GP 1622Comp. 9/83
—Part 14 of "The Book of the Future!"
(Compiled by Apollos from the writings of Father David)
1. HAVING COVERED IN DETAIL THE BIBLE'S FASCINATING PREDICTIONS & PROPHECIES OF THE FUTURE IN OUR PREVIOUS LESSONS, WE HAVE NOW REACHED OUR FINAL CHAPTER, & you will find that it has a very happy ending, because it doesn't really end!—This is one story that hasn't got any end, because it's eternal & it's forever! So you won't be able to say, "That was a Happy Ending‚" because what you're about to read is really the Happy Beginning! PTL!
2. IN FACT, THE SUBJECT OF OUR FINAL LESSON, THE HEAVENLY CITY & OUR ETERNAL FUTURE HAPPINESS THERE, IS SUCH A TREMENDOUS, STUPENDOUS, MARVELLOUS, MAGNIFICENT SUBJECT & such a wonderful, almost unimaginable "Happy Ending" that the final Chapters of the Bible are also devoted entirely to it!—Revelation Chapters 21 & 22's description of Heaven is this Grand Finale' of the Bible, the thunderous climax of the symphony of God, & reveals a place of such resplendent beauty that just reading about it will lift you into the Heavenlies, beyond the imagination of man!
3. THE MOST STUPENDOUS THINGS THAT YOU NEVER EVEN DREAMED OF ARE ALREADY IN EXISTENCE IN THAT WAY–OUT HOME OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD—THAT HEAVENLY CITY whose Builder & Maker is God, & which our departed friends & saints are already enjoying! It's just about complete & ready to come down! And let me tell you, it is one knock-out! Even John's description in Revelation couldn't possibly do it justice! It is such a beautiful place that you can hardly even possibly imagine it!
4. BUT I'VE BEEN THERE PERSONALLY & I'VE SEEN IT IN MY SPACE TRIPS, MY SPIRIT TRIPS, MY HEAVENLY TRIPS—in vision or dream or in the Spirit or personally—I don't know how! The Apostle Paul also had a chance to visit those Heavenly places, & he said, "I don't know whether I was in my body or out of my body!" (2Co.12:2-4.) All he knew was he'd been there, or he thought he'd been there, or somebody'd been there!—Ha! That's how incomprehensible it is! You just know you've been there, that's all, & if these eyes didn't see it, some eyes saw it! You saw something, you heard something, you comprehended something, & it was wonderful!
5. SO ALL I KNOW IS, I WAS THERE, I SAW IT, & IT'S BEAUTIFUL, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! I was lifted up in the Spirit & taken there just like John in Revelation was taken up to Heaven to see those things. It's just so fantastic & so beautiful that I can hardly even describe it! I tried to describe it in "Space City" & "Ultimate Trip" & a few other Letters, but it's just so fantastically out–of-this-World, it's almost beyond description!
6. IN FACT, THE MORE I THINK ABOUT HEAVEN, THE MORE THRILLED I AM & THE MORE EXCITED I GET ABOUT WHAT THE LORD HAS PREPARED FOR US THERE!—"As it is written, Eye hath not seen‚ nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God!" (1Co.2:9,10.)
7. THEY SAY THAT ANTICIPATION IS 50% OF ENJOYMENT, SO WHY NOT ENJOY HALF OF HEAVEN NOW? We're halfway to Heaven here in spirit‚ & we can get half of the enjoyment ahead of time just by thinking about it, praising the Lord for it, thanking the Lord for it, reading about it, dreaming about it & anticipating it! We can have 50% of our enjoyment right now just by looking forward to it!
8. SO THAT'S ONE REASON I LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HEAVEN & THINK ABOUT HEAVEN & READ ABOUT HEAVEN! After all‚ that's where we're going to spend Eternity, so it's a pretty important place, don't you think? It's our Eternal Home, the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us forever, so we certainly ought to be interested in it & want to know what it's like & what we're going to be like when we get there!
9. IN FACT, ALL GOD'S CHILDREN OF FAITH SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR "A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS"—Eternal Foundations—"whose Builder & Maker is God!" (Heb.11:10.) They were not satisfied with being citizens of this World, with its earthly‚ carnal, flesh-&-blood kingdoms of evil men & evil spirits. But rather they looked for a country made by God‚ a Heavenly country, a Heavenly City, built by the Lord!
10. "FOR THESE ALL CONFESSED THAT THEY WERE STRANGERS & PILGRIMS ON THE EARTH. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out‚ they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is‚ an Heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a City!" (Heb.11:13-16.)
11. GOD AS GOOD AS SAYS HE'S PROUD OF HIS PILGRIMS WHO KNOW THAT THIS WORLD IS NOT THEIR HOME & ARE JUST A PASSIN' THROUGH, TRYING TO GET A JOB DONE FOR JESUS ON THE WAY! "For He hath prepared for them a City!" He's got a City for you & me where we're not going to need any passports nor visas nor even money!—It's your town, your hometown in Heaven, & they're all going to be your people!
12. SO IF YOU'RE STILL LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CITY & the perfect government in the perfect country with perfect people, just wait a little while longer—it's coming! Jesus promised, "In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go & prepare a place for you, I will come again, & receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (Jn.14:2,3.)
13. THAT'S THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE WE REALLY BELONG!—THE KINGDOM OF GOD‚ THE HEAVENLY CITY! We seek a better country, the Kingdom of Heaven! TYJ!—That's our nationality, our citizenship, our country!—A country that has never persecuted the poor or oppressed the weak or destroyed the small peoples of the World!—A country that has never lost a battle & never fought a war for the wrong reasons!
14. WE ARE CITIZENS OF THE ONLY RIGHTEOUS NATION IN THE UNIVERSE, THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST! TYL! That's our country & Heaven is our Home! We, in effect, renounced our citizenship in this World when we received the King of kings & the Prince of Peace, Lord of lords, God of Heaven, Son of Righteousness & His Kingdom into our hearts, & have made the Heavenly City our Home! Praise God!
15. SO HEAVEN IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE & A GREAT PLACE TO LOOK FORWARD TO & I'M THRILLED & EXCITED ABOUT IT!—AND I HOPE YOU WILL GET THRILLED & EXCITED ABOUT IT TOO, as it will help you to bear some of the burdens & trials that you're going through now when you realise the wonderful things that God has in store for you! "For the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!" (Rom.8:18.)
16. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT HEAVEN IT HELPS YOU TO BEAR SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH NOW. This is one reason that Moses could do it‚ because he had "respect unto the recompence of the reward, as seeing Him Who is invisible." (He.11:26,27.) He looked past all the troubles he had in Egypt & all the problems with those rebellious Jews‚ & he saw the Lord & His reward in the future! He could put up with the present by foreseeing the future, thank the Lord! Seeing Heaven helped him endure all that he had to go through here on Earth!
17. "BY FAITH MOSES, WHEN HE WAS COME TO YEARS, REFUSED TO BE CALLED THE SON OF PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER."—He could have been Pharaoh, the king of Egypt!—"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." (Heb.11:24-26.)
18. HE LOOKED OVER EGYPT & ALL OF ITS TEMPORAL RICHES & POWER & GLORY! He looked beyond all that to the World beyond, & had "respect unto the recompence of reward."—He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater than all the riches of all Egypt, the most powerful nation on Earth, the richest nation in the World in that day, of which he could have had the most powerful position as its king. He looked beyond this Earthly veil, this Earthly level, & looked for an eternal Heavenly City whose Builder & Maker is God!
19. ALL OF THOSE WONDERFUL BIBLE HEROES WHO ARE MEMORIALISED THERE IN GOD'S HALL OF FAME, THE 11TH CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, ALL OF THEM CONSIDERED THEMSELVES PILGRIMS & STRANGERS HERE because they all looked for that Heavenly City which hath Foundations, the one country that really belonged to them & that they belonged to! They were able to endure all kinds of tribulation on this Earth & suffering & hard work & even torture & death because they looked forward to that City, "a building of God, an house not made with hands‚ eternal in the heavens!" (2Co.5:1.)
20. SO IT PAYS TO THINK ABOUT HEAVEN & TALK ABOUT HEAVEN & TRY TO VISUALISE HEAVEN & what you have to look forward to!—Knowing that the suffering of this present time is nothing compared to the glories that we are going to share in the near future. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding & eternal weight of glory; 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!" (2Co.4:17,18.) Hallelujah!
21. "IF YE THEN BE RISEN WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth. For here have we no continuing city‚ but we seek one to come!" (Col.3:1,2; Heb.13:14.)—The Heavenly City, which will come down from God out of Heaven & dwell with men! This is the hope of all ages: That now-unseen Eternal World where we shall dwell with Him forever! That's what we're all looking forward to!—Not pie in the sky‚ but Heaven on Earth!—A New Heaven & a New Earth with its Eternal City! PTL!
22. SO AS YOU READ THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION OF HEAVEN & OUR WONDERFUL FUTURE THERE, PRAY & ASK THE LORD, AS DID DAVID OF OLD: "OPEN THOU MINE EYES, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law!" (Ps.119:18.) Paul the Apostle, when writing to some of his followers about Heavenly things, told them that he prayed continually‚ "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom & revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, & the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints." (Eph.1:16-18.)—So pray & ask Him to open your eyes & thrill your heart as you read about the wonders He has in store for you!
23. HEAVEN IS REAL!—The Church has made it all so hazy that you don't get any idea of what Heaven is really going to be like! So as you read on, realise & know that you've got a real place, a final Home where you're going to go & live & not have to move any more! Isn't that wonderful? You may not have much now, but at least you can look forward to it! I'm sure that's why the Lord told us so much about it, so that we could anticipate it & look forward to it & therefore be able to put up with a lot here‚ considering what we're going to get in the long run.
24. THINKING ABOUT WHAT'S COMING & WHAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THERE MAKES IT WORTH IT ALL! Of course, the most important thing is that we love Him & He loves us, but every bride also likes to look forward to the house she's going to live in! So I hope that by the time you've finished reading this‚ you'll feel like, "Boy, that's worth serving the Lord for, that's worth suffering for, that's worth living a little longer for! What are a few moments of pain compared to an Eternity of bliss in such a place?"—Then you can sing:
25. "THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME, I'M JUST A'PASSIN' THROUGH!
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue!
The Angels beckon me from Heaven's golden shore
And I can't feel at home in this World any more!
Oh Lord, You know, I have no friend like You!
If Heaven's not my Home‚ then Lord what would I do?
The Angels beckon me from Heaven's golden shore
And I can't feel at home in this World any more!"
THE SCRIPTURE'S PICTURE OF HEAVEN!
26. REVELATION CHAPTERS 21 & 22 OFFER THE MOST DETAILED, SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE OF WHAT HEAVEN IS LIKE, so we are going to now have an in-depth verse-by-verse study of the marvels of these Chapters. Come with us now, as we swing out into Space & travel far into the Future! In fact, in these marvellous Chapters we'll travel even beyond the realms of Space & Time, into the amazing realm where God Himself dwells, the Eternal Now!—Are you ready?—Here we go!...
27. "AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN & A NEW EARTH: FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN & THE FIRST EARTH WERE PASSED AWAY; & THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." (Rev.21:1.) The Earth today is clothed with its surface & its atmosphere‚ but at the end of the Millennium, in the Battle of Gog & Magog, God is going to completely remove them both by fire & renew & recreate a beautiful New Earth & New Heaven!—Clean air, no pollution, no contamination, no poisonous gases or chemicals or the horrors of man!—It'll all be cleaned up & purged pure with fire! He will then recreate the beautiful Garden of Eden & the surface of the Earth, not like a paradise, but the Paradise of God‚ & we will have a New Earth under a New Heaven!
28. WHEN I SAW THE HEAVENLY CITY‚ IT WAS ON THE NEW EARTH, & EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL, just as it's going to be!—Or maybe it already is, in a new dimension where there's no more time! All I know is, I was there, & it was already here on Earth! And the outside Earth was beautiful like the original Creation, the Garden of Eden—just beautiful!
29. OUTSIDE THE CITY ON THE NEW EARTH IT WAS JUST HEAVENLY & it looked a lot like the most beautiful places on Earth that you've seen today!—No more sea, but rivers & lakes & streams & rolling hills & forests & fields & farms & cottages & little villages.—No big cities, except the Big City, the Mountain of the Lord, New Jerusalem!
