THINKING RIGHTLY ABOUT HEAVEN - 04/19/08
I am picking up where I left off a couple of weeks ago, and we are in the middle of what I am calling “Studies in the Millennial Kingdom,” which is heaven on earth. If you do not think rightly about heaven, then you will never think about heaven. That is a problem in the Body of Christ right now—so many people do not think rightly about heaven, and so they almost never think of heaven. They feel a little sad that they cannot obey the command to think on things above—they have no grid for it—they cannot connect with it. When they think of above, they think of just far away. The truth is that heaven is coming down to the earth, and the way that we think properly about heaven is when we understand heaven in its bigger context—on the earth, with the throne of God on the earth. The natural and the spiritual realm come together—that is the way that we think properly about heaven, then we can relate to it. It is still —mysterious, and there are still many dimensions that we cannot grasp, but it begins to be far more practical and concrete in our thinking when we think about heaven in the context of earth—after the second coming—that is when heaven becomes practical. In this session, session four, we are identifying false assumptions, false ideas, about the millennial kingdom, the thousand-year reign of Jesus, and just false ideas, which would be implied about heaven on earth.
MILLENNIAL KINGDOM REVIEW
Just a quick review for those who are new with us tonight: the millennial kingdom is the thousand-year reign of Jesus the earth. It is a literal thousand-year reign. After the millennial kingdom, the Father’s throne comes down to the earth, after the earth is purged with fire—then the Father’s throne comes to the earth. The millennial kingdom (one of its purposes) is to prepare the people and the nations for the throne of the Father—not the second coming of Jesus—that is at the beginning of the Millennium . . . but at the end of it, Jesus has prepared the way (as the ultimate forerunner) for the Father to come and dwell in the natural realm openly with people with physical, material bodies. We will have physical and material bodies, resurrected—yes— supernatural properties; but nonetheless, they will be physical and material bodies. We will be face-to-face with God the Father on the earth; it is the most glorious reality that we can imagine.
THE CENTERPIECE OF GOD’S PURPOSE
The centrepiece of God’s purpose (I repeat this just so many times over the years, because without this piece of information—this revelation—so much will be confusing—your studies of the end times and of the age to come): the centrepiece of God’s purpose is for God to bring the kingdom of God through Jesus, and to bring the two realms together—the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, and to bring them together upon the earth. That is the central core to what God is doing. If you understand that, you can understand many of the verses in the Bible about the end times. If you do not understand that, then you only imagine heaven separated from the earth, and then you conclude that you are floating around on a cloud, playing a harp, and you have a ghost-like body. You do not really quite know how to relate to it right now, because you know it is heaven, so you have to be happy about it, but it feels a little bit boring, a little bit disconnected, a little bit out there, and so it is really hard to get too excited about it. The purpose of God is to bring the two realms together, and that is where the fullness of God is: when the natural and the spiritual are fully operating together under the authority of Jesus.
THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE ON THE EARTH WHEN JESUS RETURNS
Just again, I repeat this a lot as well, but for those who are new, to get an image of how this thing works at the second coming of Christ, to connect a few dots, and fill in a few gaps: there are three types of people that are alive on the earth when Jesus appears in the sky. There are the redeemed, and they are raptured. There are two groups left: the reprobate (those that have taken the mark of the Beast)—they end up not instantly killed. Many of them are killed through the tribulation judgments; but they are rounded up, treated as criminals of the state, and they are executed. We are talking about hundreds of millions of people. This will take an immense amount of time for this to happen. That is a new idea for some folks. When I ask them, “What happens to these hundreds of millions of people? Does Jesus come and wave His hand and they disappear?” “No.” “Does He wave His hand and they all fall over?” “No.” When Jesus comes, they keep living—they have to be brought to justice. It is a huge task for this to happen. Many are killed in the battle, the battle of Armageddon, but that is all over the Middle East. There are hundreds of millions, and more than that, around the nations that are not at that battle.
The third group of people are who I call “the resisters.” They are the unsaved survivors of the Great Tribulation; they did not say yes to Jesus, but they did not take the mark of the Beast. My guess is that they are tens of millions—nobody knows—a very small percentage of the human race, but still a substantial number in terms of the earth being repopulated. They will continue with their natural bodies. They will remember that as the most intense three and a half years that they could ever fathom; they will have weathered it and made it through— they will have natural bodies. Then Jesus will come, the saints will all get resurrected bodies, and the New Jerusalem will come down to the earth, and that is where we will live—in the New Jerusalem. We will reign over the earth and these tens of millions, whatever the number is. It will grow into hundreds of millions, and then billions, and then tens of billions over the next thousand years, and there will be a substantial righteousness in their lives and in the nations of the earth. It will not be perfect righteousness, but it will be substantial. It will be beyond anything we have ever seen in history. That kind of gives you a little bit of a beginning, if you are just new with us this weekend or the last few weeks.
IDENTIFYING FALSE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
I have twelve different common assumptions. We are not going to cover them all—again, that is why we give notes. We will skip a few of them. I want to just challenge your paradigm, challenge your way of thinking, because if you get these right; and if you get your paradigm right, then the whole picture begins to come together clearly and it gets exciting. A lot of these chapters of the Bible that are about the end times begin to make sense once you approach them with a right picture, with a right paradigm. Identifying the common false assumptions about heaven on earth, or the millennial kingdom. Then again, after the thousand years, heaven on earth is perfect righteousness after that. It is substantial in the Millennium, and then it is perfect after the millennial kingdom, after the earth is purged by fire. It is important to identify these false assumptions, and then replace them with truth. It is essential to do this if you are going to understand the end-time chapters of the Bible. By the way, there are over 100 chapters in the Bible in which the primary subject is the end times—that is substantial. Most believers are 99% illiterate about those 100 chapters, because they do not make sense to them, because their paradigm is wrong and they think, “How can all these natural things be happening?” There are people living and dying, and natural processes happening. “I thought I was in heaven with a resurrected body. How could this be the future? I do not get it.” They do not see the two realms together—it is our future—we are going to be involved in it.
