A SECOND COMING ?
How do we know that there is but one future return of Jesus ? And how do we know that it will be a visible one ?
One of the absolute proofs of this visible physical return are the numerous scriptural references to it and the word used to describe it.
In the following scriptures the word "coming" is used in reference to the return of Jesus. This word is the Greek word parousia #3952(Strong's). The definition of this word is;" physical - presence, arrival, advent". In Thayre's Greek-English Lexicon it says," i.e. the future visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and to set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God" . This must be so, I can find nothing to refute it. These scriptures show Jesus returning to destroy the wicked, receive and change the living and the dead, sit in judgment, and rule and reign at His parousia (return). Everywhere in the world He is seen visibly . There is absolutely no room for a three and one half year, seven year, thousand year gap; in a one, two or three visible or invisible returns. No one leaves the earth, not the righteous, nor the wicked.
Matthew 24:3 " And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming <3952>, and of the end of the world?"
Matthew 24:27 " For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming <3952> of the Son of man be."
Matthew 24:37 "But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming <3952> of the Son of man be."
Matthew 24:39 "And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away ; so shall also the coming <3952> of the Son of man be."
1 Corinthians 15:23 "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming <3952>."
1 Thessalonians 2:19 "For what [is] our hope , or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? [Are] not even ye in the presence <1715> of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming <3952>?"
1 Thessalonians 3:13 "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God , even our Father , at the coming <3952> of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints ."
1 Thessalonians 4:15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord , that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming <3952> of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep ."
1 Thessalonians 5:23 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming <3952> of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren , by the coming <3952> of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him,"
2 Thessalonians 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming <3952>:"
1 John 2:28 "And now , little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear , we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming <3952>."
James 5:7-8 "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming <3952> of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receiv the early and latter rain . 8 Be ye also patient ; stablish your hearts: for the coming <3952> of the Lord draweth nigh .
" GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES "
We are left now with only two more understandings concerning the I Thessalonians 4:17 scripture still unsettled. The first is a point that, if looked at alone, might tend to confuse most of us. For this reason it will be much simpler to look elsewhere first.
We will begin by looking at Jude 14 where a prophecy made by Enoch in the Old Testament is quoted, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten Thousands of his saints". Who are they? How did they get into heaven? If we can believe that they are coming from heaven with Jesus and His angels. The "who" is very simple. They are all the Old Testament saints. The faith filled men of old. Those who were held captive in the grave that Jesus took with him in the first resurrection.
Matthew 27:52, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose".
Matthew 27:53, "And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many".
Ephesians 4:8, "Wherefore he sayeth, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive".
I Peter 3:19, "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison".
1 Thessalonians 3:13 " To the end that he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
Revelation 14:4 "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."
1 Corinthians 15:23 "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
Revelation 4:4 "And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment;"
Revelation 5:11 "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;"
And they are the saints that are in heaven today waiting for the time when they, "the great cloud of witnesses", shall return to earth to join the other believers in the kingdom of God.
This multitude of angels and saints are called the "clouds of heaven" in Revelation 1:7, "Behold he cometh with clouds".
Thessalonians 1:7, "...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels".
The usage of the word "cloud" in all the paralleled scriptures of Jesus return are used interchangeably with that of a multitude of saints and or angels just as it is in Hebrews 12:1, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." ( in this case the faithfilled saints of old )
The word "cloud" comes from the Greek word "nephos" (Strong's #3509). It literally means "a large dense multitude, a throng". Clouds are not called clouds because they are clouds. They are called clouds because they are large dense multitudes of water droplets. This is no different usage of the word than it would be to say that there is a cloud of locusts coming or a cloud of dust approaching.
This is not inconsistent with the Old Testament usage of the word in which Gesenius Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon says the word "cloud" is used also to describe a very large army in Ezekiel 38:9 and 30:18.
In Matthew 24:30 and 26:64 we see the Son of Man, "coming in the clouds of Heaven". If "heaven" in these verses is referring to the spiritual heaven, and it appears it is, then, "clouds of heaven" must be referring to the assemblies of heavenly beings such as angels, Old Testament saints, or both.
