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10.08.2018
Dennis D. Frey, Th.D.
2 Comments
WILL THE HEAVENLY CITY ON EARTH REALLY BE A CUBE? An excerpt from a course on the Book of Revelation In the previous post, we learned the answer to the question "What Does the Bible Say About Heaven on Earth?" This was the takeaway: Immediately after the destruction of the old heavens and earth, God is going to create new ones - ones in which righteousness dwells.  The current holy city (what we commonly call heaven), is going to be placed on a newly created planet earth.  There is even going to be a newly created city of Jerusalem that will be placed on the newly created earth.  God is actually going to bring His holy dwelling place down to the new earth, along with all the inhabitants of heaven at that time - permanently!  Life on the new earth will be nothing like life on the old earth. "He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away" (See Revelation 21:1-4). SOUNDS JUST LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH, and it will be! Notice this: There is even going to be a newly created city of Jerusalem that will be placed on the newly created earth. What will be the shape of the New Jerusalem? Will it be in the shape of a cube? Let's see... "The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod , fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal" (Revelation 21:16 NASV). Yes, the "city" will be in the shape of a cube! It's length, and width, and height are equal. Now, some object, and suggest that it will be in the shape of a pyramid. Why? Because while the length and width are stated, only the height is said to be equal with the width and height. Now, that really should not present a problem because the plain understanding is that the dimensions represent a cube.  So, how can we settle the question of a cube or pyramid? The Best Way to Settle Bible Questions Here is a straightforward method of settling most Bible questions: Read the text, and take the most logical interpretation.  The most logical answer is usually the right answer.  Remember, God did not set out to confuse us when He gave us His Word in writing. Compare the text with other similar texts.  Combined together, what picture do they give? Do not take the text out of its context.  That is, don't try to force its meaning or stretch it out of shape. Always keep in mind the historical context of the text, and what it meant to the first readers. Finally, AND PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT, be sure you are studying from a trusted direct translation of the Bible.  If you are not sure what a particular word means, DO NOT look it up in a regular dictionary, but rather in a trusted Hebrew/Greek lexicon such as those free online at sites like StudyLight. So, here we go: The Holy of Holies in both the Tabernacle and the Temple served as a type of the presence and place of God.  It was in the shape of a cube. (I Kings 6:20, II Chronicles 3:8). The new Holy City will be the macro replacement for the old Holy of Holies. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them" ( Revelation 21:3 NASV). Why would the City be anything other than a cube? The plain meaning of Revelation 21:16 gives the picture of a cube. The Apostle Paul refers to the love of Christ as a spiritual cube!  "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19 NASV). Let's also add a couple of other thoughts from outside of the Bible: Space is defined as width x depth x height = a cube. A cube gives equal space on all sides, while a pyramid does not.  In a pyramid those closer to the top get pinched (perhaps that's why pyramid schemes only favor those as the bottom! Here is the takeaway: The New City of Jerusalem is going to be in the shape of cube - a VERY LARGE cube!  Just how large?  About 1,500 miles cubed (see the graphic above). The New Jerusalem will be the central place of worship on the new earth. A LOT of people are going to live there.  How many? Well, that's what we will take up in the next micro course.  How many people could comfortably live within the walls of the New Jerusalem? For a deeper study, you are encouraged to consider enrolling in one of our 3 credit-hour academic courses on the Book of Revelation.  You can check out all of our regular academic programs by clicking this link:  PROGRAMS. Thank you for sharing time with me.  I hope to meet you someday in this life, but for sure when we are both living in and around the New Jerusalem! Dennis D. Frey, Th.D.,
02.08.2018
Dennis D. Frey, Th.D.
1 Comments
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HEAVEN ON EARTH? An excerpt from a course on the Book of Revelation Usually when someone says "That would be heaven on earth!" they are referring to something or someplace that might provide the sublime benefits of peace, satisfaction and happiness.  If they find it, it is always temporary, and often not quite as heavenly as hoped. What about it - is there anything in the Bible about a real heaven on earth?  Well, yes - ABSOLUTELY YES!  However, the catch is that it will never fully happen on the earth the way it is now. Most Christians are familiar with what is known as "the Millennial Kingdom."  That's a future time when Christ Jesus will return to establish an earthly Kingdom that will last for 1,000 years (a millennium).   It will be wonderful, but it will not be heaven on earth.  In fact, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ will have to come to an end (after 1,000 years) in order for a literal heaven on earth to actually exist. So, what's that all about, and how will it happen?  For the answer to that question we will take a look at two Books in the New Testament.  One was written by the Apostle Peter, and the other by the Apostle John.  Peter and John - what amazing men! First, let's see what Peter has to say: "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells" (II Peter 3:10-13 NASV).  Here is the takeaway: The current heavens around our planet, and the earth itself will someday be destroyed. Since the Millennial Kingdom comes before that, the destruction of the current heavens cannot take place until after. After the current heavens around our planet, and the earth are destroyed God will create new heavens and a new earth, and that's where the real heaven on earth happens! Now, let's see what John has to add: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them , and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away'"  (Revelation 21:1-4 NASV). Here is the takeaway: Immediately after the destruction of the old heavens and earth, God is going to create new ones - ones in which righteousness dwells. The current holy city (what we commonly call heaven), is going to be placed on a newly created planet earth. There is even going to be a newly created city of Jerusalem that will be placed on the newly created earth. God is actually going to bring His holy dwelling place down to the new earth, along with all the inhabitants of heaven at that time - permanently! Life on the new earth will be nothing like life on the old earth.  "He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.'"  SOUNDS JUST LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH, and it will be! It also sounds like the kind of place where we would all like to live for the rest of our lives, and that is exactly the way it can be. All it takes is for us to live our lives for Christ during the short time we have on the current earth, and then we will (by God's grace), also live forever in heaven on earth! If you would you like to know more about what the Book of Revelation teaches about this subject, check back in a few days, and we will take up the question of why the future New Jerusalem is going to be in the shape of a cube - that's right - a cube! For a deeper study, you are encouraged to consider enrolling in one of our 3 credit-hour academic courses on the Book of Revelation.  You can check out all of our regular academic programs by clicking this link:  PROGRAMS. Thank you for sharing time with me.  I hope to meet you someday in this life, but for sure when we are both living in heaven on earth! Dennis D. Frey, Th.D.,
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