30. HOW COULD ANYTHING BE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN GOD'S ORIGINAL CREATION & THE WAY HE ORIGINALLY MADE THE EARTH? Well, I'll tell you what could be more beautiful: The New Earth & the New Heaven! It'll be without sin, without war‚ without destruction, without death, sickness, tears, pain, without any of these things we suffer today.—No more wars, no more fast vehicles that cause so much death & destruction, no more smoke to pollute the atmosphere, no more destructive industries, none of these things! Everything will be just heavenly‚ beautiful & natural, the way it was when God first created the Earth & the Garden of Eden! PTL!
31. AND JUST THINK, THERE WILL BE NO MORE SEA! Today, more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water, by seas, so when the seas are all dried up & evaporated during the fiery cataclysm of Gog & Magog, there will be lots more room for the billions of resurrected folks of all ages who don't make it into the Heavenly City, but will be living outside. He also says that "every valley shall be exalted, & every mountain & hill shall be made low" (Is.40:4), so there will be four to five times as much habitable & arable land area then. And from what I saw & what I read in the Bible, that land is going to be beautiful!—Rolling landscape, heavenly flowers & trees & grass—Heaven on Earth!
32. "AND I JOHN SAW THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN, PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, & He will dwell with them, & they shall be His people, & God Himself shall be with them, & be their God." (Rev.21:2,3.)
33. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GO TO HEAVEN TO LIVE WITH GOD‚ GOD IS GOING TO COME TO EARTH TO LIVE WITH YOU! Think of that! The Bible says so! John didn't say, "I saw the Heavenly City & we took off for it!" He said, "I saw it coming down from God out of Heaven!" How about that?—To a New Heaven & a New Earth!
34. THE PLACE WE'RE GOING TO DWELL WITH THE LORD FOREVER HEREAFTER IS NOT SOME FANCIFUL DREAMLAND WAY OFF IN OUTER SPACE, but an even more amazing Dream City that's going to come down from God, out of Heaven, to a New Earth, & God's going to come down & live with us, & us with Him, in that beautiful Dreamtown! We're not going to go off to some far–away place called Heaven where God is supposed to live, but we have a real down-to-Earth God, Who's going to come live with us, & make Heaven on Earth!
35. FIRST THE LORD IS GOING TO PURGE, PURIFY & RENEW THE WHOLE EARTH so that it will be perfect, beautiful like the Garden of Eden, a New Heaven & a New Earth‚ & then the Holy City, the Heavenly City, New Jerusalem‚ is going to come down! Like a bride adorned for her husband, it will come down out of Heaven from God to the Earth! And He says that the Tabernacle of God, or the Dwelling Place of God‚ is then going to be with men!
36. IT WILL BE LIKE GOD TAKING OVER THE WORLD BY INVADING IT FROM OUTER SPACE—bringing down the Heavenly City—restoring Him forever as the King of kings, & His nation & His Kingdom & His government as the New World order! Man's science fiction space stories & space stations & space cities don't even come close to this one! Ours is 1,500 miles long‚ 1,500 miles wide & 1,500 miles high!—1,500 miles!—2,400 kilometers! No sci-fi movie or book or story ever had anything to compare with this!—Nothing as beautiful or as enormous or as magnificent as God's great Space City!—The greatest space vehicle ever created, the most wonderful Spaceship ever conceived, built by the Lord & on its way here now!—Wow!
37. "AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; & there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev.21:4.)—To me, this is one of the most beautiful verses in the entire Bible! But if you'll read carefully, you'll see that it doesn't say there aren't going to be any tears! I think a lot of people‚ when they get to Heaven & face the Lord, are going to be ashamed & cry & weep over their sins & their failures.
38. BUT ISN'T THE LORD WONDERFUL & LOVING & MERCIFUL? He says He's going to wipe away all those tears, & He's going to wipe away all that memory of those evil years, & there will be no more pain‚ no more death, no more sorrow, no more tears!—Only eternal, wonderful happiness, joy & paradise on Earth‚ like what we who love the Lord have now, only better‚ forever & ever & ever! Hallelujah!
39. ALL THE EVIL & SAD THINGS WILL BE FORGOTTEN & BLOTTED OUT LIKE A BAD DREAM, like a nightmare, & He'll wipe away all the tears from our eyes. There'll be no more pain or sorrow or death or crying, & everything will be happiness from then on!—Isn't that wonderful?
40. IT'S GOING TO BE SO WONDERFUL THAT YOU'RE GOING TO FORGET ABOUT ALL YOUR TROUBLES OF THE PAST! It's going to be so wonderful that you're going to forget about all the trying & terrible things you've been through! Hallelujah! TYJ! (Sings:)
"It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!
Life's trials will seem so small, when we see Christ!
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase!
So bravely run the race, 'til we see Christ!" PTL!
HEAVENLY "PLEASURES FOR EVER MORE"! (Ps.16:11.)
41. "AND HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE SAID, BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. And I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the Water of Life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; & I will be his God‚ & he shall be My son." (Rev.21:5-7.)
42. IN THIS WONDERFUL HEAVENLY CITY, HIS OVERCOMERS SHALL "INHERIT ALL THINGS!"—And "who is he that overcometh the World? He that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the World: & this is the victory that overcometh the World, even our faith." (1Jn.5:5,4.) The Lord loves faith & He loves His faithful children & He is going to reward them greatly!
43. YOU'LL INHERIT ALL THINGS, ANYTHING YOU EVER WANTED OR EVER DESIRED!—For it is God's delight to give us the desires of our own hearts, if we love Him & delight ourselves in Him! He says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; & He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Ps.37:4.) And Jesus told us to "fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom!" (Lk.12:32.)
44. BUT I DON'T THINK YOU COULD POSSIBLY REALISE OR APPRECIATE WHAT HEAVEN WILL BE LIKE OR WHAT HE HAS IN STORE FOR YOU THERE UNLESS YOU FIRST KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE LIKE! If you've read our chapter on "The Second Coming of Jesus", then you already know that we, His children, will be raptured & resurrected in our new supernatural, eternal, resurrection bodies when Jesus comes to temporarily take His Bride off the Earth at the end of the Great Tribulation period. He's going to come down in glory & we're going to rise in glorious, resurrected‚ Heavenly‚ raptured bodies—just like His!
45. "FOR WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED, IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the Last Trump: for the Trumpet shall sound, & the dead shall be raised incorruptible‚ & we shall be changed! For this corruptible (our present bodies) must put on incorruption, & this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, & this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written‚ Death is swallowed up in victory!" (1Co.15:51-54.)
