Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heaven : Part 1 - Biblically Defined

Part 1 - HEAVEN

Biblically Defined

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

Did you know that there is no question, whether you believe and serve the Living Lord or not, that you will live forever?

Death is not the end, but the beginning of eternity.

God created us with everlasting souls, and since our creation, we will from that point on exist forever.

Today we are starting our new sermon series on “HEAVEN”

SCRIPTURE READING

Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I. ONLY TWO CHOICES OF ETERNAL ABODE

a. In the beginning...heaven

i. Created His Abode then ours

1. Needed for Him to dwell in space and time with us

2. Our dimension cannot “hold” Him

1 Kings 8:27

27 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

Acts 7:49-50 Why the third Heaven is God’s Abode?

48"However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
49" 'Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.
Or where will my resting place be?
50Has not my hand made all these things?'[l]

God created heaven (The third, His abode) so that His Spirit may dwell in the dimension He created for us.

How can God be everywhere?

Easily if He created “everywhere” smaller than Himself!”

ii. No mention of hell at that time of creation.

1. No need for one. (No devil, or demons, or sin)

2. God had no need for an eternal prison for wicked

b. When was hell (Sheol) created?

Sheol: Abode of departed Spirits.

God had to create a new Abode because of sin, which brought with it the need of containment of those who sin, as well as a place for those who now had to die because of sin.

Why are people confused about Sheol?


Partly because the King James Bible’s poor translations has caused confusion.

31 times in the King James “Sheol” is translated into “hell”.

31 times in the King James “Sheol” is translated into “grave”.

3 times in the King James “Sheol” is translated into “pit”.

i. Sheol was likely created after death was introduced

1. for righteous dead to go to paradise (Abrahams bosom)

2. for wicked to be imprisoned until judgment and punishment in the final abode for the wicked, “eternal lake of fire”, or Gahanna.

ii. BUT, before Sheol, was Tartarus (first created for angels)

1. Deepest abyss of Sheol

a. Revelation 9:1 & 2 it is referred to as the “Pit of the pit” and the “Pit of the Abyss”.

b. It is the actually in the deepest bowels of the earth, beneath the Great Chasm or affixed gulf that separates Torment from Paradise in Sheol.

2. Tartarus was created for fallen angels who rebelled with Satan against God in Heaven.

2 Peter 2:4 (Lit)

4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to tartarus, putting them into chains of thick gloom, to be held for judgment;

Jude 1:6

6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

3. NOTE: Lucifer is not the name of Satan. Lucifer was used to replace the original text “O shining one” by the King James Bible. Just one of many erroneous translational errors in the King James Bible.

c. Two destinations, one choice.

Deuteronomy 20:11-30

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

II. WHERE IS HEAVEN?

a. The third heaven

2 Corinthians 12:2 - Paul’s Experience

2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven.

i. Sky

1. This is the first heaven (Hayamiyim in Hebrew)

ii. Space

1. Where celestial bodies dwell (planets & stars)

iii. Beyond Space

1. This is the first heaven (Hashamayim in Hebrew)

The third heaven (Hashamayim) is the Abode of God, where His Spirit dwells in this dimension. The first Heaven He created in Genesis 1:1.

III. WHAT HEAVEN IS NOT

a. Heaven is not the Millennial Earth

i. Most of the scriptures in the Old and New testaments which speak of beauty, bliss and rest of the saints, have no connection with the Third Heaven, but relate to the glories of the Millennial Kingdom here on earth.

ii. Passages concerning the time when there will be no more wars, no more tears, when there will be perfect peace and rest with the curse lifted, the earth restored, and Jesus sitting on the throne of David are NOT pictures of heaven.

1. clues that its earth: curse lifted (no curse in heaven)

2. clues: scriptures speak of earth being restored

3. clues: Jesus sitting on throne of DAVID (David did not have a throne in heaven)

iii. These scriptures describe the millennial age on earth which will last 1,000 years where we will rule beside Jesus Christ.

iv. During this time Satan will be in the pit

1. Revelation 20:1-3 1And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

v. Jesus will reign on earth and the saint will reign with Him!

1. Revelation 20:5-6 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

a. The righteous are all resurrected to reign with Christ...”the rest of the dead” refers to the wicked who will be resurrected after the millennial age to be judged.

vi. We must not confuse the glories of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth with heaven itself.

1. Isaiah 11 describes the glories of heaven on Earth.

b. Heaven is not the New Jerusalem

i. Revelation 21 tells us of the glories of the New Jerusalem. The “Pearly White City” descending from God out of heaven, a city with jasper walls, gates of pearl, and a street of pure gold.

ii. THIS IS NOT GOD’S HOUSE (the third heaven is His abode)

iii. It WILL be the eternal home of the bride of Christ, the New testament Church.

IV. WHAT HEAVEN IS

John 14:1-6

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And 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. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

Jesus assured His disciples that there is a final place for the saints.


“Many mansions in the Father’s House”

Jesus let them know that He was going to prepare a physical and literal place for saints to dwell. Not some mystical illusion or spiritual mirage.

This is not a condition, a sentiment or a figure of speech.

Philippians 3:20 - 21

20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Our citizenship...

Even though we are on earth right now, every born again believer is a citizen of Heaven.

We are strangers and pilgrims on earth, ambassadors of another country, and we are here on business for the King of Heaven.

Are you a citizen?