Matthew 13:39, "... and the reapers are the angels".
Matthew 13:49, "the angels shall come forth".
Matthew 16:27, "For the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him".
Matthew 25:31." When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mark 8:38." Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Luke 9:26. " For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father's, and of the holy angels.
Jude 1:14. " And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,"
Zechariah 14:5. "And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.
The last two words of the I Thessalonians scripture I will deal with here, I will define only because I myself have seen this preached with such descriptive gestures of the hands by preachers, that I would believe it would be difficult for most of us to understand the true meaning of the words because of the mental images the words conjure up. Every time I have seen a preacher quote these two words, their hand or hands go flying up into the air in a symbolic expression of what they think the words mean. The problem is, that is not what they mean at all. The two words are "caught up". In the Greek scriptures however it is only one word, harpazo, Strongs concordance # is 726. It means to seize, in the sense of capturing, Matt. 11:12 "and the violent take it.." John 6:15 " and they take him. Acts 8:39 " caught away Philip". Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says "to claim for one's self eagerly". Wigrams Englishmans Greek concordance says #138 is its comparable, used in such verses as in II Thessalonians 2:13, "... from the beginning chosen you..." and Hebrews 11:25 "choosing rather to suffer".
The word harpazo does not mean to pluck or remove as is commonly taught . It means to seize for oneself or to allow oneself to be overwhelmed by an impulse or event. (for more on harpazo)
Strongs also gives us a comparable in the Hebrew #5375 and some of its meanings are : to exalt, marry, accept, bring forth, receive, spare. Another Greek word that means to "choose" or "chosen" is the word "elect", which is used many times to describe believers.
In Latin this Greek word #726 harpazo is rapio and is where the English word "rapture" comes from. Webster's new collegiate dictionary defines the word "rapture" as:
Since we are talking about a spiritual experience, "rapture" is the correct terminology for this experience.
Yes, such a supernatural event as the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the changing of our "vile body" into glorified bodies (Phil. 3:21),''in a twinkling of an eye" (I Cor. 15:52), to know God as He knows us (I Cor 13:12), and to " know even as also I am known"(I Cor. 13:12), to be received by Jesus into a relationship as fellow heirs, joint heirs with him. Never will we be out of His "presence" again for we will be in the household of faith with Him forever and ever.
I believe that all who experience this will truly be raptured, overwhelmed with emotions and exalted in the spirit, caught up by the love and the "glory of God that shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). We shall be delivered into the fullness of the Kingdom of God right here on the Earth. Right here where the Garden of Eden was and still is. Gods pristine habitat created by Him where He could fellowship with man, before the fall (Gen 1:31). Right here where God dwelt among His people and chose to inhabit the temple. Right here will be the home of God and His new city (Rev. 21:10 & 22).
For God is coming to live with man, not man going to live with God, and the Kingdom of Heaven will be here on the earth.
John 14:23, "If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."
MODERN CHRISTIAN MYTHS
Over the past seven years I have spent much time studying the subjects of this book. Some of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome were all the preconceived ideas I already had acquired over the years--hundreds of sermons and teachings and countless references to the "Rapture" and other supportive doctrines. Like most of us, I had a tendency to believe what I heard. Most of it sounded religious enough, even scriptural. Most of what I had already been taught I still hold to be true with the exception of the reference to the "end of time" and the "Rapture" teachings. It has appeared evident to me that now, as I look back, everything that I had learned, I had viewed with "Rapture" colored glasses. This affected the way I tried to piece together my understanding of scripture, and made it very hard to unravel the truth.
There are a lot of other doctrines that are commonly taught and believed among the Christian denominations that are just not scriptural. I had great difficulty letting go of these religious sounding fairy tales and myths, but we all have to if we wish to embrace the fullness of the truth. Some of these myths are the following:
THE DEAD IN CHRIST
We hear at funerals, "Your loved ones are in heaven now with Jesus and God the Father looking over the balcony of heaven down on us from above". From the pulpit we hear, "That your loved ones who are now dead are either in heaven with Jesus or burning in hell".