CHALLENGE TO PRAY OVER AND TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES OUT
We must carefully . . . I am giving you this challenge and it is a two-fold challenge—I want to challenge you, number one, to review all the details of Scripture about the end times—pray over it over and over again, and after you stay with it, the fog begins to lift. You stay with it, and it begins to come into focus, the clear picture—that is challenge number one. Do not be loyal to the ideas you might have grown up with. Be loyal, make sure those ideas are rooted in the Scripture. Number two challenge, which I do not have it written here, but I have it many places—challenge everything I say, and make sure it is in the Bible. I really want you to do that. Be a Berean of Acts 17:11. When Paul came to Berea, they said, “Well Paul, we like you, but we are going to check it out in the Bible to see if you are telling us the truth.” Paul said, “I like that. That is good. That is good stuff.” Anything that you find on these handouts, or anything that is said, you check it out and make sure it is biblical before you run with it. Make sure the stuff that you came here with is biblical, and make sure the things that you are hearing—make sure you can see it with your own eyes. In every session I cannot prove every point, because we would be here for hours. I would like that, but it would wear you out, so we will not do that.
GOD IS NOT GOING TO DRASTICALLY CHANGE THE WAY HE RELATES TO US
One of the primary premises that I operate with is that God’s wisdom is perfect, and He never changes. The application of His wisdom changes, but the core principles of which God, in His wisdom, has related to the human race—they are timeless, and they are perfect. So the principles in which God has related to natural human beings for 6000 years since Adam and the Garden of Eden—He will use the same principles in the next 1000 years to relate to human beings on the earth with natural bodies. My point is—instead of trying to figure out the great mystery of how Jesus will relate to people with natural bodies, look at history, and we get a lot of understanding from history and the Bible. That is how God relates to people with natural bodies—the truth is that we already understand a lot of it. The hard part is understanding that that really is the way He is going to continue to relate to people. The idea we have (just kind of accidentally) is that we think that when Jesus comes, He waves His hand, and everything becomes supernatural— everything natural disappears, and now we are in a complete mystified place of no understanding, because we cannot grasp it—do not go there. The way that Jesus has shown His wisdom for 6,000 years in leading the human race, many of those principles will still operate with the people. Those tens of millions—those hundreds of millions that are populating the earth—He will still relate to them in the same principles. There will be some obvious different applications, but the principles are timeless, because God is perfect in His wisdom—and He never changes.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #1—THE SECOND COMING IS THE SAME THING AS THE RAPTURE
False assumption number one is that the second coming is the same thing as the rapture— they are not the same thing at all. They happen at the same time, but they are totally different realities. Now you think, “I am not following you.” Let me kind of help you with this point—those are two different realities that happen in the same time frame. “The second coming,” by definition, means Jesus comes to the earth permanently. A second coming is not Him appearing in the sky. If He appears in the sky, (that is where He raptures us) He has not come yet. A “coming” requires a landing on the earth in a permanent way. My point is that many people think about heaven, and they think about it far away—and in essence, they believe in a rapture, but they do not believe in a second coming. They do not believe Jesus comes to the earth—they believe He comes in the sky, but that is not a biblical definition of a coming of the Lord—He has to come to the earth, and He has to have a long-term assignment on the earth. So, if He comes, raptures us, and goes away forever, then we are raptured—and that is what happens to the saints—we are transformed (our bodies), but He has not come to the earth yet. Many believers, when you really push them, they believe in a rapture, but they do not really actually believe in the second coming. They do not picture Jesus on the earth in a physical body, on a physical earth, reigning over nations. I tell them, “You do not really believe in the second coming.” They say, “Yes I do.” I say, “No, you believe in an appearing in the sky to take you away, and that is the rapture, but that is not the same thing as coming. It requires that He touches the ground and stays here with a permanent task.” So, that is assumption number one. It is a very simple point to clarify, but a lot of folks just kind of assume they believe in the second coming, and they do not. When I ask them, “Is Jesus coming to reign on the earth?” “Uh, I do not know. I know He is coming though.” “No, no—you believe we are going to be raptured and taken away—that is true, we are going to be caught up in the air—we are going to be given resurrected bodies, but that is only part of the truth.” Jesus is coming to the earth physically and permanently, and He is going to join the two realms together. We are going to live in the context of these two realms together forever and ever and ever. That is exciting—it is ok if you look at your neighbor and smile. Say, “Boy, this is kind of neat.” There is a reason that you like the earth—it is because you were made of the dust. At the very fabric of your being is the dirt, is the natural realm. When God made us back in Genesis 1 and 2, He said, “It is very good.” There was nothing wrong with the natural realm—sin created problems in the natural realm, but the natural realm itself is not wrong. It is glorious and it is part of God’s eternal purpose.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #2—WHEN JESUS RETURNS, NATURAL LIFE PROCESSES SUSPENDED
OK, false assumption number two is that when Jesus returns, natural processes of life will be suspended and done away with. Now, no one ever says that—I have never heard a preacher get up and say, “When Jesus returns everything in the natural just suspends.” People do not really quite say it that clearly, but that is an unspoken picture that people have in their mind. When you say, “Think of yourself a million years from now,” they are on a cloud floating somewhere, because the natural realm does not exist anymore. It has been suspended and then done away with—that is not how it happens. Even when Jesus comes to the earth, when He interacts with people with natural bodies, and even with us as resurrected saints—when we interact with people with natural bodies, the natural processes of life will still continue. It is like when the angels visit us, and they touch us, and they communicate with us—they understand that we are living with natural processes in our life. We will have resurrected bodies, and we will be training people—and just right when we are training them—just like some of the saints through the Word of God, they will fall asleep. You think, “Wait, come on you guys, I am training you.” “Yeah, but you have a resurrected body—we are tired—we are a little moody right now—we are afraid.” “OK, we will come back and visit you later then.” They say, “Boy, yeah, that is how it was. I remember.”
