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Wednesday: A Glimpse of Heaven — 10 Comments

  1. I think John found that he was a bit stuck for words when he tried to describe the heaven he saw in his vision. He probably wished that he had a smartphone with him so that he could just take a picture. Even then it would leave out so much.

    In recent months, those of us who take an interest in astronomy have been blown away with the detail in the photographs taken by the James Web Telescope. The photographs are incredibly beautiful and show a universe that is beyond our imagination. But the really important stuff that this telescope is providing is not just some pretty pictures. The information is in the spectra, the gigabytes of numerical data that tell us distances, composition, speed, and so on of the space objects the telescope has focused on. This information is beyond most of us because we simply do not have the language to understand it.

    That is the problem that John had. He can describe a little of the beauty and awesomeness of Heaven but the rest is beyond words.

    Isaiah puts it this way:

    For since the world began no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours, who works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways. Isaiah 64:4,5 TLB

    Our task is to show that we too have had the vision; not in wordy, speculative descriptions but in a reflection of the glory of God in our interaction with others.

    • Amen, Maurice. Did you take some photos of the eclipse?

      Like this:

      For since the world began no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours, who works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways. Isaiah 64:4,5 TLB

  2. The book of Revelation shows that God uses every possible resource at His disposal in His quest to rescue humanity. God Himself takes part, through His Son and through the Holy Spirit, but He also involves many other special beings created by Him to play an active role in the redemption of His earthly children.

    We are not given an abundance of details, of how heaven is like, in the Bible. The Bible has revealed to us what will build hope in us. A rainbow around the throne is a remarkable thing, showing that God will always limit Himself by His own promises. The lightning, thunder, voices and fire are reminiscent of God’s fearful presence at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19 and 20:18-19). They communicate the awe associated with the throne of God.

    The Lamb, the Father and the Holy Spirit are united in the restoration of creation through the redemptive process of the covenant.

    When we praise and worship God – we focus our attention solely on Him and His throne of power. We are not focusing our attention on our circumstances and difficulties, or on our failures and tragedies. When we learn to worship and praise God (as these in the throne room do), we are focusing upon the God who has the power and the majesty and the desire to lift us up out of our despair and hopelessness.

  3. Heaven, one aspect is the physical appearance of which we can only imagine the splendor and glory. The other is the atmosphere, or if you prefer, the character, feeling, and mood of heaven. I do believe the atmosphere will be of harmony, peace, love, and unity. It will be of purity, holiness, and blessedness. The trials of earth will not be remembered. There will be a happy family everywhere we go. There will be no pain, no sorrow, crying, no more death. Rather, the atmosphere of heaven will be filled with joy and thanksgiving to our Redeemer.

    Glorious, right? Beyond comprehension.

  4. What if we compare the 24 elders around the throne with the sons of God mentioned in Job 1:6 and Job 2:1? Isn't it possible, dare I say probable, that the 24 elders are the same ones that are mentioned in Job as the sons of God? It's clear Satan came to represent this world; isn't it likely that the 24 elders represent 24 other worlds.

    Along the same line, how about 144,000? Is it possible that these are the righteous that were raised and taken to heaven with Christ as a wave sheaf representation of the "righteous" who were raised at his death, and ascended with him at his ascension?

    Just a thought… Royce

    • Thank you, Royce - Your thoughts intrigue me; inquiring questions always provide food for thought! They offer an opportunity to fill our curious minds with thoughts in the hope that the Holy Spirit will sort things out for us if it is deemed important for us to know. 🙂

  5. So deep a thought, Royce. In the course of studying the lesson at home, the girl that stays with us to help out in the house asked a series of questions based on her belief because she is a Muslim. Thank God for the lesson that aroused her curiosity, that she can in-turn enlighten others based on the truth she has learnt and is still learning.

    She had a discussion with her classmate, who is a Christian and once attended her church, but wasn't comfortable with their mode of worship. She told the classmate, if there is ever a church, it is the church her guardians go to, and that is the Adventist Church. Was really surprised when she opened up to us after the evening studies about the discussion she had some days ago in school.

  6. This week's lesson is all about the good news of the judgment. In my post Sunday, I commented that we can't "threaten" people with a judgment of death if they can't fathom the value of their life anyway. I want to clarify. "Threatening" is not the way to think and share about God's judgments in any case, even if a scary picture results in confessions of sin. (In researching Jude 23 "save others with fear" (KJV), I think it is most correctly translated as "saving others with urgency in my heart for them", but not "save others through fear" as in trying to produce fear in their hearts and stirring up dread of the future and a terror of God.) Rom. 2:4 is clear that "the goodness of God" leads us to true repentance. I know it is true for me.

    Judgment Day of Rev. 20:11-15 is a solemn day of reckoning before the Great White Throne because unrepentant sinners will be called to accountability and they will have nothing to say in their defense; every "mouth will be stopped" (Rom. 3:19). So that Judgment Day will not be good news for the obstinate, for those who have chosen not to put on Christ's pure garment in preparation for the "wedding feast" ... they have chosen not to be part of the celebration when God is rejoined in unobstructed intimacy with all His created beings (Matt: 22:11-14). Jesus is the good news of the judgment - we can be free from sin's consequences! - and this is why we long to bring Jesus to each and every one around us, so they too can be made innocent and pure in Him and live in His peace, starting right now.

    Digging a bit deeper into how gracious God is towards us in His judgments!....

    We know that there are 3 phases to God's final judgment: (1) the time we are in right now, called the Pre-Advent or Investigative Judgment, for all who claim Christ as their own. The first angel's message we are studying is calling everyone to join Jesus now and submit themselves to His just judgment now (2 Cor. 6:2 now is the time to be saved!);
    (2) the Millennial Judgment for 1,000 years, where the righteous saved will be able to review the life of every lost person and see how merciful God has been towards them; and;
    (3) after the 1,000 years, the Great White Throne Judgment when all those who have chosen against God stand before Him.

    So for those of us who have accepted this message of grace... will we stand before a Judgment Seat, literally in our bodies, with all humans and created beings standing around, hearing all of our deeds and comparing us to the standard of God's law?


    Eph. 2:6 says we are "sitting with Christ in heavenly places" right now, by faith. Ps. 139:23-24 is our desire, wanting God to search our hearts right now and get all wicked ways out of us and prepare us for life everlasting. 1 Tim. 5:24 explains that believers sins go "beforehand" to judgment: we are giving our sins to Jesus right now to take away and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9). Acts 3:19 tells us that He is blotting out our sins right now and preparing us for times of "refreshing". 1 Tim. 5:25 goes on to say that "bad works" are hidden when they go before the Final Judgement to God. God is taking our sins and through His Spirit, blotting our old nature out and manifesting His good works in us more and more, getting us ready for eternal life with other holy beings. A miracle! And very good news!


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