46. "BELOVED, NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD, & it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that‚ when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is!" (1Jn.3:2.) We're going to see Jesus & He's going to see us & we're going to look alike! That doesn't mean that we're all going to look just exactly like Jesus or like each other, but it means that we're going to have the same kind of bodies, the kind of body that He has now & has had ever since His Resurrection, the one which He went to Heaven in & came back & visited in & still has today.
47. WE WILL HAVE A SUPERNATURAL, MIRACULOUS, RESURRECTED FORM OF FLESH & SPIRIT COMBINED, a new supernatural body which will have remarkable supernatural powers just as Jesus did when He was resurrected. And although this marvellous flesh of the future will in some ways be vastly different & more powerful & more glorious than our present Earthly models, & will be able to fly & dematerialise & disappear & walk through locked doors & solid walls, etc.‚ as Jesus did, in some ways it will be very similar to the bodies we have today.
48. WHEN JESUS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD, HE STILL LOOKED LIKE HIMSELF, STILL FELT LIKE HIMSELF, COULD STILL EAT‚ DRINK, & EVEN COOK & LOVE & BE LOVED! He said, "Touch Me! Feel Me! See that it is I! A spirit hath not flesh & bones as ye see Me have!" (Lk.24:39.) Then He sat down & ate with them! And if you ask me‚ that's pretty human, pretty natural! He said to Thomas, "Thrust thy hand into My side & see, & touch the nail prints in My hands, & be not faithless, but believing!" (Jn.20:27.)—He still even had the scars!
49. SO JESUS WAS STILL "HUMAN" & STILL HAD A BODY OF FLESH & BONE!—And we will be the same! Because "He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body!" (Ph.3:21.) We are going to have a new kind of spiritual‚ resurrection, marvellous, eternal, glorified body, & yet it's going to be material enough & natural enough & recognisable enough‚ & seeable & feelable & enjoyable enough to actually be constructed as we are now, of flesh & bones‚ but eternal flesh & bones, incorruptible, immortal flesh & bones.—Flesh & bones! Think of it! And that kind of marvellous, glorified, Heavenly flesh is going to be able to enjoy all the pleasures that our flesh enjoys here & now!
50. AFTER ALL, IF HEAVEN'S GOING TO BE HEAVEN, WE'D CERTAINLY HAVE TO HAVE SOME OF THESE HEAVENLY PLEASURES THAT WE NOW ENJOY! That's why Jesus was able to eat & drink & walk & talk & look just like He had before! Isn't that wonderful?—And so will you! Of course‚ you won't have to eat, but you can if you want to! You won't have to lie down & rest, but you can if you want to! You won't have to have sex any more, but you can if you want to! You won't have to walk around any more, but you can if you want to! And you'll even be able to do a lot of other things that you can't do now! You'll be able to fly, appear, disappear, walk through walls, all kinds of things!—Wonderful! PTL!
51. IN FACT‚ I'M CONVINCED THAT HEAVEN WILL BE AN ETERNAL CONTINUATION OF WHAT YOU & I WHO LOVE JESUS ALREADY HAVE RIGHT HERE & NOW IN OUR HEARTS. We are already enjoying a little foretaste of Heaven with all of the love & sharing & sweetness & light & joy & praise & song & communion with the Lord & each other that we have right now!
52. WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN ALREADY—HEAVENLY HEARTS, HEAVENLY HOMES, HEAVENLY LOVED ONES, HEAVENLY WORK TO DO FOR THE LORD, BRINGING THE HEAVEN OF HIS LOVE TO OTHERS! So we're already having a Heaven of a wonderful time even right here on Earth! God's Word tells us that this is just the earnest of our inheritance (Eph.1:14), just a little sample, just a little bit of Heaven with His Love & His Spirit & each other & His wonderful work. So if this is just a sample, think of what the real full Heaven will be like! Hallelujah!
53. JESUS SAID‚ "I AM COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE, & HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY!" (Jn.10:10.) He wants His children to be happy & to enjoy life to the fullest, even here & now!—"An hundredfold in this life, & in the World to come life eternal!" (Mk.10:30.)—Heaven on Earth & Heaven hereafter! And through His liberating‚ life-giving "Law of Love", to love Him with all our hearts & our neighbours as ourselves (Mt.22:37-39), we are free to enjoy total love, life & liberty in the Lord—providing that whatever we do is in love.
54. THEREFORE, CONTRARY TO THE SO-CALLED "HOLINESS" RELIGIONS WHICH SEEM TO THINK & TEACH THAT IT IS SINFUL TO ENJOY ANYTHING & A SIN TO BE HAPPY & that sainthood consists of suffering, pain, self-torture‚ self-denial & self-crucifixion, we have found that God loves life & created it for us to love & enjoy too! Of course there are times when, for the Love of God & others, we may have to "deny ourselves" & "lay down our lives for the brethren" (Lk.9:23; 1Jn.3:16) proving that we love Him & others more than ourselves.—But this doesn't mean we're not supposed to love & enjoy the life He's given us!
55. THE SIMPLE PLEASURES & JOYS OF LIFE WERE CREATED BY GOD FOR US TO ENJOY! He even tells us that "all things are yours" in Christ Jesus (1Co.3:21), "to the pure, all things are pure" (Tit.1:15), & "all things are lawful" (1Co.6:12) unto those who are motivated by love, "for against such love, there is no law!" (Ga.5:22,23.)
56. AFTER ALL‚ IT WAS GOD WHO CREATED THE VERY NERVES WHICH FEEL GOOD & THE VERY SENSES WHICH FEEL PLEASANT, to look upon things which are pleasant to the eye‚ to taste things which are delicious, to hear beautiful music, to feel pleasurable sensations of touch‚ & to even smell the lovely fragrance of a flower or of delicious food cooking.
57. SO ALTHOUGH I DON'T KNOW JUST EXACTLY WHAT IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE IN HEAVEN, I KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE BETTER THAN IT IS TODAY, a beautiful Heavenly Heaven-on-Earth without sin, without wickedness, without trouble, without weariness, pain, sickness or problems. We're going to have wonderful new bodies, new models‚ & will be able to enjoy this World to the full as we never enjoyed it before!—Well, we've enjoyed it quite a bit, but we'll enjoy it even more than ever! Praise God!
