02: Heaven on earth – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Heaven on Earth October 9, 2013]

Prayer, like incense, ascending to God

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1. Corporate prayer. Offering incense may have been a once-in -a-lifetime experience for Zechariah. He would spend a week ministering in the temple. It was in the temple that he would burn incense. The smoke would go upward as a reminder that the prayers of the people would go to the dwelling place of God. Zechariah had [...]

God’s Hands
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If you were a high school student in the United States any time in the last 100 years, you were probably assigned the reading of a sermon preached in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It’s not a warm and fuzzy, feel-good sermon. Edwards describes God as angry and anxious to dole out justice to all who deserve it.

“So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, [...]

It’s All About Jesus!
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Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

In Numbers 21:1-9 God has Moses set a brass serpent on a pole so that if anybody was bitten by a serpent, they could look at this serpent on a pole and be healed. Now as real and literal as this serpent was it was only symbolic. There was no magic in the brass or the pole.

Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

This brass serpent was to point forward to Jesus who would become sin for us and die for [...]

Friday: Further Study: The Heavenly Sanctuary
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Further Study: “Paul had a view of heaven, and in discoursing on the glories there, the very best thing he could do was to not try to describe them.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

He tells us that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. So you may put your imagination to the stretch, you may try to the very [...]

01: The Heavenly Sanctuary – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for The Heavenly Sanctuary October 2, 2013]

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Part I

Portrait of Love. Two German brothers in the 15th century planned to rise above the poverty that threatened to destroy their dream. With 18 children, parental help was highly unlikely. The plan sent Albert to work in the mines to support Albrecht, who would attend a fine art school. When Albrecht completed his studies, he would return the favor by supporting Albert’s education; however, when [...]

Where Is the Most Holy Place?
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Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

Where is the most holy place? Is it a building on earth or in heaven? Or is it somewhere else?

Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

While I was a child living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a tornado hit the surrounding area where I lived. Among the destruction was a Methodist church. That night on the news, I remember the Methodist pastor, saying in an interview, “The building has been destroyed but the church is just fine.” The pastor realized the church [...]

Wednesday: Court Room
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read Psalm 11:4–7 and Habakkuk 2:20. What else does God do in His heavenly temple, and why is this important for us to know?

Many Psalms reveal that the Lord is not indifferent to the needs of the righteous or to the injustices that they often face. He will react to the issues that cry out for redress, and He will “ ‘justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,’ ” just as any good judge would do(Deut. 25:1, [...]

The Heavenly Sanctuary – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : The Bible repeatedly affirms the reality of a heavenly sanctuary. It reveals a loving God who had developed from the beginning of Creation a plan to save mankind..

[Teaching plan for The Heavenly Sanctuary October 1, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read I Kings 8:49.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. Does God need a place to live? Why does He need a place to live?
c. [...]

Tuesday: Worship in Heaven
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Read Revelation 4 and 5. 

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What do these two chapters teach us about the heavenly dwelling place of God? In what way is the plan of salvation revealed in these texts, as well?

The vision of the heavenly throne room is a vision of the heavenly sanctuary. This is made evident from the language referring to the Hebrew religious system. For instance, the words for door and trumpet in Revelation 4:1 appear often in the Septuagint (an [...]

Monday: Throne Room
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Read Psalms 47:6–9; 93:1-2; 103:19. What do these texts teach us about God and His throne?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Several visions of the heavenly throne occur in the Bible. Most depict a kind of heavenly assembly, with God as King. Interestingly enough, most of them are concerned with human affairs, usually presenting God as acting for or speaking in behalf of the righteous.

The Bible also reveals God as sovereign. For instance, the kingship of the Lord is a recurring theme in [...]