worldwide brotherhood of Jesus – no matter where we are situated on this beautiful planet.
In developing this series, we look to the responses from our readers to get a pulse on how the information is being received and to know what needs to be clarified or expounded on. We have decided to write what we believe is needed and, after questions are posed, we can then write what is wanted. The articles, Training Our Perceptive Powers, and A Ministry of Glad Tidings are articles that resulted in response to emails from our visitors. This article arises from the same source. The visitor who posed the questions that gave rise to the previous article, sent this follow up email:
Hi again :) I read your answer to my question .. Much I agree with not ALL first: a lot of your readers are truly beside themselves over finding out they have a heavenly hope and rightly so AMEN!!!! Being denied being able to partake at Memorial was soooo wrong!!! Heartbreaking really almost criminal.. It was a denial of Jesus really.. Which is what [Jehovah’s Witnesses] were guilty of!!!! They had a lot right : holidays pagan.. Government not of God except that little detail of them joining [United Nations] for about 10 years. Big Whoops!! Some things they had right.. But you can't deny Jesus and claim seven /eight men get their info from God! These elders finding Truth now are just so Happy like honeymoon phase of marriage ... I felt same way but then a person needs to search and dig deep for more truth.. Are you dismissing Revelation? Of course God desires all to be saved .. The Bible doesn't say that is what will happen... Visit Iraq Iran Israel Syria ask the Christians there if they eagerly await Jesus return? They are being slaughtered ... They are hated they are running for their lives... Jesus said standing up for Him would put mother/father/ brother/sister against one another!!! It has!!!! This isn't a game where if you play nice in the sandbox so will I!!!! Oh you better believe Satan has power ... And it he is RAGING!!!! It is WAR to take out Christ’s followers to call it less then that is very WRONG.... God said if the days at end times weren't cut short No Flesh would be saved.... Christians are being be headed now .. In lands Jesus preached in!!! I'm not doom gloom it's called get your head out of the Sand ... Speak truth not fairy tales sorry if it seems harsh .. Being [Jehovah’s Witnesses] so long we all had enough of Doom Gloom I get it I do!!!'but Truth is what should be told ..... And you have up to point but by omission of some Bible verses.
We can feel the author’s frustration and exasperation through the words. When we hear about what is going on in the world against Christians, it is indeed heartbreaking. It would be inhumane not to feel distress or not to pray for relief to come. In this matter, we are in agreement. However, the author suggests we ‘get our heads out of the sand and speak truth not fairy tales.’ We believe we have been speaking truth, but perhaps we have not been candid enough.
The Supposed Honeymoon of Faith Sons
The author wrote: A lot of your readers are truly beside themselves over finding out they have a heavenly hope and rightly so AMEN!!!! Being denied being able to partake at Memorial was soooo wrong!!! Heartbreaking really almost criminal... It was a denial of Jesus really.. Which is what [Jehovah’s Witnesses] were guilty of!!!! These elders finding Truth now are just so Happy like [the] honeymoon phase of marriage ... I felt same way but then a person needs to search and dig deep for more truth.
Please know that many of the elders and traveling servants who have stepped down were already partakers before they heard the plain and open teachings. What happened was that their eyes were opened to the fact that all of their brothers in the congregations are also sons of God with the heavenly hope. These men had spent years teaching the false hope of ‘eternal life on earth,’ and feel compelled to right their wrong by fervently preaching and teaching the truth about man’s future destiny. To the extent they got off track and followed the directives of men, they are course correcting, and they are very thankful for the Father’s mercy.
Individuals who hear the plain and open teachings are conducting themselves as mature men and women who wholeheartedly believe in the reality of the Father and Christ Jesus. Serving God has been a way of life for most of them for decades. They are not ‘honeymooning’ anymore than the first century brothers and sisters were ‘honeymooning’ after hearing the clear message from Jesus. We suspect those who read the comments in the email might be a bit offended. The analogy is that they have married a beautiful woman only to find out she has a bad personality and they have quickly grown tired of her. This implies that perhaps the author of the email has not yet understood the magnificent and deeply profound gift of sonship.