58. THAT'S WHAT HEAVEN WILL BE LIKE!—IT WILL BE LIKE THE LIFE WE WHO KNOW JESUS LIVE NOW, but without most of the bad things, just the good things. We enjoy a little Heaven already, Heaven-on–Earth in our hearts & in our Homes & in our families & in our lives. But we still have a little trouble with that Ol' Boy the Devil & his crowd!
59. SO I AM CONVINCED THAT IF HEAVEN IS HEAVEN AT ALL, IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE THIS LIFE, ONLY BETTER!—Like this life with all of its joys & beauties & pleasures, but without the drawbacks!—All the assets, without the liabilities! PTL! We're going to have all the same wonderful roses we enjoy today, only without the thorns!—All roses & no thorns! Wouldn't you just love to enjoy all that we have right now without any pain, sickness, death, curse, weariness or any of those things? We have never yet really been able to enjoy it to the full, because we've still got sin in the World & all of its results.
60. BUT IN HEAVEN WE CAN ENJOY ALL THE THRILLS & WONDERS & THINGS WE ENJOY ON EARTH HERE & NOW! I think it would be kind of silly for God to just abandon all the wonderful things He made for us in this life! God didn't create all this just to abandon it, all these pleasures & these bodies!—But everything in Heaven is just going to be more so! We're going to have all this & even more!
61. OF COURSE, THE CHURCH IN GENERAL IS HORRIFIED AT THE MERE SUGGESTION THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE SEX IN HEAVEN! "Uhhhh! That horrible wicked sin & iniquity is going to be done away with!" It shows you what they think about sex, that it's wicked & sinful & bad‚ & therefore, of course, it could have no place in Heaven! Well, thank God our eyes are opened & we know that sex is God's Own marvellous Creation & gift for us to enjoy to the full!
62. WHY SHOULD THE LORD CREATE ANYTHING AS WONDERFUL, AS THRILLING, AS EXCITING, AS PLEASURABLE, AS ECSTATIC & AS MARVELLOUS AS SEX FOR THIS WORLD ONLY, & THEN ABANDON IT IN THE NEXT?! You say, "Oh‚ but it says they won't be married or given in marriage any more, but will be as the angels of God!" (Mt.22:30.)—Yes!—Man's private little selfish marriages & his system of marriage shall be abolished & we'll be free to enjoy each other & have sex with each other all together, all of us, with anyone we desire who is willing!
63. MARRIAGE SHALL BE ABOLISHED THEN & WE SHALL BE LIKE THE ANGELS OF GOD, who when they saw that the daughters of men were very fair, came down & had intercourse with them! And as a result there were giants in the land! The daughters of men gave birth to the children of angels, who became giants, mighty men! (Ge.6:4.)
64. SO IF THE ANGELS CAN ENJOY SEX, CERTAINLY WE WHO WILL GO ON TO THAT WORLD WILL TOO!—In our new, miraculous, supernatural, resurrected, raptured bodies! Remember‚ your Heavenly body is going to be an awful lot like the one you have now, only better! And if you enjoy its pleasures now, think how marvellous it's going to be then when your body is supernatural, really super, with more power & more beauty & more grace & greater thrills & more marvellous exciting experiences & love than ever!—All the pleasures of this life, & Heaven too!
65. HEAVEN WILL BE JUST LIKE AN AMPLIFICATION OR A MAGNIFICATION OF ALL THE THRILLS & JOYS & PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE, the Heaven on Earth that we're now enjoying, only it will be even more Heavenly there & forever, praise God! There'll be all the wonderful, beautiful things you enjoy now right here on Earth, including beautiful people, beautiful men & women, beautiful youth, beautiful music, even beautiful sex & love!—Think of that! All the things you love & enjoy here on Earth you're going to have in Heaven forever!—Isn't that wonderful? PTL!
66. SO IF YOU'VE BEEN HAVING FUN DOWN HERE, THINK HOW MUCH MORE FUN YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE UP THERE WHEN WE'RE TOTALLY FREE & COMPLETELY & UTTERLY JOYOUS IN THE LORD & THE LOVE OF EACH OTHER! TYJ! Jesus' Own classic illustration of the return of the Prodigal Son to the Father's House is not only an illustration of the return of the backslider, but of our own final return to Him in Heaven, where there is going to be singing & rejoicing & music & dancing & love-making for the glory of God forever! Hallelujah! TYJ! (See Lk.15:22-24.)
67. "HOW EXCELLENT IS THY LOVINGKINDNESS‚ O GOD! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy House; & Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures! For with Thee is the Fountain of Life: in Thy Light shall we see Light!" (Ps.36:7-9.) TTL!
68. ANOTHER WONDERFUL THING ABOUT HEAVEN WILL BE OUR REUNION WITH ALL OF OUR LOVED ONES! It'll be the greatest Family Reunion ever known, with all of your loved ones & relatives & children & parents & ancestors & descendants & ascendants & fellow labourers & loves from whom you've been separated, or who have departed already! There we will all be together in one place at the same time, rejoicing & praising the Lord all together in one great grand Heavenly Fellowship Meeting! When I visited there I saw all my departed loved ones smiling‚ happy, laughing, looking young & beautiful again! So that's another thrilling aspect of Heaven to look forward to!—We'll all be together at last! TYJ!
69. (SINGS: )
"WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing & shout the Victory!"
—Hallelujah! Won't that be great? TYJ!
70. EVERYONE THERE IS GOING TO BE SO GOOD & LOVING & KIND & HELPFUL & GENTLE & TENDER & CHEERFUL & FAITHFUL, REALLY LOVING THE LORD & CARING FOR EACH OTHER!—Just beautiful!—The perfect society, the perfect community, in perfect fellowship with each other & the Lord! There will be no hate or jealousy or selfishness or cruelty or any of those bad things.—Everybody's going to be just lovely!—So sweet & kind!—Just beautiful, just perfect!—Like angels! It will be wonderful!—You'll love it!
71. BUT NOW THE SCRIPTURE GIVES A SOBER WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT HIS CHILDREN, who didn't receive & love Him‚ & who will therefore miss out on Heaven & all of the Heavenly delights He has in store for His Own.—How sad! "But the fearful, & unbelieving, & the abominable‚ & murderers, & whoremongers, & sorcerers, & idolaters, & all liars, shall have their part in the Lake which burneth with fire & brimstone; which is the second death." (Rev.21:8.)—Imagine! The very worst, the ultimately rebellious, Christ-rejecting wicked will not only miss out on all the wonderful, thrilling pleasures & beauties & glories that God's children will inherit‚ but some will even have to suffer the terrible age-lasting punishment of the very fires of Hell!