LIFE PROCESSES REMAIN
Common false assumptions—the natural processes of life (it is a false assumption) will be suspended—because of Jesus’ supernatural activity is so intense is the idea. It is a wrong idea, that the activity of Jesus is so intense, that He waves His hand, and somehow everything wrong becomes right instantly . . . all of the cities that are destroyed in the tribulation judgments suddenly pop up in perfection from the rubble—that is not going to happen. The cities will be built just stone by stone, and floor-by-floor. The highways will be built, the vineyards will be planted; the agricultural, and all of the processes of life will still operate in the natural, in the millennial kingdom on the earth. Jesus will not only use the supernatural dimension. It will be an anointed time like no time on earth since the garden of Eden, but it will not be only supernatural. It will be supernatural, together with the human involvement and human process, natural processes. People will grow, animals will grow, animals will die; friendships will be made on the earth. Beloved, we will make friendships with resurrected bodies. There will still be a human process in our resurrected state. When you receive a resurrected body you will not become omniscient—you will not know all things. You will only know what you knew the moment before you had a resurrected body. A resurrected body does not imply that you get a computer chip of omniscience to where you know everything. When you meet somebody, they will have to tell you their name . . . you will remember it a lot better—you will pay attention a lot better—you will understand and communicate a lot better—you will feel a lot better. Still, you will meet them one by one, and you will tell other people about your new friends, and you will meet each other—that is how you will gain knowledge—line by line. I mean, with a resurrected body, and we will give it to the people on the earth the same way—line by line—we will teach it. Many of you will have a teaching ministry in the age to come, far beyond your teaching ministry right now.
NATURAL PROCESSES WILL BE GREATLY ENHANCED BY THE SUPERNATURAL
The true principle is that natural processes are not suspended, but they will be greatly enhanced by the supernatural dimension. Now, the clearest picture that we get of this is in Acts 1 when Jesus has a resurrected body. For forty days, (He is with the twelve apostles for forty days—the eleven apostles and yea the twelfth one coming soon) He is talking to them for forty days. He has a resurrected body and they have a natural body—He is eating with them—they are falling asleep, and He is not—He is teaching about the things to come, line upon line. That is a snapshot, that forty days in Acts 1:3 is a window into how the millennial kingdom will operate, but you will be the one with a resurrected body teaching the others. It will be very exciting when they learn, and you will learn as well— you will not know all things—you will know more than you know now, but a million years from now, you will know how little you knew the first thousand or two thousand years. You will say, “I thought I knew a lot. I understand now that I did not know very much in those first couple thousand years in the age to come.” We will be excited for billions and billions of years by new discoveries, new relationships, new experiences. It is not going to be—I mean, whatever is good on the earth, in principle, in terms of His leadership over the human race—like work in the garden of Eden—work was not a curse, it was a blessing—it was work with frustration that is a curse. Work that has God’s blessing, and the sense of accomplishment, and the sense of community that comes out of anointed work; you will experience that forever, and the sense of God’s pleasure, the sense that you are increasing the quality of people’s lives, even people with resurrected bodies, it will increase, everything will increase in goodness and you will be . . . you will have a ministry. Your ministry for a thousand years will be far more important than your ministry for seventy years. People get so fixated on their seventy year ministry, and they completely lose site of their thousand year one coming. Beloved, we are in seminary; we are in an internship called seventy years on the earth. Our assignment in the age to come is directly related to our internship right here, particularly growing in meekness and love, and growing in revelation of the Word. I am not talking about memorizing Bible passages—I am talking about having heart revelation of Jesus in His Word.
JESUS WILL RULE, ESTABLISHING ORDER IN EVERY SPHERE OF LIFE
Jesus will rule with hands-on leadership in establishing infrastructure in every sphere of life. Can you imagine this? He will be in Jerusalem. He will have the same Jewish body that He had for thirty-three years on the earth, but in resurrected glory. He will look the same, but in perfected glory. He will have the same DNA, and so will you—you will have the same DNA that you have right now. All of the tribes, and all of the ethnic groups (with God’s full glory) will operate forever in their full splendour—it is awesome. This Man, you know, near six foot man (or whatever He was on the earth)—He will be the same person with the same body (with the body resurrected), on a throne, talking to people. His eyes will be bright, and He will have sometimes a serious look, and sometimes a glad look, and sometimes He will ask questions. He will be a real person on a throne.
JESUS WILL RULE FROM HIS THRONE
The resurrected saints and the kings of the earth will come to His throne and receive assignments, and they will have consultations and dialogues; and He will delegate responsibility, and they will go to the remote parts of the earth (wherever they are assigned), and they will then implement what Jesus told them—while He is on His throne in Jerusalem. There is nowhere in the Bible that says that once Jesus is established on His throne—I cannot prove this for a fact, but I feel strongly that it is right—once He is installed on His throne, my assumption is that He is on that throne forever. He is not walking around in parks; the nations are coming to Him, like the Father is on His throne—you never see the Father walking around. Once Jesus is established, it might now be true, but it appears that way—that He will be on His throne, and the nations will all come to Him—He will not go to them. They will come to Him, and there will be processions continually waiting for appointments with Him to have meetings. Sometimes there will be worldwide gatherings; sometimes there will be New-Jerusalem-only gatherings, where all the saints, and all the angels, and the guys on the earth will say, “Hey, can we get in.” “No, this is only for resurrected body saints.”