If this is true, where is it in the scriptures? It is not there. The Bible teaches us that the "dead in Christ" sleep awaiting the resurrection and judgment that is yet to come. The Bible also says that the sinners that are not redeemed will not be judged until Jesus returns. They will not be cast into the furnace of fire until after they are judged.
We hear them tell us that when Jesus comes to take us out in the "Rapture" we go with Him to heaven to receive our rewards at the judgment in heaven for believers. That is not what the Bible says. Jesus says that when He returns, He is bringing His rewards with Him. These are rewards and treasures we have stored up ourselves and have earned by our works.
Revelations 22:12, "And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work shall be."
You have heard that when the Lambs Book of Life is opened in heaven that if your name is in it you can enter in. We picture ourselves standing at the "Pearly Gates" while Gabriel calls out our names, and when we hear our name we can walk in. Where is that in the scriptures? The Bible does not say this. Instead, it tells us that at the resurrection on Earth, at Jesus return, all are judged and whosoevers name is not found written in the Book of Life is cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:13-15).
We are told that heaven and earth shall pass away and there will be a "new heaven" and a "new earth". They say that Earth is completely destroyed, burned into bits, or it explodes and God makes us a new one while we wait in heaven and watch. But the Bible says that Heaven and Earth becomes changed in the same way as you become changed when Jesus returns. The Bible says that heaven and earth take on a new nature, a divine nature ... where "the wolf and the lamb shall feed together" and dust shall be the serpents meat (Isaiah 65:25) "There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Because "God himself shall be with them" (Rev. 21:3 & 4). This is the new order, an Earth without sin, filled with the presence of Gods glory and inhabited by His saints forever, a return to the "garden of Eden" (Joel 2:3).
Luke 23:43, "Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
See! They tell us, when we die we go immediately to heaven to be with Jesus, just as the thief on the cross next to Him did. The problem is, Jesus died and went to hell on that day. He also stayed and preached the gospel to the Old Testament dead: 1 Peter 3:19-20. "By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient in the days of Noah." Matt. 12:40 "so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." We also know when He was first seen after His resurrection He had not been glorified yet, for He had (John 20:17) "not yet ascended." There is no Biblical basis to assume that Jesus went to heaven (paradise) the day He died, for we know that He bore the sins of the world and was not raised from the dead until the third day. Besides, this statement we have from Jesus to the thief is in direct response to a statement made by the thief, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" (Luke 23:42). He said this, hoping that when Jesus comes into His kingdom, he might be considered at that time. But Jesus was telling him that He had already considered him for His kingdom and that he would have a part in it. (The word "paraise" is used only three times in the Bible and always refers to the paradise of God where he lives not the grave, hell, the underworld orAbraham's bosom).
"Verily I say unto thee to day, thou shalt be with me in paradise": This is the way this scripture should read in the King James version. Or else we must twist scripture to believe He was in heaven three days earlier than the other scriptures say.(John 20:17)
"For to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord". Again we are told that when we die we go immediately to heaven. Again the Bible does not say this. Paul in this scripture says that now we are to operate in faith, but when we are resurrected we will be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, verse 10 saying, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ", referring to an event after the resurrection. The scripture does not say "For to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord". Words are added to the scripture to make it sound like it is saying something it does not say. Paul states that he would be ''willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Well, wouldn't we all ! Then he states that we will see Jesus at the judgment seat, which is after the resurrection, not at each individual's death. Conveniently they leave out the next verses,.."For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" which establishes what Paul is really saying.
Paul knew very well what happened to someone who died. He explained it to the believers in Thessalonica. 1 Thess. 4:13 "But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,". Paul went on to explain that they would be raised at Jesus' return, the resurrection, not at death.
Throughout the New Testament Jesus explained that the dead are asleep, not in heaven. Matt. 9:24, Mark 5:39, Luke 8:52, John 11:11. And also by the Apostles in ; Acts 7:60, 1Co. 15:18 & 51, 1 Th. 4:15, 1 Cor. 11:30, 1 Cor. 15:51.