OUR HEAVENLY HOME'S DIVINE DESIGN!
72. AND NOW JOHN GIVES US AN AMAZING, SPECIFIC, DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF OUR FUTURE HEAVENLY HOME ITSELF, the great Space City‚ New Jerusalem!—Including its exact measurements, colours, materials, etc!:
73. "AND THERE CAME UNTO ME ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS WHICH HAD THE SEVEN VIALS FULL OF THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, & talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great & high mountain, & shewed me that Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God. Having the glory of God: & her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." (Rev.21:9-11.)—Like a diamond, in other words.
74. THE CITY IS SO BEAUTIFUL THAT GOD LIKENS IT UNTO HIS CROWNING CREATION, A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN! He couldn't think of anything more beautiful to symbolise His Heavenly City than you beautiful girls, so he figuratively called it "the Bride, the Lamb's wife." Earlier in verse 2, John said that he saw the Holy City descending "as a bride adorned for her Husband," so we know this reference to the City as "the Bride" is symbolic, as it's obvious that this marvellous City which He has prepared for His true Bride, His Church, is a very literal‚ down-to-Earth, Heavenly Home with literal walls & mansions & a river & trees & gates & exact physical measurements & dimensions.
75. SO WHEN IT SAYS THAT THIS GREAT CITY IS "PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND", it simply means that it's as beautiful as a bride!—And why not?—It's the Bride's House, her new Home! Kings who were rich & wealthy usually built whole palaces in honour of their queens! Well, our King has built His Queen the greatest palace that has ever existed! Nothing in this World, nothing man has ever built or could build, would even hold a candle to this City! PTL!
76. "AND IT HAD A WALL GREAT & HIGH, & HAD TWELVE GATES, & AT THE GATES TWELVE ANGELS, & NAMES WRITTEN THEREON, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the East three gates; on the North three gates; on the South three gates; & on the West three gates. And the wall of the City had twelve foundations"—or twelve levels—"& in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb." (Rev.21:12-14.)
77. THERE WAS AN ANGEL GUARDING EACH GATE! Now why would the City have a big tall protective wall like that & each gate guarded by an angel unless there were some people outside whom they didn't want to get in? This is another indication to me that there will be people outside who are not quite in good enough shape to enter the City!
78. ON EACH OF THE GATES IS A NAME OF ONE OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL. Considering the way most of the Jews have turned out‚ I sometimes wonder how the Lord could do that!—But obviously‚ some of us are good Jews! So why not honour the faithful ones throughout the centuries who have obeyed & followed the Lord & are saved by faith?—"The children of Abraham by faith!" (Ga.3:7.) He also says that the names of the twelve original Apostles are on the wall. Well, what better way could He immortalise & honour them for their great work in laying the foundation & preparation for the whole Church than to put their names on the gates & walls?—But that doesn't mean that they are the walls or that they are the gates!—This is simply God's way of honouring them!
79. "AND HE THAT TALKED WITH ME HAD A GOLDEN REED TO MEASURE THE CITY, & THE GATES THEREOF‚ & THE WALL THEREOF. And the City lieth foursquare, & the length is as large as the breadth: & he measured the City with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length & the breadth & the height of it are equal." (Rev.21:15,16.)
80. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG 12,000 BIBLICAL FURLONGS EQUALS IN MODERN MEASUREMENTS?—One furlong equals one eighth of an English mile, or 200 meters. Thus 12,000 furlongs equals 1,500 miles, or 2‚400 kilometers! And that is a very big City!—1,500 miles in each direction—wide, long, & high! It's almost beyond comprehension!
81. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE A CITY THAT SIZE?—It's almost beyond your imagination! The base area would be as large as half of the United States or all of Europe or half of Africa! And can you imagine it being 1,500 miles, or 2‚400 kilometers, high? Intercontinental passenger airlines usually fly their planes around five or six miles high at the most, twenty to thirty thousand feet or so. And even the satellites are rarely launched into an orbit higher than 150 to 600 miles above the Earth's surface.—But God's Heavenly City is going to be 1,500 miles high!
82. HIS GREAT SPACE CITY IS COMING DOWN TO EARTH, BUT IT WON'T EVEN BE ABLE TO GET ALL THE WAY OUT OF SPACE! The apex & most of it will still be up there in Outer Space!—What a view! Hallelujah! That's going to be some town! If you were to divide the 1,500 mile height of it into twelve levels, you'd have 125 miles to each level, or about 700,000 feet—room for 70‚000 floors on each level!—Or nearly a million stories high!—How's that for a skyscraper? When it comes to building a Heavenly Home for us, God's no piker! No wonder the Bible calls Him, "He that buildeth His stories in the Heaven‚ & hath founded His troop in the Earth: The Lord is His Name!" (Amos 9:6.)
83. FROM WHAT I SAW WHEN I VISITED THE CITY, it seems like it would almost take a City 1,500 miles high to hold some of the enormous‚ beautiful buildings there! There are lots of buildings!—Of such amazing design, symmetry & form that they couldn't even build anything like them here on Earth! The gorgeous shapes & colours & beautiful crystal-like materials were so absolutely unearthly & Heavenly that they make man's greatest cities look like junk piles by comparison!—Like cheap little ridiculous imitation models!
84. I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT PART OF THAT GREAT CITY I WAS IN WHEN I VISITED THERE, BUT IT LOOKED ALMOST LIKE A WORLD'S FAIR WITH BIG BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, GORGEOUS PARKS & ALL KINDS OF THINGS! I got to thinking, "What in the World could all those buildings be?" The ones that I saw the inside of actually looked like some kind of science exhibitions or something. So I wouldn't be surprised if He has all kinds of marvellous Educational Exhibits for us & our children, to teach us the real sciences of God & the true History of the Earth & the Universe, without any Evolution or delusions of the Devil!
85. RIDE THE TIME BEAM!—NOT THE TIME MACHINE, BUT THE TIME BEAM!—Go back in History & watch it happen!—The true story of Creation!—Actually see what happened! Wouldn't it be exciting & thrilling to watch Adam & Eve in the Garden making love or watch them meeting each other for the first time?—Why not? I mean, we're all curious about those things & would like to see what really happened, so God's probably got all these Exhibits so you can see every event! TYL!—True Science, true Biology, true Anatomy, true Botany, Horticulture, Infancy, etc. etc.!