JESUS WILL BE ON HIS THRONE FOREVER
He will talk to us, He will be on a throne—that is my assumption—once He is coroneted and set on His throne, my assumption is that He will be on the throne forever. Maybe He will not, but that is the way that I view it. The leaders will come to Him, and He will not—He will not Himself make sure the cities of the earth are built right according to righteousness. He will do it through His delegated authority just like He does now. They will come back and He will say, “No, that is not exactly what I wanted.” He says, “Go think on it this way—you say, ‘wait,’ and you pray, and let the Holy Spirit tell you; and you come back and tell me what He told you.” “Oh Jesus, just come on, just tell me now.” “No, no, this will be good for you. I want you to ask the Holy Spirit, and I want your personality to be manifest in this assignment that I have given you to bring righteousness in that city.” Some folks think that there will be an automatic robotic kind of thing . . . that Jesus relates to us now in a dynamic interaction—where our personalities are expressed, and our free will is expressed, and our creative ideas are expressed—and the Holy Spirit operates within our personalities—He really does. The glory of God is manifest through all of the different instruments of the symphony, all the different personalities of the human race—He likes them— He made them. That is the wisdom of which Jesus rules now over His people, and that wisdom is not thrown away—where now that we are face to face, or we have the ability to be face to face, and now we become robots—no, that is not going to happen. We will still think, decide, pray. The Holy Spirit will give us ideas, we will implement them; we will report, we will go back and train people; we will report back, and this will go on and on and on, with many levels of authority, over all of God’s people. The authority structure will not be dismissed.
LEVELS OF AUTHORITY AS SAINTS RULE WITH JESUS
There will be many levels of authority. There will be two or three billion saints. There will not be one level of authority, just like there are many levels of authority within the angelic ranks, and just like there are many levels of authority in society now—those are not principles that the Lord throws away. The levels of delegated authority will continue. So you will have people over you, you will have people under you—I am talking about resurrected bodies. Saints, you will have people with natural bodies that you are over, some of you. Not everybody in the New Jerusalem will have government on the earth—only those who were faithful on the earth. I am talking about faithful, by the definition of mature in their obedience— that is what I mean. There is one sense in which we just said ‘yes’ to Jesus, and took the grace of God; and there is another thing where we followed through with obedience—mature obedience. There are two different ways that you can describe our relationship to the Lord—there is the instant free gift that we get to get salvation, and then our responsiveness (and faithfulness is about responsiveness). I want to work closely with Him in my resurrected body. I want my internship to end well. I want to do my internship right, I want to work closely to Him, and I want see a part of the earth that I want some responsibility in. I want to walk it out in fellowship with Jesus, and bring that area of the earth into mature righteousness—that is the mindset we have when we think rightly about heaven.
JESUS SETS NEW PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT
What is going to happen is that when Jesus comes to establish infrastructure through delegated authority in every city and every village of every nation of the earth, the thing He is going to do is He is going to replace the governmental leaders of the Antichrist world-wide government with new people. The Antichrist governmental leaders, they will be from local leaders—from districts and county governmental positions, to mayors to senators, to every level of society—all of them will be removed—people with natural bodies will be put into place and people like you will be over those people with natural bodies to train them, to teach them, and to interact with them, in a place of authority, to make sure that part of the earth is brought to righteousness. This infrastructure will include the life-support systems like food, water, and electricity—I mean, for the people with the natural bodies. They are going to need all of these things, and all of those systems will be broken after the Great Tribulation. There will be building projects—there will be highways to be built, bridges to be built, buildings to be built; there will be new inventions and technology and science—with the people with natural bodies, and we will be working along side of them. There will be economic systems and law enforcement. The people with natural bodies, they will still have a sin nature—they will still sin and need forgiveness. There will be substantial righteousness in the nations, but it will not be perfect righteousness. There will be the penal system— it will be enforced. It will be a perfect system, and the environment will be perfect, and all of the demons will be in prison, so there will be no demons tempting anybody for the thousand years. That is a little of the overview of what is going on, in terms of our view of what we are going to be doing with the peoples of the earth.
THE PROCESS IN REGARDS TO THE WAR TRIBUNALS
There is a process involved—this is a new idea to some—in the war tribunals. There will be war tribunals, meaning the terrible wars leading up to the second coming of Christ. Did you know that Jesus returns in the context of a military conflict in the Middle East? He returns, and one of His mandates in returning is to end the military conflict. He is not just coming just to come, just so that we are raptured—He is coming for several reasons, but one of them is to end a military conflict, and there is bloodshed everywhere. When the conflict is over, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are rounded up, and they are thrown into lake of fire. Satan is thrown into prison. Then there are millions—I mean, tens of millions, hundreds of millions—I do not know the number— of people who have the mark of the beast—they are scattering to the nations. I think of the situation in Germany when Adolph Hitler died in 1945, and the World War II was over in Europe, and all of the Nazi war criminals scattered to the nations, and then all of the Allied Powers—the governments, were chasing them, and it took them years to find them. We will have the anointing of the Holy Spirit operating, and it will be a lot easier, but I have a feeling that as easy as God could have sent an angel to catch every one of them, He did not. He wanted natural processes to work their way out—those natural processes will be enhanced by the anointing of the Holy Spirit—but my guess is that there will be more of a process involved in that than we might think.