Matthew 9:24 " He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn."
Mark 5:39 " And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth."
Luke 8:52 "And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth."
John 11:11 "These things said he: and after that saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well."
Paul also confirms this.
Acts 7:60 "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep".
Acts 13:36 "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:"
1 Corinthians 11:30 "For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
1 Corinthians 15:6 "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."
1 Corinthians 15:18 "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
1 Corinthians 15:51 " Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,"
Ephesians 5:14 "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 " But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep."
2 Peter 3:4 "And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep,"
When is it then that those who are asleep are awakened ?
We have been told that there are at least two more resurrections of the dead. One at the "Rapture" and another when Jesus returns after the tribulation. Some even teach that there is yet a third after a thousand years at the "final judgment". There is however, only one more resurrection to come according to the scriptures.
John 6:39 " And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:44 " No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:54 " Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
This resurrection is at Jesus return "at the last day", His only future return.
MANSIONS IN HEAVEN
"We have mansions in heaven just waiting for us, where the rent is free." What a wonderful thought. It sounds real nice and it preaches real good, but is it true?
This doctrine of heavenly estates that have been prepared for us by Jesus is not really a part of "the second coming" or the doctrine of the removal of the church from earth in an invisible return of Jesus. Never the less, in almost every book where this rapture of the church is taught they seem to quote:
John 14:2-3. "In my Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also ."
We are told that when Jesus comes to get us, this is where we go to live in heaven with all our loved ones who died and believed also in Jesus.
Again, it sounds very comforting but the fact of the matter is it is simply not true. It is merely another "fairy tale" created by poor translational techniques on the part of the King James translators and the deficiency of good study habits on the part of the preachers and teachers that use such scriptures out of context to "prove" their points and never really check the scriptures first. It is about time that we grow up scripturally and spiritually.
Ephesians 4:14, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
I tell you the truth in love. Nowhere in scripture does it talk about us going to heaven and living in mansions or as some of the anti-prosperity denominations call "cabins in glory land". This is another example of how we go wrong when a doctrine is built on one scripture only.
As I stated earlier in this book, if a scripture stands alone, with a concept or idea that is not supported by other witnesses in scripture, there is a good chance that it is a mistranslation.
There are two words in this John 14:2-3 scripture that should be the obvious choice to focus our attention on.
One of these words appears many times in scripture (almost one hundred times), the word "house". This Greek word for house is #3614 in the Strong's concordance and is used interchangeably for "house" or for "household". One being a building the other being the family or occupants of a residence. Some examples of the usage of "house" as people are:
Matthew 3:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
Mark 3:25, "And if a house be divided against itself that house cannot stand."
John 4:53, "And himself believed, and his whole house."
1Corinthians 16:15, "(ye know the house of Stephanas, ... and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, )"
Philippians 4:22, "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesars household."
The other word in John 14:2 is #3438 in the Strongs concordance and is translated here "mansions". This form of the word only appears twice in the New Testament; both times in the same chapter. It is part of a re-occurring theme throughout the gospels, Johns gospel especially, in the chapters 14 through 17. This word means "abode" or "abiding place" which is how it is translated where it appears again just a few verses later in John 14:23, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him". The word "abode" here is the same exact word that is mistranslated "mansions".
Jesus is not on His way to heaven when He says to His disciples. "I go to prepare a place for you" He is on His way to the cross and to die for our sins. He went to prepare a place for us in the kingdom of God and a place for Him in us, and us in Him. By taking upon himself the sin of the world, through His death on the cross and by His resurrection, this place is made accessible to us. Just 3 verses later, in John 14:6, Jesus tells his disciples, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me. " He prepared a place for us in Himself, in righteousness and eternal life. That whosoever believes on Him would not perish but be "born again" out of Satans kingdom and into the kingdom of God, Gods family, sons and heirs. This is where Jesus already was.
John 17:14, "even as I am not of the world."
