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The Only Promise of Heavenly Life
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Interpretum
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Post: #46
RE: The Only Promise of Heavenly Life

Hi Jim

I agree with you, up until you said...

JWHVACR Wrote:
However, sometime after initiating the New Covenant, Jesus made a promise that did speak of the hope of being taken to heaven, and this promise was only offered to a select few. This wasn’t an addendum to the New Covenant, it was just a promise that he made with those who he said, ‘stuck with me during my trials.’


As you know, Jesus didn't say they were going to heaven. Jesus seemed to phrase what he was saying somewhat ambiguously...

"In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be." (John 14:2,3)

In other words, Jesus said he would come again, and receive them home to him. But when he is "coming again", where will he be? :D

My simple point is that, Jesus may have spoken somewhat vaguely and ambiguously because he knew (perhaps) that they were not going to be permanent residents in Heaven.

Something else that ties in with this... and that is, in my opinion, misrepresented by the WTS, is the assignment given to the 12 apostles - they were to rule over the 12 tribes of Israel.

The 12 apostles were Jews, were literal men, there were 12 literal tribes, and when Jesus said that he gave no indication he was using symbology, so I conclude that the apostles' assignment will be rulership over the resurrected literal 12 tribes of Israel. (Yes, at the last supper Jesus no longer mentioned all 12... but Judas was replaced by another apostle later on.)

Revelation, although highly symbolic, supports this idea that the rulership will be Earth based, and founded on the apostles:

"I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them..." (Rev 21:2,3)

"The wall of the city also had twelve foundation stones, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (21:14)

"And the nations will walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it." (21:24)

"And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side [there were] trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees [were] for the curing of the nations." (22:1,2)

This is very Earth based language ... and chapter 22 is based on the magnificent prophecy of Zechariah 14, which talks about the literal city of Jerusalem.

The simplest way of resolving the two is to recognize that, in the future, God's throne will once again be on Earth, and in Jerusalem... fulfilling both the Old and New Testament prophecies in a marvellous way.

Perhaps this is the reason why Jesus was careful not to say, "Hey, you're going to be living with me in heaven" ... because the bulk of their everlasting life would actually be ON EARTH ... in the New JERUSALEM :D


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07-13-2010 02:16 PM
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gogh
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Post: #47
RE: The Only Promise of Heavenly Life

InterP

Re: "...God's throne will once again be on Earth, and in Jerusalem..."

Please try and fit your square peg into the following round hole of scripture....(grin)...

Revelation 21:16...

"And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal."

....."And I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb [is].  And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb."

....."And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city], and his slaves will render him sacred service;  and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight nor [do they have] sunlight, because Jehovah God will shed light upon them, and they will rule as kings forever and ever."

Christian love,

gogh


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07-13-2010 02:50 PM
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JWHVACR
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Post: #48
RE: The Only Promise of Heavenly Life

Interpretum Wrote:
As you know, Jesus didn't say they were going to heaven. Jesus seemed to phrase what he was saying somewhat ambiguously...


Okay, you could be right... who knows. The scriptures leave a lot open to interpretation, and my mind is still open.


"Our minds don't control our beliefs, our beliefs control our minds."
"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."
"Buying into someone's religious, philosophical, or political teachings is the point where you've decided to allow them to do your thinking for you."
07-13-2010 03:02 PM
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Interpretum
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Post: #49
RE: The Only Promise of Heavenly Life

Hi Gogh

gogh Wrote:
Please try and fit your square peg into the following round hole of scripture....(grin)...


You mean... follow proper interpretive principles recognized by a good number of Bible scholars? Sure... I'll have a go :D

Quote:
Revelation 21:16...

"And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal."


In all honesty, this one I don't know... but I also don't jump to the conclusion that, because it is cube shaped, it must be "in heaven". Perhaps the account is alluding to this city being connected to heaven... it certainly doesn't need to be located in heaven, though.

The fact is, we're told prior to this that it comes down out of heaven... so it CAN'T be in heaven, can it? So if it comes down out of heaven, where is it? :read:

Quote:
....."And I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb [is].  And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb."

....."And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city], and his slaves will render him sacred service;  and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight nor [do they have] sunlight, because Jehovah God will shed light upon them, and they will rule as kings forever and ever."


Ooh... this one's almost too easy.