JESUS JUDGES AMONG THE NATIONS
Look at Matthew 25:32—what happens when Jesus comes? All of the nations are gathered—all of the leaders of all of the nations, and He separates the nations. Look what He does in Ps. 110:6—“He judges among the nations”—this is at the second coming—“He shall fill the place with dead bodies. He shall execute the heads of many countries”—Jesus will . . . the heads of countries, once they are rounded up, they will be executed. They will be tried first. Look at Isaiah 24:21, paraphrased—“In that day, Jesus will punish the kings of the earth.” We are talking about the reprobate kings of the earth who were in league with the Antichrist. They will be gathered together—that will take more than a day or an hour. That will take time—I do not know if it is weeks, months or years. There is a process involved as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and they will be put into prison. Then they will be fully punished, after many days of being put into prison. Look at Isaiah 2:4, “when Jesus comes He will judge between nations. He will rebuke many people.” There will be many people brought before Him and they will think—I mean, it is the dreaded hour of their life up until that time—they come there, and they stand in front of Jesus of Nazareth, the Man Jesus. “He rebukes them”—can you imagine what that means? Oh that is terrifying, because He has the power—He has the keys of hell and death in His hands. He says, “You resisted My will, and you said, ‘No,’ and you injured My people.” He will rebuke them, and it will be a severe rebuke. Probably in this there will be levels of rebukes. There will probably be some that He is rebuking that are not at the same level as others.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #3—SOCIAL IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE INSTANTANEOUS
False assumption number three is that social improvements will be instantaneous—that is a false assumption. Social improvements will take place over decades. It will take time. I believe that the reason that the millennial kingdom is a thousand years is because it literally takes a thousand years for the whole earth to have righteousness established in it and matured and tested. It is not done in one decade. Now there is a lot of good things that happen in a decade, because the Lord will not violate the human processes. He will allow all of those millions, who will become hundreds of millions, to billions—the people with natural bodies (because they are having children and they are growing)—He will want every one of them to choose righteousness day by day (like we do now), and to take their sphere of life, and to obey Him. Now, there are no demons, and Jesus is on the earth, and resurrected saints are helping—I mean, there will be a whole lot of advantage, as compared to now, but people will still sin. They will still say, “No, I do not want to do that.” Social improvements will not be instantaneous.
HEALING OF ALL AREAS OF SOCIETY WILL TAKE TIME
It will require a lengthy period of time for all areas of society to be totally healed. This will take much time to accomplish, learning and applying what is learned will happen like it does now. You will train a person with a natural body, they will say, “Yes,” and then they will do it. It is just like when angels appear to people now, or just the word of the Lord comes from the written word, or sometimes in a dream, or sometimes an angelic visitation. We hear the word of the Lord, and we do not always do it. Amen—we do not always do it, even supernatural words. Sometimes the leaders in the nations will hesitate, or they will not do it fully. It will take time in all of the areas of life. He is not just interested in a few areas of government: He wants the agriculture, He wants technology, He wants entertainment; He wants economics—all of those areas will be under justice and righteousness and wisdom. There are many areas of life that will have to have minute training for the whole earth to have righteousness in it. It is exciting—we are going to be a part of it for a thousand years.
JESUS WILL SET UP TRAINING INSTITUTIONS
Jesus will set up training institutions to train, not just Bible teaching, but to train in every area of life is what the Bible says. Look what it says in Isaiah 2:3—“Many people will come and say, ‘Let’s go up to Jerusalem, to the house of the Lord.’” In other words, let’s go to Jesus’ throne— let’s go talk to Him. He will teach us, not just about character—He is not just teaching us about righteous responses in our heart and in our character. He is going to teach us His way in terms of education, economics, media; agriculture and everything. All of His ways, they will be taught in Jerusalem. It will be a perpetual conference center and worship center—I have no doubt that there will be technology involved in this. Nations will see, but they will be in His presence. It will be absolutely awesome beyond anything we can imagine. He will teach the nations—do you know what is involved in teaching? After a couple hundred years in the millennial kingdom (because people will live to be two and three, four, five, and six hundred years), their life span will increase as the Millennium unfolds. It is just like when Noah’s flood, you know many people were six, seven, and eight hundred years old, and then after the flood, the life span began to decrease—it got down to a hundred and twenty years, and then down to seventy. It is going to go the other way around. A lot of people will be three, four, five and six hundred years old, and so, therefore the population of the earth will be very big. The food will be good, the atmosphere will be good—I am talking about good, as in healthy as well as tasty. The atmosphere will be good—lions will not bite people, demons will be in prison, sickness will not abound. People, I mean, the human race will be big, the population of the earth. Do you know the logistics of having tens of billions of people or more going to Jerusalem?
THE CITY OF JERUSALEM WILL NOT SUDDENLY BECOME BIG
Jerusalem is not going to suddenly become big—it is going to be the same size it is now. The logistics of the nations going there will not be a small challenge. That will be a challenge, billions of people wanting to go there. That is part of the reason that I am imagining that Jesus will always be there. I mean, there will always be just multitudes . . . “well, sorry, Jesus is in Kansas City at the IHOP-KC conference” . . . IHOP-KC is going to keep going in Kansas City. It will—I am for real. There will be houses of prayer in all of the cities of the earth. The guys in Jerusalem will say, “Oh man we came all this way and He is not even here. You are kidding.” Isaiah 9:7 (paraphrased), look at this—here is what they said about Jesus’ kingdom. “Of the increase of His government there is no end, and the increase of peace.” Never will Jesus reach a place where His government does not increase more, and the peace that is manifest to the people who come under His government. “There will be no end until He sits upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with justice from this time forth and forevermore.” Look at this—the point that I want you to see is that there is an increase. If it is increasing forever, that makes it clear that there is a process. There is an order that Jesus is giving to His government—He is forever establishing order in it. He is establishing it, and He is ordering it—I assume that is synonymous. It says “to order it and to establish it” (Isa. 9:7). They may be different nuances, but He will be giving more order forever, forever; a billion years from now, there will be more of creation brought under His leadership, and more peace in that area. So you say, “How does that work? I mean the earth is only so big.” I mean, you would think in a billion years, or a trillion years, and whatever is after a trillion. I believe that we will be bringing His dominion to the entire universe. I believe that the planet earth, the throne of God on the earth will reach out in ways that I do not have interest in even knowing. I say that, and people say, “I have ideas.” I say, “You know, I am not really interested.” If it is not in the Bible, it is kind of a little bit fun, but it causes more trouble than it does good, so I am not that interested. So, if you get an idea, you can go ahead and share it with your friend. The speculation of what we will do on planets; that is just not where my mind is. I am trying to figure out Isaiah and Jeremiah right now, and I am really locked into that. There is so much I do not know that I need to know.
