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#346 Kingdom: The Revelation Of Eternity

2Cor 12:1 Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. [2] I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven. [3] And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows-- [4] was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. [5] On behalf of such a man will I boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. [6] For if I do wish to boast I shall not be foolish, for I shall be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one may credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. [7] And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me--to keep me from exalting myself!

1Thess 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. [14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. [15] For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. [16] For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. [17] Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. [18] Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Philip 1: 21] For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [22] But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. [23] But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; [24] yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. [25] And convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, [26] so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

We could fill up a whole document with many scriptures concerning the next life and our confidence and expectation of eternal life. When these scriptures are read at a funeral they seem trite and unreal.

trite >adjective (of a remark or idea) lacking originality or freshness; dull on account of overuse.

The question comes to our mind; Do these people really believe this stuff or is this just another Christian cliche to them. Do these people have a revelation concerning eternity and the next life or are they just hoping this stuff is true.

If we are just hoping this stuff is true then it will be difficult to experience joy when a loved one departs from this realm of existence and transitions to our permanent realm of existence. We know according to scripture that the next realm is either eternal life or eternal death but do we actually have an inner revelation that this is an absolute fact?

Doris and I have been married for 54 years and we were born again nearly 37 years ago. We have had nearly 37 years to prepare for this time. Still, if we had more time it would be a great comfort. However, another two years or 10 years will make very little difference unless we have a valid revelation of the next realm of existence and actively prepare for it. Reading the same scriptures about eternity for another 2 years is not the same as having a clear revelation of eternity.

On December 22 Doris, Brenda, Mark, her husband, and I drove to the Cleveland Clinic to hear the results of the biopsy and the lab tests. Both doctors were straight forward in their explanation of this type of cancer and how it works. The microscope examination along with the other lab tests show this is pancreatic cancer. There are no tests to discover its existence until it is too late to treat. There is no chemotherapy that is effective against this type of cancer. The chemotherapy they use can only slow down the growth and help with the pain but there is no cure.

The doctors concluded that with no treatment Doris has about 2 months or possibly 3 months to remain in this realm. With effective treatment she might have two years but the treatment is only about 33 % effective so there is no guarantee that it will extend her life. The cancer has spread to vital organs that will eventually shut down.

Now we can make positive claims and declare that people are praying and God has the last word or a hundred other Christian cliches. Of course that is all true and miracles do happen and God still heals.

Regardless of all the positive statements, without a clear revelation of eternity all this seems rather abstract and of little help in preparing for this time. We quote what Paul said about going to a far better place or that it is better to go than to stay. We know about being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord or we shall all be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. We know the scripture about the resurrection and eternal life which we believe with all our heart.

None of this is equal to an inner revelation of eternity and the Kingdom of God.

Paul was caught up to the third heaven and saw wonderful things and heard inexpressible words that he could not repeat. Therefore he knew, that he knew, that he knew and there could no longer be any question in his mind that to depart from this realm and go to the next realm was the very best thing that could happen. The difference between Paul saying these words and us saying these words is in the depth of revelation that he had and the shallow understanding that we have.

When Paul says these words they are scriptural truth but when we say these same words they can be just another Christian cliche or we are expressing a hope that this is really true. In other words we soon discover if we have been preaching theories drawn from scripture or if we are preaching eternal truth in words that are spirit and life.

Neither Doris or I have any doubt that every word of scripture is the Word of God and we can live or die by these words. Whether we are existing in this realm or the next realm is of little importance to the real person that after Christ is created in the image of God. It is the inner man that has been taught these things by God through the inner anointing. Even though the body stays in this realm, the real person that lives in this body, but is NOT this body, will transition to the next realm. Therefore, the growth and perfection of the inner man, that changes realms, is the only relevant factor that confronts us at this time. We all know that sooner or later we will all lay aside this body of earth that is from the earth and must stay on the earth.

2Cor 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. [17] For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, [18] while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The essential necessity in this life is the development of the inner man that will pass from this realm to the next realm. That inner man is made up of both soul and spirit. The new birth results in a baby inner man. The growth of the new inner man involves the cleansing of the soul and the development of the spirit so that the new inner man can grow to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ and become conformed to His image. The fact is this; very few Christians are concerned about changing from what they are to what He is.

The transition of this inner man should bring no grief to those who have a clear understanding or a inner revelation of eternity. It seems that the decaying of the body is the source of grief in those that don’t know the difference between the inner man and the outer man. Of course the outer person will be missed and a great void will be experienced but the revelation of eternity will balance out the absence of the body.

After writing all this there is still the hope that God will heal Doris and give her more years toward the perfection of the real Doris which is the inner person of the heart. Regardless of which is the will of God for this time, it is still certain that her destiny has already been established. This is not based upon ministry or upon what we have accomplished but simply upon God’s grace and mercy that He has extended to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The real source of regret and grief should be reserved for those that have wasted their life by not rebuilding their inner life and growing up into Christ. That means those who through ignorance or by decision have refused to transition into the higher realms of salvation that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

These include both those who are born again and those who are not born again. It is certainly true that the destiny of the truly born again person is “heaven” and the destiny of those who remain in their fallen state is in hell. Still there are those who were truly born again but that wasted their life following after some church or religion but did not grow up in their inner man but remained as babes in Christ. In this group are multitudes who were of little use to the Kingdom of God and failed to fulfill God’s eternal purpose in saving them. This is a source of regret and grief at the passing of baby Christians. Not their destiny as “heaven” but in wasting the few precious years that were given us to prepare to participate in His Eternal Kingdom. To qualify for the Kingdom of God should be the goal of every born again child of God.

Since Paul was caught up to the THIRD HEAVEN it is reasonable to assume there is also a FIRST HEAVEN and a SECOND HEAVEN. This is confirmed again in Revelation 21:1-3.

The three dimensions of heaven are (1) the New Earth (2) the New Heaven and (3) the New Jerusalem. Since the Throne of God is in the New Jerusalem we are assured that the New Jerusalem is the seat of the Kingdom Government of God which extends to the New Heaven and the New Earth. The truly born again person that has not grown up into Christ will have a place reserved on the New Earth. The New Jerusalem is reserved for the bride of Christ who has made herself ready. Revelation 19: 6-9

While there will be multitudes in heaven rejoicing and multitudes of invited guests at the marriage feast of the Lamb, there will only be one bride and one bridegroom. If we have even a little revelation of this fact it will inspire us to grow up in all things into Christ and not remain as babies.

Our conclusion is this; God has a place for everybody but everybody will not be in the same place. There really is a valid reason to give ourselves wholly to God as a living sacrifice that we may discover and then do the whole will of God.

Only those who do the will of God can participate in the Kingdom Of God!! Thank God that others who are born again can still go to heaven!