MODULE 12 CHAPTER 22
God is Jehovah-Shammah [The LORD is There]
This is what the Sovereign LORD says . . . “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.” —Ezekiel 48:35 Hank’s Story (and mine)
ur youngest son, Hank, will graduate from college with his wife Tara in 2008—he with a Bachelor of Science degree in construction engineering and job contract waiting for him—her with a communication/photo-journalism degree. She will be able to work from home continuing her photography business she began while in college. Hank is no stranger to basic training and advanced camp, even though he chose a very different path than his two older brother’s military service. His desire is to give back to God and country—only in a different fashion. Hank and Tara’s precious two-year-old daughter was born six weeks premature, and little Morgyn had to fight for her life. They fought with her—all while going to college, fixing up a small house, moving, and working regular jobs. They are also expecting their second child and our sixth grandchild after their graduation—shortly after our daughter Francy, and her husband Scott, have their third baby boy—Riley and Cooper’s brother. Our oldest son, Kurt, and his wife Davi have a baby boy, Hugo Henry, who was born ten months after Kurt’s second heart surgery. Hank and Tara overcame—as his siblings have done. They came through the first three stages of teamwork and are at performing stage. They met each other while freshmen in high school and spent a number of years in the forming stage. No one was sure their relationship would survive because the storming was so intense during the same timeframe. Hank left town to go to college to try to make new relationships. All it did was make for a high cell phone bill—while in the norming stage. He transferred to the nearby college where Tara was and back to his old bedroom at home until he could afford to get his own place. [Jim and I do not believe parents are responsible for paying for their children’s education or cars. How else can they learn personal responsibility—even if they make a mistake? How else will they learn to look to the Lord on their own?] Why do I go into all this? First of all, Hank and Tara wish to be transparent and want you to know anything can be overcome when facing it after turning to the Lord. Second, when I 1
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learned we are living in the latter days, I asked the Lord if I would ever see my grandchildren. Little did I know I would be needed to help in the fight for one grandchild’s very life. While pregnant with Morgyn, Tara had the worse case of preeclampsia her doctor had ever seen. She could not be transferred the miles to the neonatal intensive care unit with her daughter. I had the privilege of spending that first day with Morgyn. She was on a ventilator to help her lungs mature, sedated with all sorts of tubes extending from her. I was instructed not to touch or rub her. Those actions would only irritate her while she was on the ventilator. All I could do was lay my hand firmly on her tiny diaper. I prayed for her and Tara “in the name of Jesus” doing my best to use the authority in His name. My thoughts ran to Psalm 139 which speaks of God’s omnipresence (in all places at all times) and omniscience (infinite awareness and knowledge), that He searches us and knows us, when we rise and when we lie down—that He is intimately acquainted with all our ways. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the [darkest] depths, you are there” (Ps.139: 7-8). It had been years since I’d read that chapter, so I sat down to refresh my mind. I opened my Bible and these words had new meaning, “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Ps.139: 5-6 emphasis mine). The LORD knew I would be praying for Morgyn long before that day in that little room where she could not move. Those words seared into my soul, You have laid your hand upon me—upon a less than four-pound little baby and upon my family. Those words are truth for all families who trust in God. I discovered, “He was there.” He has been there and is there now, and He will be there in the future for all our children and grandchildren, in whatever form that will be, “for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor 3:17 NASB). And that is what this chapter is all about: The LORD is there. Praise be to His Holy Name! Where is there? Anywhere we need Him to be, now and in the future. Years before, Hank found the Lord to be there—in a hellish dream. When he was nine years old, I heard him crying during the night in the next room. He was so distraught he was unable to speak for some time. Finally, he told me his dream, and wrote it down at the time. As a young man, he wrote his interpretation of it: Our family was traveling in our station wagon as we often did on family trips. There were no roads; we were driving through a barren desert. The only structure around was a simple hut-like building hovering high above the ground. As we pulled up to it, we all got out of the car and entered the hut by climbing the ladder to it. I looked back at the car we just left and the ground liquefied and the car sank into mud. The inside of the hut felt like a hospital waiting room and parts of it resembled one. To the left was a wall with a bench along it and next to that were openings in the wall with billowing fire pouring out of them. People who looked like holocaust victims were being forced to work near the fire pulling on belts that led out of it. In front of me was an office made of cheap wood-paneled walls and a plain, brown door. While we (our family) were in the process of being put to work I realized that we were literally in hell. I broke down and sat on the bench next to the wall. Next to me 2