THE TREE OF LIFE WILL BRING HEALING TO THE NATIONS
The tree of life will bring healing to the nations. Now, the tree of life is in the New Jerusalem, but the kings, it says in Revelation 21:24, the kings go into the New Jerusalem to bring the glory of the nations. So kings, natural kings with natural bodies—millennial kings—they have access to the New Jerusalem, but that is where the healing leaves—the leaves to heal the nations are. Now, the New Jerusalem does not need healing. The New Jerusalem is perfected, but the kings of the earth that walk into it—because the New Jerusalem is coming down to the earth—there is something about those leaves that bring healing to nations. I do not know, and I do not understand it. Again, I do not need to know those kinds of details if they are not in the Scripture, but we know that these leaves that are in the city of the New Jerusalem—that is descended to the earth—are brought out to the nations of the earth. The kings, I am assuming, are the ones bringing them out, but the nations are healed by those leaves.
THE RIVER THAT FLOWS FROM THE THRONE
Now, notice here—and you can read this on your own—this is the river in Ezekiel 47. Now this river is coming, it is a river on the earth. It is coming out of the millennial temple in Jerusalem. There is Jesus’ throne, there is the temple. His throne is in the temple, and out from under the temple, a river is breaking out—it is a supernatural river. My guess is that it is the same river flowing in the New Jerusalem. That river is coming out from the throne—out into the earth, the millennial earth, and wherever that river goes, it heals everything. My assumption—and I think it is a good assumption, I cannot prove it, but it is a good assumption—that that is the river that is flowing from the throne of God in the New Jerusalem. It flows right through Jesus’ throne on the earthly Jerusalem—you read that on your own. It heals the fish, it heals the water, it heals the vegetation—you know the passage in Isaiah 35:1-2 where it says the dessert will blossom like a rose? That is the desert around the nation of Israel. That is the desert where there are rivers going into it. It literally blossoms profusely, and it becomes a garden of Eden context, flowing out of the healing of that river, but it takes time for this all to happen. If you read Ezekiel 47, and you read the whole thing, it is a magnificent passage. It is so exciting to read this. It is that Jesus thought of. One of the reasons that I love these end-time passages is because I love to think, I love to understand a little bit of what He is thinking—He is so fascinating. He started with a blank canvas. He could have made it anyway that He wanted, and He says, “Father, let’s have the river break out and heal the Mediterranean and the fish.” The Father says, “Jesus, that is a great idea.” I say, “Jesus, where did You come up with that idea? A river, and it goes out into the Arabian Desert, and heals it?” “Yeah.” “I really like that.” “There are a lot of implications that you do not get Mike.” We did not really have this conversation, but just say that we did. My point is that I read Ezekiel 47, and I think of talking to Him and saying, “Where did You come up with this idea? Who would have thought of a river flowing in a desert? It is a great idea.” I can just imagine the Lord saying (I did not hear Him), “Oh, you do not even know how good of an idea that is. You will be surprised how many things will be implied by that river.”
OLD CITIES WILL BE REBUILT
“They will rebuild the old cities,” look at this. “They shall rebuild the old ruins,” Isaiah 61:4, “they shall raise up the former desolations, repair the ruined cities.” Now, a lot of people will take this verse and they will apply it to now, which is OK, but clearly, in its context, it is talking about after the second coming. Clearly these verses do not apply to now. Many verses about the age to come, the Lord let’s us borrow them now, and walk them out in part. I believe it is right to do it, as long as we know that we are borrowing a passage that belongs properly in the age to come. The point that I want to bring out here is that in the age to come, ruined cities are built stone by stone. It will take decades to build all of the cities in the earth. They will not be built in one minute. All the desolations of everything—the desolate lakes, the desolate seas, the desolate vegetation; the desolate atmosphere, everything that is desolate will be raised back up. I mean, what a huge statement.