John 17:24, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory."
John 14:3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
The word here "am" is the Greek word "eimi" the first person singular present indicative and means to be present (Strong's # 1510). Jesus said these things before He was even crucified. He was already a Son of God, He walked fully in both realms. He walked here on Earth and in the Kingdom of God at the same time. Everything He said, He heard the Father say first. Everything he did He saw the Father in heaven do first. Jesus did not need to be "born again", He never belonged to Satans kingdom.
John 14:30, "for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
He was not born of man but of God, of incorruptible seed, born the Son of God. But that place of honor had not yet been established for us and for that cause Jesus suffered and died. In John 14:10 & 11 Jesus says, "I am in the Father".
In verse 19 and 20, Jesus tells them that after His resurrection when He is alive again and they see Him that "at that day ye shall know that I am in my Father and ye in me, and I in you ". Jesus already was abiding in the Father and the Father in Him, and that this was the same kind of relationship that we would have with Him.
John 14:21, "and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
Even though the Father is in heaven Jesus says that the Father was in Him. Even though Jesus was on Earth He said He was in the Father. He also said He would be in us, even though we know that He is sitting at the right hand of the Father. This is speaking of the operation of the Holy Spirit.
John 15:26, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."
John 14:16, " And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever."
This theme of abiding appears in the Gospel of John almost twenty times within the idea of a relationship between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and the believer. This relationship is spiritual, not of brick and mortar.
John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
When Jesus spoke these words the Jewish leaders didnt understand because they were thinking buildings.
John 2:21, "But he spake of the temple of his body."
Jesus shed His blood so that we also could be the temple of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you."
In our Heavenly Fathers household (we are His children) there are many abiding places (temples). We are those abiding places, and God the Father and God the Son, along with the Holy Spirit, would like to come in and live in us and with us. They want to manifest themselves to us. "Christ in us the hope of glory".
2 Cor. 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels".
What a wonderful privilege it is to be "born again", born of God.
We have a place in God, that of righteousness, justified by His grace. All of us that believe, share in the miracle of this wonderful place where we are hidden in Christ, where we dwell in the secret place of the Most High God and we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. This is the place our Lord prepared for us by the grace of God.
I John 3:1 & 2, "Beloved, what manner of love has the father bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. Behold, now are we the sons of God".
What an incredible miracle that we should have a place in Gods household as a son and heir. Made to sit in heavenly places. Not by our righteousness, not by our works, but by Gods grace, paid for by the blood of the Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is much more exciting, much more glorious than a "mansion", a building of stone.
So much greater is the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ than any fairy tale could ever be.
There are many Christian myths still being taught today. The responsibility is still ours to know what the scriptures say regarding these subjects. The Bible says for us to test everything we hear and read concerning the scriptures to see if it is sound doctrine.
I exhort you to find scriptures to support the doctrine or drop that doctrine. There is a sign I saw once, outside a small town in the west, on a billboard which read "IF YOUR HORSE IS DEAD - GET OFF"
It is my earnest belief that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father waiting for his body of believers to do the work that they have been called to do. To establish on Earth the Kingdom of God and to defeat all of his enemies. Conquering in every area where mans dominion has been stolen by the forces of darkness.
I believe that we can and will "occupy" until Jesus return. That we can and will "overcome" and "endure to the end". That all the things that are already settled in Heaven, we will (through the power of God working in us) established here on Earth and put Gods enemies, our enemies, under His feet.
And when this "Gospel of the Kingdom is preached in all the world", Jesus will return. To receive unto himself a ruling, reigning body of believers. All grown up "into the fullness of the stature" of Jesus Christ.
I John 3:3, "And every man (and woman) that has this hope, purifieth himself even as He (the Lord) is pure."
The Authorized Version of the King James Bible, 1611
Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1986 Edition
Wigram Englishmans Greek Concordance of the New Testament, May 1985 Edition
Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, April 1985 Edition
Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, 1984
The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, J.P. Green, 1984 Edition
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
The New Webster's Dictionary, 1986 Edition
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