Revelation is simply drawing upon the Old Testament, showing that New Jerusalem in Revelation is the fulfillment of the OT prophecies regarding Zion. You might want to read the whole of Isaiah 60 for a fuller picture (which again the WTS misinterpret to refer to their cosy "spiritual paradise")... but take a look at these passages, for example:

"And your gates will actually be kept open constantly; they will not be closed even by day or by night, in order to bring to you the resources of the nations, and their kings will be taking the lead. For any nation and any kingdom that will not serve you will perish; and the nations themselves will without fail come to devastation." (Isaiah 60:11,12)

Verse 13 confirms we are talking about the earthly realm, here: "To you the very glory of Lebanon will come, the juniper tree, the ash tree and the cypress at the same time, in order to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I shall glorify the very place of my feet."

This might sound like it contradicts Revelation, but I think Revelation is only doing what the following passage is doing (and note the remarkable similarity to Revelation):

"For you the sun will no more prove to be a light by day, and for brightness the moon itself will no more give you light. And Jehovah must become to you an indefinitely lasting light, and your God your beauty. No more will your sun set, nor will your moon go on the wane; for Jehovah himself will become for you an indefinitely lasting light, and the days of your mourning will have come to completion." (Isaiah 60:19,20)

Did this mean God was going to abolish the sun and moon? No... it's - for want of a better phrase - a "word picture". God will be their light.

It's similar with Revelation... it uses many "word pictures". Like, "... the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more." (21:1)

Are you expecting the passing away of the literal earth, and the literal sea, Gogh? Or do you recognize this as a "word picture"?

It only seems like square pegs and round holes when you ignore the intimate connection between the OT and the NT.

Revelation pictures the fulfillment of all the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.

And most of those prophecies were directed at Israel, and Jerusalem... such as this one, which I don't see mentioned by the WTS very much:

"And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east; and the mountain of the olive trees must be split at its middle, from the sunrising and to the west ... // ... And you will have to flee, just as you fled because of the [earth]quake in the days of Uzziah the king of Judah. And Jehovah my God will certainly come, all the holy ones being with him. // And it must occur in that day [that] living waters will go forth from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. In summer and in winter it will occur. And Jehovah must become king over all the earth. In that day Jehovah will prove to be one, and his name one." (Zechariah 14:4-9)

The reason this doesn't get mentioned very often? It's because it identifies... very clearly... the place in which all these things are going to take place ... the Mount of Olives (the place where Jesus departed!) ... and Jerusalem!

And notice the "living waters" that "go forth from Jerusalem". It only takes a quick flick forward to Revelation, to find this...

"And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side [there were] trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees [were] for the curing of the nations." (Rev 22:1,2)

Put the two scriptures together, and you have the complete picture. New Jerusalem IS Jerusalem ... but restored, after Jehovah becomes "king over all the earth". (Zech 14:8)

Both use "word pictures", but you are not meant to read this passage of Revelation without a good understanding of its sources in Isaiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel etc ... and vice versa.

This is why so many Christians (and sadly, so many here) get confused by Revelation ... they essentially divorce it from the rest of the Bible and try and find its interpretation in the world around them - when the bulk of its interpretation comes from the rest of the Bible!

Another handicap we've inherited from the WTS is quoting verses, without really getting the context, or understanding the mode of the author.

You know how the WTS like to use "proof texts" ... and you also know how often their interpretation of those so-called "proof texts" has turned out to be wrong or based on false reasoning.

For example, I could quote Rev 21:1 as a "proof text" to prove that God was going to eliminate heaven and earth, and the sea. That's what it SAYS, right?

But I understand that the writer here is speaking pictorially, "word pictures" if you like. (I prefer this to "symbolic", which has a somewhat more narrow meaning).

How do I KNOW this? For several reasons... firstly, because prior to this, the author talked about "the earth and the heaven fled away" from before God's presence. Heaven and earth do not flee... because they are not living in that sense. Plus, it is a Jewish idiom ... Deborah says that "mountains flowed away from the face of Jehovah." (Judges 5:5)

So based on the fact that the author is continually alluding to the OT, I know that he is using a "word picture" just like Deborah was ... of heaven and earth fleeing from Jehovah, and an "old earth" being no more.

Similarly with the rest of Rev 21. It is clearly not meant to be taken absolutely literally ... but it's the ultimate word picture, condensing many of the OT prophecies regarding Zion into one beautiful word painting.

If you take every word picture in the Bible literally, you would have to believe that God is going to abolish heaven, earth, sea, sun and moon ... and live in a cube 12,000 furlongs in size.


My Blog: The Prophetic Word

Latest post: Daniel 9 And The Seventy (70) Weeks - How Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled.
07-14-2010 12:23 AM
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