HEALING PROCESS ACCELERATED
This is the verse . . . I talked about the desert being made like a rose—that is Isaiah 35:1—it is talking about after Jesus returns in the millennial kingdom, the sick are being healed. This passage is about the age to come. Who are these blind people who are getting healed? They are blind people that have natural bodies in the millennial kingdom being healed. There will be an anointing of healing. You know—you have heard testimonies I am sure—I have heard several of them, where the angel of the Lord appears, and touches them and they get healed. I have no reason to doubt that the Lord will not use you to heal people in the age to come, like He uses angels right now to heal people. There is no problem with having a resurrected body and still operating in healing. Jesus has a resurrected body, and He will heal the sick. We will be like Him. These saints with natural bodies will have an anointing, and heal the sick. The point is that the sick will still exist in the millennial kingdom—blind people will still get new eyes. You say, “Are these blind people that were the unsaved survivors, or were these people that were in the Millennium, and they were born and they were blind?” I do not know which one it is, but I know they are going to get healed so I am pretty happy about it.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #4—THAT JUSTICE ESTABLISHED NOW WILL BE DISREGARDED
I realize that we are running out of time, so I am going to touch this one a little bit, and then touch a few others just maybe a minute. This is really an important one—a really important one. The false assumption that justice that is established in this age will not last—that the justice we establish now is somehow disregarded— Jesus comes and somehow it just becomes of no importance at all to the Lord. That is a false idea. Many fail to see the continuity between what we are doing in our work right now and in the age to come. The truth is that there is a dynamic continuity that exists between what we accomplish now in righteousness and justice, and what Jesus will establish in the millennial kingdom. Meaning that if we change abortion in America, if we change the laws that enable abortion, then that is a law that Jesus does not have to change when He returns. Whatever the laws are on the books of the nations will (what they are the day before Jesus comes), that is what the laws will be when He gets there. He will, through the process of justice, change every law. He will not wave His hand, and suddenly every law is changed. They will be changed, according to a legal process, by the government of that nation. He will honour the government of the nations like He does right now. He really gives them the authority of the nations. If they choose wrong, then it brings negative consequences; and if they choose right, it brings blessing, but He still will allow them to choose. He will still allow Israel to choose Him before He comes to them. So, we labor and we turn around the laws for abortion in our nation, or in our city, or in our state, or our region, or whatever. That law will not have to be reversed when Jesus returns because it has already been reversed, and made right before He returns. It matters if we change things now.
THE GREAT TRIBULATION IS ABOUT GOD’S JUDGMENT OF THE ANTICHRIST
The Great Tribulation and the Antichrist does not . . . by the way, the Great Tribulation is mostly God troubling the Antichrist—people think of the Great Tribulation, and they are thinking mostly of, “It is going to be hard on the saints.” No, the devil is against the saints, the Great Tribulation; the grand story of the tribulation is the prayer movement, under Jesus’ authority, releasing havoc on the Antichrist. The Great Tribulation, like I tell people, is not that we are going to be gone before the Great Tribulation. People say that we are going to be raptured out of here before it—we are not gone before the Great Tribulation—the praying Church causes the Great Tribulation. We are the ones praying in the way that Moses was, praying and releasing judgment on Pharaoh. The end-time church will be praying and releasing judgment on the end time Pharaoh, called the Antichrist. Yes, there is a secondary element of the Tribulation, which is Satan’s attack against us; but the primary story—the greater story, in terms of power and magnitude—is God’s judgments on the Antichrist. Do not imagine that the Antichrist, as powerful as his kingdom will be, do not imagine that he will conquer all of the nations of the earth. He will not. He may have a witness. He may have an expression of power somewhere in that nation, but he will not dominate all of the nations of the earth. There will be places where righteousness is still going forward. I am not at all conceding or concluding when the Antichrist establishes, he is a real man with a worldwide government from the Middle East and Europe. I am not at all conceding that he will dominate America. In my heart, I believe that he will oppress America, but never ever dominate America. I am not saying that as an American—I am saying that as a citizen of the kingdom. I believe that he will never succeed here. He will trouble this nation, but I do not believe that he will ever dominate this nation. This nation will frustrate him to a great degree because of the resistance of the resisters, and because of the prayer movement and the prophets. We will be protected by two oceans on two sides, and that will frustrate his abilities to stop us going on.
PRAYER MOVEMENT RAISED UP TO RESIST THE ANTICHRIST’S WORLDWIDE EMPIRE
I believe that God is raising up a prayer movement in this nation—I am talking about far bigger than our context here, far bigger than our context—that is a critical part of resistance to the Antichrist worldwide empire. He is raising up the prayer movement across the whole earth, but it is not an accident that America is protected by two oceans from the epicentre of his kingdom. The Antichrist will bring oppression, but I do not believe he will dominate this nation. I just do not believe it. I believe that the prayer movement will be in the balance of it. My point is that wherever there is righteousness established, here or anywhere, we are not assuming that the Antichrist is all powerful and victorious. He is not all-powerful, and he is not victorious. We are not talking about a defeated Church and a glorified Antichrist. We are talking about a glorified Church and a defeated Antichrist—that is how the story ends. So a guy says, “What good is it to press the point if the devil coming anyway?” I say, “He is not going, I am assuming he is not going to have dominion in Kansas City. I am assuming that.” I take it really personally as a house of prayer guy in this city. I am absolutely assuming he will find Kansas City to be a thorn in his side to the very end. I really believe that—I am not saying that with a spirit of bravado type deal. I really believe that there will be pockets of mercy, geographic areas—five or ten miles, to a couple hundred miles— who knows—where there is light and brightness and power. It will be just like in the land of Goshen in the land of Egypt. When the plagues of Moses fell upon Egypt in Goshen, three million Jews were in Goshen, and none of the plagues hit Goshen, but they were hitting the rest of the nation. I believe that there will be pockets of mercy all over the earth where righteousness is still going. My point being that if we establish righteousness in an economic institution, in a media institution, in a legal setting, that righteousness may not be turned over by darkness. I tell you that the Lord will be very pleased wherever He finds righteousness. It is absolutely worth labouring for it, even with a tribulation coming. Remember, you are going to be part of the cause of the tribulation—you are not going to be the victim of it. You are going to be one of the causes of it, crying out, “Release your power, Lord.” The power of the judgment of God will be going against wickedness and unrighteousness. There is a dynamic continuity between the two.