86. AND I AM PERSONALLY CONVINCED THAT THE HEAVENLY CITY IS GOING TO BE IN THE SHAPE OF A PYRAMID! Now, the Bible doesn't specifically say it's pyramidical‚ but it definitely says it is foursquare! (Rev.21:16.)—The base is a square 1,500 miles wide. Well, what kind of a building could you build on a square, besides a cube or a pyramid or some very odd-shaped thing, if it's going to be just as high as it is wide?
87. I BELIEVE THIS IS WHAT THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS WERE TRYING TO IMITATE WITH THEIR PYRAMIDS! They had some inside information from the Spirit World that that was the shape of the World to come‚ so they were trying to imitate it & make sure their kings were introduced into that World in proper form & proper shape & have all their riches & servants with them!
88. AND ALTHOUGH I CAN'T PROVE FROM THE BIBLE THAT IT IS PYRAMIDICAL, THERE ARE SOME SCRIPTURES ABOUT HEAVEN WHICH SEEM TO INDICATE THAT IT IS SO. Hebrews 12:22 says, "Ye are come unto Mount Zion‚ the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem!"—So it must be mountain-shaped! And several other Scriptures speak of "the Mountain of the Lord's House." (Is.2:2; Mi.4:1.) And if there's anything that would look like a mountain, imagine a 1,500-mile-high pyramid! And since we are comparing these verses with the specific description of that "House" in Revelation‚ I think we can pretty well correlate the two & assume that that's what He's talking about!—A Pyramid!
89. JUST IMAGINE, IF YOU WERE TO GET UP IN THE TIP-TOP OF THAT PYRAMID, 1,500 MILES HIGH, DO YOU KNOW HOW FAR YOU'D BE ABLE TO SEE?—You'd be able to see 4,000 miles or 6,400 kilometers! Think of that! You'd be able to see almost a quarter of the way around the World one way & almost a quarter of the way around the other way! And since the structure of the whole City is transparent, you'll also be able to see out through the walls to the beautiful New Earth outside, God's new Creation, & you'll still be able to see the beautiful sunrises & sunsets in a new atmospheric heaven, probably even more beautiful than the one we have now!
90. AND YOU WON'T EVEN HAVE TO WEAR OXYGEN MASKS ON THE UPPER LEVELS BECAUSE IT WILL BE AIR-CONDITIONED! And it's all automatically lighted by Jesus! Of course, the people living up that high within the City will all have supernatural bodies & they won't need oxygen or air, they will be able to live without it!
91. IT'S AMAZING!—THE TREMENDOUS CAPACITY OF THIS MARVELLOUS, FINAL, GREAT‚ HEAVENLY CITY THAT JESUS HAS GONE TO PREPARE for us is simply amazing! I remember hearing unbelievers, trying to disprove the Bible, say, "Aw, it doesn't matter, even if He made it that big there still wouldn't be room enough even to hold all the real born-again Christians, much less anybody else!"—That's ridiculous! Just take out your pencil & paper‚ or your calculator, & do some figuring!
92. BEING 1,500 MILES SQUARE MEANS THAT THE BASE AREA IS 2,250,000 SQUARE MILES!—Or three–fourths the size of the continent of Australia! And with a height of 1,500 miles from the bottom to the apex of the Pyramid, it has a total volume of 1,125,000,000 cubic miles! (That's 1 billion, 125 million cubic miles.) The scientists say that approximately 70 billion people have lived on Earth until now. So if even one-third of them were Christians‚ that would mean that there would be about 23 billion Christians in the Heavenly City, or about 20 per cubic mile! With 10-foot ceilings, this could make about 500 floors with one square mile of floor space per floor, or 500 square miles of floor space for only 20 people—or 25 square miles per person!—About the roomiest place on Earth!
93. AND DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE REAL ESTATE IN HEAVEN? The Lord told His prophet Daniel that he would stand in his lot at the end of his days! (Dan.12:13.)—And I'm going to stand in my lot & you're going to have your lot & everybody's going to have his own lot! There's going to be a lot of room to have a lot of lots! "In My Father's House", Jesus said, "are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go & prepare a place for you, I will come again‚ & receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also!" (Jn.14:2,3.)—In your mansion‚ on your lot!
94. JUST THINK‚ ONE OF THESE DAYS YOU'RE GOING TO OWN A MANSION THAT ISN'T GOING TO COST YOU ANYTHING!—No upkeep, no expenses, absolutely nothing except what it's already cost Jesus!—And it will be commensurate with your works on Earth, what you already paid for it down here. There are some things that you're working for right now that you're not going to receive till you get there, but you'll find that whatever you've paid here is not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed there!
95. IN MY SPIRIT TRIPS TO SPACE CITY I NEVER GOT TO SEE ANY OF THE PRIVATE "MANSIONS", but I believe the City is going to be divided up into many floors & levels‚ similar to man's modern high-rises today. In fact, some Bible interpreters & translators agree that the word translated as "mansions" in the New Testament doesn't mean large quarters, but something more like different quarters. One translator even claims that our modern equivalent of this word would be apartments—commodious, no doubt luxurious, apartments!
96. AFTER ALL, WHY WOULD EACH OF US NEED TO HAVE A BIG HUGE HOUSE ALL TO OURSELF?—I'd be kind of lonesome myself! I'd rather have my loves & loved ones all living there with me! So even if "mansions" are big houses, none of us really take up very much room‚ & even today we live in separate rooms & apartments, etc., even in the big houses we live together in here.—So why not there? Maybe the accommodations will be almost like a great Heavenly apartment house!—Each unit with its own "lot" & garden!
97. OF COURSE, THE APARTMENTS & LOTS COULD BE VERY ROOMY! As already mentioned, if the entire City was divided up into floors of ten feet each, there would be just under 800,000 separate stories!—Which would total 562 billion, 500 million square miles of floor space!—Or 25 square miles per person for approximately 23 billion believers! 25 square miles per person would equal 125 square miles per family of five!—That's larger than the World's largest cattle ranch of 100 square miles, King Ranch, in Southern Texas! 125 square miles at 640 acres per square mile is 80,000 acres per family of five!—Wow!