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was a bald, sweaty, fat man in tears. He kept saying through his sobs, “I can’t do this any more. I don’t belong here.” Immediately, I started to cry and pray. I asked the Lord to save us from hell and keep us safe. Right away, the door to the office opened and an old man with gray hair came out. He was dressed in a white, collared shirt with red suspenders and looked very weak. I knew this was Satan. He ran his hand through his hair like he was frustrated and called everyone’s attention. He said, “I’m getting old and tired and I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’m going to have to let you all go home.” I remember waking up very upset and not knowing why. I told my mother about my dream. She turned in her Bible to Romans 10:13 and read, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Later that week, I spoke to our pastor. He led me in prayer to accept Jesus as my Savior, and I was later baptized. [This was his second encounter with billowing smoke and fire. Refer to chapter 20.] I asked Hank what the devil’s face looked like. He said “he was all wrinkles and looked very, very old.” Years later Hank explained, “The place outside the devil’s office, like a waiting room, was outside of hell. The mud meant there was no way out, no escape—slavery—and the only thing that could save me was a miracle—calling on the name of Jesus. I had thought I was a Christian because we prayed every night.” Hank’s dream is in line with Scripture, for Revelation 12:12 says, “[The devil] is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” He knows; therefore, we should know. I’m going to have to let you all go home. When Hank first told me this dream, my impression was that “going home” meant at the Rapture. That is what all said to me. This was years before the two events I have shared with you. I am now enthralled with the word home. Where is home? What is this place Jesus said He was going to prepare for us and then come back to take us there to be with Him (see John 14:3)? And why should it matter to us now? Research of this question brings us to the city of Jerusalem where one day soon Jesus, as Jehovah-Shammah, will live in physical form. There is only one verse of Scripture in the whole Bible that tells about Jehovah-Shammah. This name of God is mentioned in the very last verse of the book of Ezekiel as he describes the future Jerusalem: “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE” (Eze. 48:35). We know this word there means omnipresent when referring to the Lord—in the past, in the present and in the future—but it also points to the future Jerusalem. We cannot even begin to understand this verse until we understand some history of the old Jerusalem. And, it is hard to follow the history of the old Jerusalem without knowing what happened to the temple in Jerusalem.
God, Who Are You?
HISTORY OF JERUSALEM Moses guided the children of Israel, with God’s directions, to build a tabernacle tent for worship while they were in the wilderness. It was carried everywhere they traveled. After the nation of Israel was established, King David passed on to his son Solomon the mandate to build the temple for which he made plans. After Solomon finished building the temple and the royal palace, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there” (1 Kings 9:3). The LORD also reiterated to King Solomon that if he would continue to walk in His ways, there should never fail to be a man on the throne of Israel, but if his descendants turned away from Him, all would be lost and Israel would become an object of ridicule and scorn. The following summary is an overview of what happened after the building of the temple to God’s Name—and, therefore, to Jerusalem: 1012 B.C. 1004 B.C. 971 B.C. 856 B.C. 740 B.C. 726 B.C. 605-535 600-570 586 B.C. 520 B.C. 458 B.C. 445-332 198 B.C. 164 B.C. 135 B.C. 37-4 B.C. 70 A.D. 638 A.D. 1948
Foundations Laid by King Solomon Dedicated Pillaged by Shishak, Egyptian pharaoh during Rehoboam’s reign Repaired by King Joash Profaned by King Ahaz Restored by King Hezekiah Babylonian Captivity (in Iraq) Ezekiel in Captivity Temple Pillaged and utterly destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar Temple restored with encouragement from prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Zerubbabel, the governor [took four years] Jerusalem city walls rebuilt under Nehemiah [took three years] Jerusalem under Persian (Iran) control 445 to 332 B.C. Egyptian control of Palestine and Judah ends Judas Maccabaeus retook Jerusalem Jerusalem demolished by Judas’s brother Jerusalem under Herod the Great and Roman rule – refurbished the temple and Temple Mount Temple and Temple Mount destroyed by Romans Muslim armies capture Jerusalem; Dome of the Rock built approximately where temple once stood Founding of the State of Israel – prophecy fulfilled (Eze. 37:3, 7-11, 21-23; Jer. 31:10, Matt. 24:32-34)
PROPHETS DURING THE FALL OF JERUSALEM Daniels’ prayer says it well, “Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:12). This is a city that has been besieged approximately forty different times and destroyed (at least) partially on thirty-two different occasions. The 4
