Friday, October 31, 2008

Is Heaven a Place… or is it more?

Is Heaven a Place… or is it more?

A while back there was some controversy over Doug Pagitt asking Todd Friel if Heaven was a place. In essence he asked, “If heaven is a place, where is it?” Todd was very indignant yet seemed unwilling or unable to answer… Many overlooked that as it is more acceptable to just “believe” in a “place” called Heaven. Even theologian N.T. Wright seemed to indicate in his recent interviews that Heaven is more than a place…

The issue is deeper than whether Heaven is a literal place. Jesus stated it was “at hand”, “Near” and “within you”… this seems to indicate that Heaven is more than a place if it is a literal place.

In a sense I agree with Doug Paggit yet in a sense I disagree.

Heaven is often thought of as the end place where we as believers in Jesus spend eternity. I agree, yet there is something missing in many people’s understanding as the “Heaven” now will not be as it is after the regeneration of all things. In that age, there is a renewed Heaven and Earth… meaning that this heaven and earth now will one day be restored to its original glory yet even more glorious than it was originally. We will move from “It is good.” to It is perfect in Christ Jesus.

One major issue is that many think of time in a linear fashion. We have all seen time lines where time is laid out in a line so we can see history in an overview. We see in a biblical view, Creation, Noah, Abraham, King David, Jesus, and the New Creation in its fullness. Yet if one notices time lines also have parallel history, Columbus discovering the Americas and Naval expeditions of the Ming Dynasty happened in the same timeline yet never interacted. (Though there is some indication Columbus may have used the knowledge that the Chinese gained in their expedition but that is a huge sideline) They paralleled each other in history. If we go off the map a bit, there is a separate history for Earth and Mars for meteorites have hit Mars that never hit Earth. If one can start seeing that history and time is brought into other dimensions one might start beginning to understand that when we bring in eternal things time begins to even take on a deeper and broad perspective.

God interacted in our “timeline” yet one would never say God is only in our ‘timeline”. In fact, as we begin to look at quantum physics we realize there are other dimensions that exist. This should not ever surprise the believer in Christ Jesus as we have many stories in the Bible where these other dimensions appear and interact in ours. From the concept of “the heavens” and “the Kingdom of God” to the angels that helped Abraham rescue Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah we see the eternal things interacting with our own limited view of time and space.

Many view the biblical timeline in this linear view and miss that parallel was always the eternal view. Yet, if we were to dig deeper, we would see time is not linear. I am not sure what the term would be, yet the idea of a matrix or multiple lines of time happening or possible a dimension not touched by time at all could exist beyond our perception. In this idea “heaven” is more than a place. It is beyond that definition at the least.

If time is more than linear meaning that God is in one state of being and we another, then the idea that “Heaven is at hand”, or “Heaven is within you” begins to become more broader that just the idea of dying and going to heaven. If God is working from a perspective of the eternal that does not have a linear view, but a broad view of all things and even things that are not as if they were. (Wrap your mind around that then read Hebrews 11:1 or Romans 8:22-25)

If one can start to see that when Jesus spoke of heaven, it becomes apparent heaven was more than a place. Jesus did say He was going to prepare a place for us, yet in that was he talking of a place in heaven or in the eternals as a whole? In John 14:2 where Jesus states this He states:

“2. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Now in sense I see a “place” yet, I see that that “place” is that we are immersed into the Body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:13) For just as the Hebrews were baptized into Moses (1 Cor 10: 2-4) we have been baptized into the Body of Christ Jesus. We have been “placed” into His Body or His Kingdom. The “place” with many rooms is the same Body with many parts Paul speaks of in 1 Cor 12.

If se begin to understand that if all things are in Christ, and Christ Jesus was before all things and the One through all things were created, they are restored as they are placed in Christ.

I believe in a literal return and a literal restoration, yet, now we have the eternal living in us. I see we have Heaven or the Kingdom of God in us and us in it.

Many only seem to see that Jesus comes to live in them. In this they seem to think that Jesus becomes King of their little kingdom. This is true in a sense, yet if one misses that we are also placed in Him and being in Him we are now a part of His Kingdom. Once we realize the vastness of The Kingdom of God, then we can start to realize the biblical teaching of dying to self. We are to die to our own little kingdoms and rise to new life in Christ or the Kingdom of God for they are the same thing.

History is in parallels and not just linear. The eternals are beyond a timeline at all and may even be beyond our comprehension in this timeline we live in. Again, to simply call “heaven” a place is to diminish what is in the eternals and make it into our image or base it on our own vain imaginations.
When asked about the multiple dimensions I like to explain it is the idea of 3 spheres. I am not saying these are the only dimensions, but for simplicities sake if we are to look at creation in the idea of Kingdoms we might see this.

God created the heaven and the earth.
First we see that there is a sphere I will call the eternal, or Kingdom of God. God creates all things and we see the sphere of creation that is “good”. After the fall of Adam and Eve, we see a corrupted kingdom, or the satanic kingdom that is opposed to the Kingdom of God. The “good” creation is then shrouded in the cloak of the satanic kingdom. After the death and resurrection we see the Kingdom of God displace the satanic kingdom with the eternal Kingdom of God.