Those with ‘an ear to hear what the spirit says’ are changed forever. This is not a game to them. The changes we are hearing about are not just a passing fancy. Sonship with the Father is a way of life. A better analogy would be to say that they are in the ‘courting’ stage looking forward to the ‘consummation’ when they receive their heavenly reward. And they know that their reward is faithful and true. There are no hidden surprises that might cause them to experience buyer’s remorse!
On the other hand, it seems that it is the author who has been ‘honeymooning.’ If searching the scriptures dampens his hope, he is not understanding what he is reading. He is disregarding the plain and open teachings in favor of manmade doctrines and man-concocted prophetic interpretations. It is understandable that one could tire out if one is longing for an earthly reward. If he could just recognize the difference between plain and open teachings and prophetic interpretations, we believe his joy will be far more lasting, for those hoping in the heavenly kingdom are ‘renewed from day to day.’
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The World’s Calamities
The author wrote: Of course God desires all to be saved .. The Bible doesn't say that is what will happen... Visit Iraq Iran Israel Syria ask the Christians there if they eagerly await Jesus return? They are being slaughtered ... They are hated they are running for their lives... Jesus said standing up for Him would put mother/father/ brother/sister against one another!!! It has!!!! This isn't a game where if you play nice in the sandbox so will I!!!! Oh you better believe Satan has power ... And it he is RAGING!!!! It is WAR to take out Christ’s followers to call it less then that is very WRONG.... God said if the days at end times weren't cut short No Flesh would be saved.... Christians are being be headed now. In lands Jesus preached in!!!
We are well aware of the persecution Christians are suffering around the world. But the author of the email presents these events as if they are unique to our generation. As was mentioned, Christ said 2,000 years ago that these types of things would occur to those who take their stand for Christ in the face of ignorant and selfish peoples and authorities. And his words have proved true and continue to prove true down to this day.
Do not forget, however, that more Christians were slaughtered, impaled, crucified, burned at the stake, and thrown to the lions during the early Christian era than are being comparatively persecuted today. Do not forget that more Christians were subjected to inquisitions, beatings, burnings, beheading, and torture during the so-called Dark Ages than are being similarly persecuted today. And these latter atrocities were instigated and carried out by other Christians!!! Yet, the longed for ‘end’ did not come to save those faithful ones.
And let us not take a self-centered view of matters. Christians are not the only ones who have been, and continue to be, persecuted as a result of religious intolerance. Historically Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and various tribal religions have been attacked, oppressed and/or suppressed as well. And, of course, we must acknowledge the terrible Holocaust.
So why, do you suppose, would our generation be more favored by God than all of the previous ones? Why would God bring an end now when He did not bring an end under far more devastating circumstances? Surely if it was God’s intent or purpose to prevent the unfair suffering of Christians, the ‘end’ would have come before the ink on the book of Revelation was dry!
We are not at all suggesting that God does not care or that there will not be an end to suffering. We are saying, rather candidly, that there is more to the story than the longed for ‘fairy tale’ ending of a knight on a white horse riding to our rescue. In order to see the larger picture, we must step back and take a realistic look at man’s history. We can no longer afford to indulge in the sentimentality characteristic of children. We must look through the mature eyes of spiritual men and women who truly want to know what is going on. We must intelligently ask, Why do we find ourselves in this position? What is going on? Is there hope for any relief? And when will that relief come? The answers to all of these questions are found within the pages of the Bible. But we cannot find those answers by picking at it and pulling out special verses, any more than we can view a forest by focusing on the trees. The Bible tells one great story from various points of view. This is where the book of Revelation comes in.
The Book of Revelation
The author of the email asked: Are you dismissing Revelation? Quite to the contrary. We do not dismiss or discount the book of Revelation. But we do dismiss and discount the various interpretations that suggest or imply that either Jesus or the Father is bloodthirsty and seeking a horrific end to their own creation.
We respect the book of Revelation and, to a large extent, we understand it. We believe that as man comes to a better understanding of God and Jesus and their purpose for man, the meaning of Revelation will unfold for us all. Some are already getting the sense of it. For our part, we are content to allow this matter to unfold naturally and progressively as it did, and continues to do, for us. The Spirit of Truth is not impotent. He will, as stated, ‘guide us into all truth.’ (John 16:13) We are certain there is no better way to understand the prophecy than by personal revelation by means of the Spirit.