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rulership of Jerusalem has changed hands about twenty-six times. Since 1948 Jerusalem has experienced four wars.1 Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah were all prophets during the Babylonian captivity [the bolded time above], beginning in 605 B.C. We previously studied Jeremiah [Module 3], who stayed in Jerusalem until its fall and beyond. The fall occurred because, after listening to Jeremiah, the people decided, “Each of us will follow the stubbornness of our evil heart.” Jeremiah was probably a mentor to Ezekiel who was taken to Babylon [Baghdad, Iraq] in the second invasion—eight years after Daniel was taken in the first invasion. Daniel, belonging to a family of high rank, was in the palace at Babylon the same time Ezekiel was in the country about fifty miles away. Ezekiel possibly visited Daniel. Ezekiel’s purpose in Babylon was to be God’s voice to remind the people of the reason all these calamities happened. The phrase, “The word of the Lord came unto me,” occurs fortynine times in Ezekiel. He was the prophet of visions: many for the Jewish people today; many for Christians today. He lived among the captives, so his mission was one on one—as a watchman warning them. His very life was God’s sign of what was happening to Jerusalem. His wife died the day the siege of Jerusalem began. One can imagine Ezekiel would have been able to reveal God’s broken heart to the people because of the great love he and God had for their wives—God’s relationship with Israel being that of a marriage. The northern kingdom of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrians 120 years earlier, and now Jerusalem, the southern kingdom of Judah, was dead. Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel were all very young men when God called them to voice His words to His people before, during and after this crisis. The captivity lasted seventy years as foretold by Jeremiah. At the end, the people did turn back to God, but not during it. It was Ezra and Nehemiah who would lead in that spiritual and physical reconstruction effort. RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM With the news of the fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel prophesies about the future restoration of Israel. In Chapter 37 of Ezekiel, he sees dead, dry bones come together with a rattling sound, and tendons, flesh and skin appear on them. He says that the Sovereign LORD says He will gather the Israelites out of all the nations where they were driven and bring them back into their own land. That happened in 1948, and Jerusalem was recaptured in the 1967 war. [Jim Miesner, my husband, was twenty-four years old and with the 82nd Airborne Division in 1967. He was on alert to go to Israel, but the war ended in only six days. He deployed to Vietnam instead.] Thousands upon thousands of Jewish people have regathered in Israel, and have been rebuilding Zion (Jerusalem). (see Eze. 37:3, 7-11, 21-23; Matt. 24:32-34 for prophecies fulfilled.) And the LORD says, “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms” (Eze. 37:22). That King will be Jesus Christ when He returns to the earth at the end of the seven-year tribulation period.
God, Who Are You?
THE TRANSFORMATION OF JERUSALEM Ezekiel, from Chapters 40 through 48, describes the vision God gave him of the end-time Jerusalem and temple. Since 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, there has been no temple. Ezekiel was shown exactly how the new temple area would look with exact dimensions, and how the whole city would look, including how the land would be divided among the twelve tribes of Israel when they would be one nation. This Jerusalem Ezekiel saw is the kingdom of Israel during and after the seven-year tribulation period. This Jerusalem is restored with the third temple built in which offerings are sacrificed by the Jewish people—referred to as the “millennial temple.” It will also be desecrated by the Antichrist during the tribulation (see Matt. 24:15). Ezekiel witnessed the climax of all the ages: he saw the glory of the God of Israel enter the temple from the east, and he heard His voice like the roar of rushing waters and saw the whole land fill with His radiant glory. He heard a voice speaking to him, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile my holy name . . . .” (Eze. 43:7). Jesus own feet will descend upon Earth causing a great earthquake. The prophet Zechariah, who appears on the scene after the Jew’s return from Babylonian exile, fills in some blanks. Chapter 14 of his book describes the day the glory of the Lord fills the temple. Jesus Christ will have just ended the battle of Armageddon to keep mankind from destroying themselves. “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south” (Zech. 14:4). On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. —Zechariah 14:6-9 (emphasis mine) That unique day will be the first day of the next one-thousand years when Jesus will reign as King in Jerusalem. It will be inhabited and will never again be destroyed. All peoples of the Earth will go up to Jerusalem to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, and any nation who rebels against the Lord will see no rain in their land. If they do not go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, they will experience plagues. The great earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives when Jesus’ feet hit Earth will cause the whole city to be raised up, and water will flow out from Jerusalem to the eastern and western seas. Jerusalem will be like heaven on Earth, but it will not be heaven . . . yet. Jesus will be there, yes, but that is not all. You and I will be there in our glorified bodies. Jesus did not come back to Earth alone. We truly are His feet! For us and the whole house of Israel, the LORD says, “I will glorify the place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 60: 13-14). 6
God, Who Are You?