Within the Satanic kingdom as it had dominion, God would poke holes in the veil of darkness and shine light. He would choose individuals and later the Jews to be His light within the Kingdom of Darkness. Yet, note I am never saying God was not in control of it all. In fact the Kingdom of Satan was and is and will be subject to God’s Kingdom which is what they hate. At the time of Jesus on the Cross, the veil was torn. Just as the curtain was torn in the Holy of Holies to symbolize that God and man would no longer be separated, the shroud of darkness was torn and is shredding as the Kingdom of God displaces it.

In its fullness the Kingdom of God will fully drive out the darkness and bring in the light of the eternals. This is the restoration or regeneration of all things.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Get it?

Get it?
Thanks to David Wainscott where I found this video.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I am Chalcedon compliant... so shut up... LOL!

You Scored as Chalcedon compliant

You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Jeremy Camp CD coming soon.

Jeremy Camp Speaking Louder Than Before Preview from BEC Recordings on Vimeo.
Jeremy Camp's new CD comes out November 25th... and my birthday is November 26th... (hint-hint)

If this video is not visible, click here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Power of the Gospel

The Power of The Gospel

There are many who preach about the Power of the Gospel yet often the gospel they preach about is not The Gospel. It seems to me often the gospel that is preached is that of a superficiality that promotes a certain powerlessness instead of offering people the Power of salvation.

Most often when I hear this other "gospel" I hear it taught as "getting saved from hell." This is not the same gospel that Jesus taught. In fact it demeans the True Gospel.

To read the whole post click here.

Death Metal Worship! YES!!!!

I removed the video as it auto started and was annoying after the 100th time. Please click the link to see the video.

Order yours today!

Redneck Smoke Alarm

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Galatians 4

Galatians 4

1What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

12I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.

24These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.

27For it is written:
"Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband."

28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.


Here in chapter 4, Paul carries on the thought that one is no longer under the Law. He points out that even an heir is still a child; that he may own all the land; he is still nothing more than a slave as he is subject to others. Interestingly, Paul states “guardians and trustees” which were most often slaves put in charge over the child. It was not until the father set the child free that the child then was over his guardian or trustee. We were under the Law until set free by the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus was God, yet many seem to forget he was born of a woman and human like us. This is important. If Jesus was not born of a woman, then the promise would not have been kept; the promise of our salvation. Once we were slaves. Now, we are sons! Yet, more than just sons but an heir of all God has for us.

Before we were sons, we were slaves to many things as sin, worldly rulers and their rules, laws, observing holy days that seem to not have meaning… the list of things can go on and on. None of these were god… nor gods… but we were still subject to them. Often people look at sin as just bad, and it is bad. Yet, if one can look at our old way of life as something to learn from to propel us forward, we will see that sin in itself only shined the light of God’s loving kindness. Our only response should be humbly admitting our wrong and to be set free by the grace of God. Now having been set free, why would anyone want to go back to the ways of slavery? Why would anyone want to be subject to another when they can be free?

I was a biker for a time. I rode with some interesting characters. Some of my friends wanted to be Hell’s Angels… which was strange to me. I asked them why they rode and they always proudly stated, “Freedom baby.”… I would then ask them, “Why do you want to be part of a club that will either kill you or at the very least take your bike away if you decide to leave them? Why would you then want to be subject to rules such as being fined $100 a week if your bike is not running?” Most the time I received blank stares. They seemed to not grasp that they would not be free. They would have to do as the club told them and would not longer truly be their own man.

Often we forget that we are free. We desire the old way as it seems easier than having to depend on God and be subject to Him alone for it is His way that is best.
Paul pleads with the Galatians to understand this. He states, “Become like me, for I became like you.” Paul was once under the bondage of the Law and became free. His desire is that the Galatians return to the freedom Paul showed them.

Paul was truly humbled by the love of the Galatians. He apparently was ill at the time of his visit and they restored him to health. Paul was impressed by their sacrificial joy. Now it seems with the teaching of those who confused them, this joy was now lost. We only experience the joy of the Lord if we are free to love others. Remember Paul had once persecuted those of the Faith in Christ, yet the Galatians rejoiced in his conversion. We can lose our joy if we look to other things. Joy comes only from God and doing His will. His will is that we be free to love others and not be pressed by the Law or rules of man. The Law had requirements for separation. The Jew could not enter or eat in the house of a Gentile. Today we set up rules of separation that are not of God. True we need be separate from the world and not do as those do who are caught up in its clutches. Yet, we are freed from such rules that keep us from loving those the world deems unacceptable.

Paul speaks of two women. Sarah and Hagar both bore a child for Abraham yet only one was of the promise of God. How often do we do things that we think God is in while all along He promised nothing in that direction? How much time money and energy is wasted by us as we follow the way of Hagar? We devise our ways yet God has given us the way of freedom or the way of the Promise. Only though the Promise are we saved. Are you on still one Mount Sinai? Do you need to come down from the Mountain of the Law to the Life in the Lush valley of Grace?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Virus alert!

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Sarah Palin" in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.
If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton," do not open it. It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.

For Fun!

Billy Graham was returning

To Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his Plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?'

The driver said, 'No problem. Have at it.'

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap. The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass ws rolled down, he surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, 'I know we are supposed to enforce the law.... but I also know that important people are
given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person.'

The supervisor asked, 'Is it the governor?'

The young trooper said, 'No, he's more important than that.'

The supervisor said, 'Oh, so it's the president.'

The young trooper said, 'No, he's even more important than that.'

The supervisor finally asked, 'Well then, who is it?'

The young trooper said, 'I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!