Christianity as a whole has failed to understand the visions of Revelation for the same reason the Jews failed to recognize Jesus as the coming savior. Because their minds have been blinded by faulty interpretations of their scribes who unwittingly promote the error instituted and fomented by the Adversary – interpretations that obscure and deny the truth, beauty, goodness and glory of the Father and His Christ.
Having said that, we do believe that one can be primed to receive a better understand of the book of Revelation if one understands the historic development of matters pertaining to man’s salvation. Perhaps a brief overview of man’s religious history, following the path leading to the Christ will open hearts and minds to the true message of Revelation. In the next article, we will begin that open and candid discussion.
In the meantime, please understand that life is serious business. We are not God’s pets who are to live a pampered life. We are God’s sons in training for a great and everlasting career!
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
– Romans 8:16-17
The few troubled years we spend on this earth at the beginning of our career are a drop in the ocean compared to the glorious and eternal future we have ahead of us. Never forget that the first step is always the hardest. Our earthly life is our first step, but if we can open our eyes and look ahead – look up (Colossians 3:2) – we can be strengthened to endure whatever comes upon us. That is how the first century Christians lived, and it is apparently how so many others who are being persecuted today are able to endure, as many of them would tell you if they had the means and the opportunity.
Truly, the way that we deal with these earthly troubles has a significant bearing on how quickly we progress in the life ahead. These are times to learn to perfect the fruitage of the spirit – “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”(Galatians 5:22-23) – and to learn that God is our Father, that we are a family, and that we can overcome all ob stacles through our faith in Christ Jesus.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
– Philippians 4:12-13
Yes, the Devil is real, but as we said in the prior article, he is impotent. The only power he has is that which one may give to him by turning their backs to the divine will of the Father. The real threat is not the Devil directly, but indirectly by those who choose to manifest the ‘spirit’ of the Devil. But we can conquer the Devil in the same way Jesus conquered him – through our faith in the Father’s eternal purpose. We can determine for ourselves that we will not be complicit in the Devil’s plan to pit one brother against another. And we can work to awaken others to their true relationship with God and their relationship with the rest of mankind.
We can show true brotherly love and compassion by educating all men to what is really going on. In many instances, we can gain even our persecutors as our brothers as the veils are removed from their eyes so they can see ‘the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) In this way, we ‘bring heaven down’ so that the true good news itself will bring an end to suffering. And it will be accomplished, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.’ (Zechariah 4:6)
To man, this is a long and slow method of victory. But it is the sure path to success. God has done, and is continuing to do, His part. So is Christ Jesus, along with our celestial family. Throughout history, the Most High has toppled governments that stood in the way of man’s social and spiritual progress, and the Most High will continue to do so. (Daniel 4:17)
The uprisings we see today will culminate in better conditions for the people who are suffering under those authorities. Much of their efforts will be realized for their future generations. To many of them, if not most of them, the price is worth it since by their courage, they will gain safety and security for future generations – their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. Like Paul, they consider the tribulations as ‘momentary and light’ in comparison to the glory that is to be revealed in them. For now, they, along with us, must do their part and courageously choose God’s sure way and do God’s will to the best of their ability.
And we must not forget that through all of these tribulations, the Father never leaves us. God’s Spirit dwells within us. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19) The Spirit of Truth guides and strengthens us. (John 14:15-17; John 16:13) And our celestial family of angels, seraphim, cherubim, and other unrevealed divine beings support us in miraculous ways that many can attest to. We are not alone in this fight.
Therefore, let us do what we can to be victorious in our faith and help others to do so. The victory lies in bringing heaven down, not bringing destruction down. This, the Father knows and has revealed to mankind through the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Love is the conqueror and the savior of our world, not war.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Let us not become as those “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5) We must develop faith in the power of love to change our world.
What can strengthen us in this regard is to gain a real appreciation of what is going on. Up until this point, we have hesitated to comment openly about the meaning of the book of Revelation for various reasons. But now we believe the time has come to at least get our brothers to open their eyes to the bigger picture so that the Spirit of Truth can ‘guide them into all truth.’ We will do that in our next article, Bringing Heaven Down – An Historic Overview, in the spirit of being open and candid, as well as bold and revolutionary.
Until then, as always, we welcome your comments.
"Your Brothers in Faith"