Moving from Zechariah 14 to Revelation, Chapter 19 describes the wedding supper of the Lamb after His bride had made herself ready. John saw with his own eyes the rider on the white horse, Jesus Christ, His eyes like blazing fire and a crown on His head and his robe dipped in blood—His name the Word of God. He witnessed the armies of heaven following him, also riding on white horses, dressed in white linen. The army bride and Jesus Christ will fight against the armies gathered together at the battle of Armageddon. We—the army bride—will be there. We will witness with our own eyes the capture of the beast (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet as they are thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. [John] saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He 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. —Revelation 20:1-3 No longer will the devil be able to deceive the nations or individuals or make war against those who hold fast to the testimony of Jesus—for one thousand years, anyway. Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins capture this thousand-year millennial kingdom in their fictional story, based on their interpretation of Scripture, in the last of sixteen books of the Left Behind series, Kingdom Come. It takes them 350 pages to show what this period of time will look like. Their view is that those Christians who were raptured, or martyred during the tribulation, will be living on Earth and in Jerusalem in glorified bodies. Believers who managed to make it through the tribulation will still have human bodies while continuing to marry and have babies. During the millennial kingdom, Jerusalem is transformed by the presence of the LORD, which is a picture of His mighty love, patience, and how He transforms our lives—little by little. Unbelievers left behind after the Rapture, who are faced with the tribulation period because they did not trust Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, will still be given the chance to follow Him. The whole reason for all the plagues and terrible calamities that will happen are so “man” will turn from his wicked ways, repent, and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is his creator and Lord of all (see Rev. 9:20-21). Again, and again, man will be given a second, third, fourth chance, but somewhere down the road, it will be too late. Only believers will live in the millennial kingdom. Babies who are then born and grow up will be given the choice and opportunity to follow Jesus. The opportunity to sin will still exist on Earth during the thousand years because it is still the old Earth and the old heaven. Before Jerusalem can become the “New” Jerusalem, remaining throughout eternity, all the effects of humanity’s sins must be destroyed from Earth. Peter tells us how it will happen: The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. —2 Peter 3:10-13 (emphasis mine) 7
God, Who Are You?
The heavens and the earth have to be made ready for the entrance of the Holy City, purged and cleansed by fire, to make way for the Throne of our Holy Father God which will replace the temple where He and His Son will take up residence. We will all be “there,” home . . . at last. This is New Jerusalem, also known as heaven. DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW JERUSALEM When the Bible is interpreted literally from the pre-tribulation mindset [Rapture at beginning of tribulation, rather than mid or post], all the events in the book of Revelation make sense and are written in sequence: Chapters 1 Introduction Chapter 2-3 Church Age Chapters 4-5 End of Church Age, Scenes in Heaven (the Church Raptured)2 Chapters 6-18 Detailed Description of the Tribulation Chapter 19 Jesus Comes Physically to Earth with His Army Bride Chapter 20 Satan Bound in Bottomless Pit and Thousand-Year Kingdom Chapter 21-22 New Jerusalem Comes Down Out of Heaven3 This brings us to Chapter 21, the next to last chapter, where an angel showed John the bride, the wife of the Lamb. He was taken to a high mountain where he saw the Holy City, Jerusalem, “coming down out of heaven from God” (verse10), not saying exactly where it landed, but this is how the story ends and eternity begins. John said, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Rev. 21:1). This first verse shows a big difference from the millennial Jerusalem where water flowed out to the east and west seas. John describes the dazzling gift Jesus went to heaven to prepare for His wife-to-be—the New Jerusalem: “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And [he] heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’” (Rev. 21:2-4). Interestingly, the New Jerusalem John saw was in the shape of a cube measuring approximately 1,400 miles square. Its walls were 144 cubits, 200 feet, thick. Twelve is the signature of God’s people. It had 12 gates, inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles. This perfect cube, holding salty Christians, placed over the United States of America, would extend from the northernmost tip of Maine to the southernmost tip of Florida and from the east coast westward to the state of Colorado. The same distance of about 1,400 plus miles would extend into the sky.4 The wall of the New Jerusalem is made of jasper and the city of pure gold—as pure as glass. The great street of the city was pure gold like transparent glass. The twelve foundations of the city walls are decorated with every kind of precious stone—each a different sparkling stone. To top it all off, the twelve gates are each made of one single pearl. Jesus will place the most beautiful, huge, pearl necklace around our neck that will never be matched. The gates 8