FALSE ASSUPMTION #5—RESURRECTED SAINTS FULLY INTERMINGLE
The false assumption that resurrected saints will fully intermingle with those with natural bodies. No, we will live in the New Jerusalem. We will intermingle in society, and in the government with them, like angels do it now with us—we do not see those most of the time. The Bible talks about the angels ministering, we are not aware they are around everywhere. Remember, at the second coming, the veil gets lifted, and the devil is in prison with all of the demons. The veil is lifted—though it will not be, you know a guy with a resurrected body living in a house next door . . . our home will be the New Jerusalem. We will live in the New Jerusalem, and we will work on the earth. The New Jerusalem is coming down to the earth, but that is where we will be. Our treasure will be in heaven, which means that our treasure is in the New Jerusalem. It means our assignment, our residence—that is our epicentre so to speak—that is our core place, but we will be ruling on the earth. After the millennial kingdom, the whole earth is like the New Jerusalem—the glory of God is on the earth in the complete way. We will not be intermingling fully. Angels are involved with us dynamically, but we just do not see them. I believe we will be involved even more than angels are involved with us—which is prolific—we will actually be seen, but angels are not—they do not sleep in your house type deal. I mean, people say, “How does this work?” They are imagining and I say, “No, no. Our home is in the New Jerusalem. Just think of angels and how they minister to us now.”
FALSE ASSUMPTION #6—ALL ARE CONVERTED INSTANTLY & AUTOMATICALLY
That all of these unsaved resisters are automatically converted. They will be far more easily converted after they see Jesus in the sky with flaming fire and all the judgments of the book of Revelation. They will totally be alert to awesome things—but they will still—the nations will get saved, person by person. It will happen far more powerfully. Do not think again that the Lord waves His hand and everybody is saved.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #7—ALL WILL AUTOMATICALLY & FULLY OBEY GOD
Everybody is automatically fully obedient to God. No, these unsaved survivors will get saved, one by one; some in mass numbers, but still, they have to make individual decisions. They will be discipled one by one. They will be discipled in training institutions and you will be a part of it. Sin will still exist.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #8—GOD WILL RELEASE HIS AUTHORITY WITHOUT PRAYER
God is going to release His authority in the age to come without prayer. Wrong, that is a false assumption. The prayer movement will not be obsolete in the millennial kingdom—it will be far more central than it even is now. Everything Jesus will do in the age to come will be through answer to prayer of saints with resurrected bodies, and the inhabitants of the earth as well. Prayer will be in every city of the earth. There will be houses of prayer in every city of the earth. They will be glorious. The main house of prayer will be in Jerusalem, and they will all be connected. You will be involved in the New Jerusalem house of prayer around the throne, and you will be involved in houses of prayer across the nations, and however that works. Jesus won’t release His authority—His creative ideas—He will not bring prosperity to a region—He will not bring rain to a region, unless they pray. As a matter of fact, you know the verse, that verse that is often quoted in Zechariah 10:1, where it says, “in the time of the latter rain pray for rain.” Do you know what that is really talking about? That is actually talking about in the millennial kingdom that the nations of the earth have to pray for rain to get it, even though Jesus is ruling in Jerusalem in Person. We can use that verse for revival prayers, but that is not what it is talking about. It is talking about natural rain, even after Jesus is in Jerusalem, the guy down the way has to pray for rain. “Jesus, You are ruling—wave Your hand.” He says, “Lift your voice and I will raise My hand.” “Well, You are here.” He says, “I know but I want relationship with you. Cry out for rain.” “Jesus, send rain.” “I want to hear it more.” “Oh I love You Jesus.” “There you go, that is it.” “I love you too.” “Wow, Jesus I love You.” Then the rain comes. “Oh I forgot about the rain—I love You.” The Lord says, “There you go. That is why I run my whole kingdom this way.” I mean that is actually somewhat true how it works.
FALSE ASSUMPTION #11—ALL SAINTS WILL HAVE THE SAME MEASURE OF GLORY
The assumption that because we are saved by grace, we will all have the degree of glory—the same garments, the same assignments, the same kind of glory in our physical resurrected body; we will have the same kind of dwelling places, we will all have the same capacity in our relationship with God. That is an absolutely false assumption. Some of you will be far closer in your communion to Jesus in the resurrection than others are. Some of you will have garments with such splendour, far different than others. Some of you will have dwelling places with far more splendour than others in the city. We could go on and on about that. “As one star differs from another star in glory so also is the resurrection” (I Cor. 15:41). As billions of stars, there is not one of them like the other—not one of them is the same. Just like the stars—billions—some stars are a million times bigger than our sun. There will be such vast differences in our dwellings, in our garments, in the glory in our bodies; in our relationship with Jesus, our ability to interact with Him—they will all be different, based upon what we do in this age. There is continuity in that. Amen and amen. So, study these notes, because I know that some of these ideas are new, and just stay with it, and I tell you the fog begins to lift. At first you are saying, “Now, who is where now when that happens?” When I first began to learn this some time ago, it was like I could not put the pieces together. I cannot put them all together now. I am not pretending to, but the false begins to lift, if you just stay with it. They are simple principles. All of the sudden it comes into focus. You say, “This is kind of exciting. Now I can think about my life in the age to come, and I can think about the Man who thought about all of these.” I am fascinated with the Man who came up with the ideas. I love His mind. I say, “Jesus you are like really interesting.” That is the same as saying, “I worship You—You are so interesting.” He is a fascinating Man to come up with these ideas. Who could have thought of them? Amen, let’s stand.
- Four Reasons the New Jerusalem Is Not On the Millennial Earth (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- The Social Gospel and Christian Reconstruction-ism (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- Different Types of Heavenly Rewards in the Millennial Kingdom (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- The Message of the Manger (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- The Prophetic Parables Of Matthew 13 (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- Prophecy Ignored For Almost Fourteen Centuries (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)