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will never be shut, for there will be no night. There will be no temple in this city because the LORD is there. PROPHETS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Rev. 21:23). The nations will also walk by its light. The gates of the city will always be open while you and I travel through them. On Jesus’ robe and on His thigh His name is written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (see Rev. 19:16). You and I are the kings and lords Jesus is King and Lord of. “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? . . . Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” (1 Cor. 6:2-3). This life is only kindergarten to what we have waiting for us, so we must be wise to learn and accept all God has for us now. We are those kings and lords now, having already been raised up with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (see Eph. 2:6). THE THREE JERUSALEMS COMPARED All three Jerusalems discussed here are real in physical form. It might help to view them spiritually in light of what we learned from the book of Ruth if we are to see what they can mean to us now—before we reach the New Jerusalem. They can be compared as follows: Old Jerusalem – Orpha, turning the back Millennial Jerusalem – Naomi – partially transformed New Jerusalem – Ruth Church (or body of Christ)—something worth seeing—heaven The old Jerusalem, which we still see today, is a source of strife because God’s name is written there. Satan never has and never will like that. We see that strife and turmoil in the number of times the people turned their back on God—as Orpha did—and the number of times God’s Spirit wooed them back to Him. The millennial Jerusalem will be partially transformed—not yet heaven. It can be compared spiritually to Naomi. She held back on completely embracing all God had for her. She saw herself as too old to have a husband, yet it was okay for her daughter-in-law, Ruth. This Christian has one foot in the heavenly kingdom and one foot in the world. Linda S. had a dream of this type Christian. She saw this person straddling a fence with a very sad face. This person has no joy and is in danger of his or her whole body being pulled into Satan’s quicksand. Another example of this type Christian was Lot, Abraham’s nephew, who chose to live near the city of Sodom. When the angels came to destroy Sodom, he and his family were living inside. They would have been destroyed also if Abraham had not interceded for their lives. The New Jerusalem Church, or body of Christ, has grabbed hold of all God’s promises and claimed them personally. They fulfill what the Lord’s Prayer means—Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (see Matt. 6:10). Before we, as the bridal company, can be raptured we must go to New Jerusalem spiritually and live there now— bringing heaven to Earth. This is no different than when Abraham and Sarah left all to follow the call of God on their lives by following His voice to Canaan. They had to go there physically
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before they could birth the new land and new nation—before their descendants could take possession. The book of Galatians in the New Testament sheds more light on the old and New Jerusalem. In speaking of Hagar and Sarah it says: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. —Galatians 4:24-26 Hagar represents the law of the Old Testament. The new Christians had found freedom in Jesus Christ, but false teachers tried to get them to feel they had to do certain things to please the Lord, or to obtain salvation. This breeds a slavery mindset. This is striving to do things in our own strength, just as Ishmael was born of natural means—what could be humanly controlled—not a supernatural occurrence. Those living with a slavery mindset take no personal responsibility to the Christ who set them free (see Gal. 5:1). Their actions are dictated by what others think and tell them to do. This mindset also means being a slave to pleasures, never looking to anything outside of self or beyond self-gratification in what can be seen, felt or touched. In contrast, Isaac was born through supernatural circumstances—Abraham and Sarah both past the time for child bearing. This represents the Jerusalem that is from above and free. Entering into the New Jerusalem is supernaturally experiencing God, bringing heaven to Earth in our carnal circumstances. This will not happen until we come to the end of self, knowing that if God does not do it, nothing will happen at all. Some people refer to this level of spiritual attainment as the “anointing.” What it means is that the Lord works with us and confirms His Word by the signs that accompany it (see Mark 16:20). Why? Because we are now partners in ministry with God. As the coming of the Lord approaches, we see more and more that we are living in a combat zone between the forces of heaven and hell. Satan, because he knows his time is short, has deployed all his demon forces upon us all. We must remember that God’s grace is greater than all the devil can bring against us (see Rom. 5:20). Satan, the deceiver, is himself deceived. He thinks he is in control, but he is wrong. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). And when we think the problem is another person, we must know that “our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). We must know there is nothing that can come against us that cannot be overcome, because we are already legally on the throne with Jesus. Satan is only the force God has chosen to use to train us in reigning. Therefore, we must learn to fight with a supernatural ability that comes, not only through praise and worship, but in waiting upon and allowing Jehovah God to do His work through us until the time He chooses to bring us home. For those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and a mouth to speak the things of the Lord, heaven will be brought to Earth and souls will be snatched from hell’s waiting room. This also
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means we need to keep an open mind and heart to angelic visitations and of the Lord, because they are there. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? In the fall of 2001, Louise passionately prayed for her family before going to bed. She released all her burdens in faith to the LORD. At about 2:00 a.m. she woke up wide awake. She saw an angel lying horizontally over the doorsill. She had long, flowing, golden hair and was motioning with her hand to come. Louise got up to see if her aunt, who was living with her, was still alive. She thought possibly the angel was trying to get her attention since her aunt was near death. But, she was okay. What could this mean? Louise shared this the following day at work. These verses came to our minds, “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). These verses were comforting, and this is what Louise had done the night before. But, there seemed to be more. That is when I remembered the words in Hank’s dream: I’m going to have to let you all go home. Were we being summoned to get ready to go home? The Lord confirmed this thought a few weeks later. I shared my vision of the Rapture with our women’s group and then told Louise’s story about this angel summoning to come with her hand. Wilma L. in the audience about shouted as I was talking, but managed to wait until later to share her story. The night before, she dreamed she was riding in the back seat of a car. In the front seat was a man who had been a wonderful family friend years earlier. He had died a few years earlier, going to heaven because of this family’s influence. All he did was motion with his hand, to come. The Lord is wooing His bride to be prepared. He is doing that through dreams and visions and even taking men and women to heaven and hell and sending them back to report what they have seen and heard. Home arrived instantly, without pain, for Don Piper when his red car ran head-on into a semi truck. Rather than arriving at the church where he was pastor and expected to teach a Bible study, he was greeted in heaven by every person who influenced him throughout his entire lifetime to follow Jesus. After ninety minutes, he awoke singing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” with a man who had been praying for him that whole time—bringing heaven to earth. [The full story is documented in Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. The Web site www.spiritlessons.com gives numerous other accounts.] Our mature prayer must be, “Lord, how can I be the answer to someone else’s prayer? Who am I going to greet at heaven’s gates?”
God, Who Are You?
MAKING IT PERSONAL Jehovah-Shammah [The LORD is There] The Judgments The Judgment Seat of Christ – Believers at the Rapture will go before God’s judgment seat. “Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). Read the following Scriptures and list what will happen: 2 Corinthians 5: 10 ___________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 _________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 ________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 _________________________________________________________ REWARDS For Christians Who Are Judged Five Different Crowns – Read the Scriptures and list who will receive this crown. 1. Incorruptible Crown – 1 Corinthians 9:25 ____________________________________ 2. Crown of Life – Revelation 2:10 ___________________________________________ 3. Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:2-4 ____________________________________________ 4. Crown of Righteousness - 2 Timothy 4:8 ____________________________________ 5. Crown of Rejoicing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ________________________________ (Other descriptive names given these crowns: 1. Victor’s Crown 2. Martyr’s Crown 3. Elder’s or Shepherd’s Crown 4. For Those Who Love His Appearing 5. Soul Winner’s Crown)
Can a Christian’s crown ever be lost? _______ How, and what will ensure it will not be lost? Read Revelation 3:11. _______________________________________________________________________ The Great White Throne Judgment – The judgment of all unbelievers throughout history Read Revelation 20:11-15. Who are being judged? __________________________________________________ Where have they come from? _____________________________________________ What book was used to judge them? _______________________________________ According to what two things will judgment be made? _________________________ Where will these people go? ______________________________________________ 12