98. BUT I FIGURE THAT IF THE LORD'S GOING TO GIVE ME THE DESIRES OF MY HEART BECAUSE I DELIGHT MYSELF IN HIM, He's going to give me a home over there perhaps similar to the one I live in here, only bigger to hold more of my Family, friends‚ loves & loved ones! I remember William Branham, a famous prophet of God that I met in the U.S. many years ago, relating a dream the Lord gave him about Heaven. He had just been through a personal tragedy, as he & his wife were caught in a big flood & he got lost from her. He finally found her at the hospital, but she died shortly after from exposure & shock.
99. WILLIAM BRANHAM ALSO GOT VERY SICK with tuberculosis from exposure & cold & wandering around in the wet & the water, & he nearly died too. In fact, I think he wanted to die because he'd lost his wife & child in the flood. But he said that while he was so sick in the hospital & telling the Lord that he wanted to die, he dreamed that he was walking across these beautiful flowery fields surrounded by wooded hills, & there was this beautiful little cottage!
100. SUDDENLY HIS WIFE & LITTLE CHILD RAN OUT TO GREET HIM & TOOK HIM IN THEIR ARMS & loved him & said‚ "We're so glad you got here! It's so lovely here!" She took him into the cottage & said, "We've even saved your favourite old rocking chair!"—And there it was, sitting in the living room! He sat down & rocked in it & thought, "How beautiful, how beautiful!" He said, "I realised it must be Heaven because there was my wife & child‚ but I never dreamed it would be this beautiful!—Just like I always wanted!—Only even more beautiful & better!"
101. SO MAYBE HEAVEN'S GOING TO BE LIKE WHAT YOU DREAM ABOUT! Maybe you dream up your own Heaven & will get what you always dreamed of! But whatever it is, it is the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for you, that where He is, there you may be also. So I'm sure that when you see what He has for you there, you'll agree that "eye had not seen & ear had not heard, neither had it entered into the heart of man" what the Lord had in store for you! (1Co.2:9.)—Things you didn't even imagine could be so beautiful & so wonderful, & I'm sure you'll be quite satisfied with your quarters! PTL!
102. OF COURSE‚ 1 BILLION 125 MILLION CUBIC MILES OF LIVING SPACE IS ENTIRELY TOO MUCH ROOM FOR A MERE 23 BILLION HEAVENLY CITIZENS! Because, as we calculated earlier‚ that's 25 square miles per person, or 125 square miles per family of five!—We could all live very comfortably & happily in a fraction of that! When I was thinking & praying about this, wondering why in the World the Lord would have so much space there, increasing the Earth's land surface five times & having a City that's many times too big for its population, as clear as anything the Lord said, "What makes you think the population is not going to grow?"—How about that!
103. AFTER ALL, IF ANGELS COULD MAKE LOVE WITH THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN & GIVE THEM CHILDREN, then why can't we expect children in Heaven if we're going to have all that Heavenly sex & love-making there? That was God's original plan‚ to populate the Earth with pure perfect children, & His first commandment to man was to "be fruitful & multiply"! (Gen.1:28.) But Cain wasn't born to Adam & Eve till after the Fall, so the World never got to have those perfect children.—So is God's plan going to be defeated?—Or is He going to have a Heaven on Earth in which things are going to go the way He originally planned for them to go?
104. THEN THERE WOULD BE SOME PURPOSE FOR THAT HUGE CITY & ALL THAT SPACE! If we're going to have a new generation of perfect & Heavenly children, a perfect population there, then I can understand why Heaven is so big! I've talked about how we're going to enjoy all the same pleasures in Heaven that we enjoy here, & that's one of the greatest pleasures of all—having children! I think half the joy & fun of life is having children & watching them grow! And in Heaven there'll be no pain, no morning sickness, no weariness, no problems of any kind like that! We'll have painless childbirth & worriless child-rearing in a perfect‚ safe, beautiful environment!—It will be pure pleasure to have children!
105. THAT BRINGS A WHOLE NEW PURPOSE & NEW LIFE TO HEAVEN! It's not the end of everything, where we all get old & stagnate & that's it!—It's just the beginning! God's plan is not going to be defeated & He is going to have more beautiful, Heavenly, angelic children!—And if we run out of room in Heaven one day‚ then we can go colonise & populate other planets & fill up the whole Universe! PTL!
106. NOW, BACK TO THE ANGEL WITH THE GOLDEN MEASURING REED IN REVELATION CHAPTER 21: "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred & forty & four cubits"—that's 216 feet high—"according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: & the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass." (Rev.21:17,18.)
107. "AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WALL OF THE CITY WERE GARNISHED WITH ALL MANNER OF PRECIOUS STONES. The first foundation was jasper;"—that's diamond!—"the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony (sparkling quartz); the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx (striped onyx); the sixth, sardius (ruby); the seventh, chrysolite (olivine); the eighth‚ beryl (magical crystal aquamarine); the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus (green emerald or jade); the eleventh, a jacinth (amber); the twelfth, an amethyst (clear purple quartz)." Suffice it to say that they are the most precious stones in the World today, precious jewels of all colours of the rainbow!—What a City!
108. MIND YOU NOW, EACH LEVEL OR EACH FOUNDATION OF THIS WALL IS COMPOSED OF A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRECIOUS STONE.—216 feet high, 12 levels, each level a solid diamond, a solid emerald, a solid amethyst, etc. And the wall is 1,500 miles long & 1,500 miles wide, a total of 6,000 miles long completely around the City!—6,000 miles of diamonds, 6,000 miles of emeralds, 6,000 miles of rubies, etc.! Man has never seen such beauty, such riches‚ such luxuries, such wealth of precious stones as you're going to see in the day Space City comes down to Earth! Even the wall is gorgeous! The wall alone would be enough to thrill the heart of any connoisseur of precious stones!
109. "AND THE TWELVE GATES WERE TWELVE PEARLS; every several gate was of one pearl." (Rev.21:21.) Can you imagine the gates for such a City, whose wall was 216 feet high?—The gates would have to be at least large enough to permit a man to pass standing erect, & probably on horseback, which would add at least another four feet—probably ten or twelve feet high at the least!—Or even bigger!
110. CAN YOU IMAGINE A PEARL WITH A DIAMETER OF TEN OR TWELVE FEET?—In other words, a pearl which is higher than the ceiling of the room that you're now in, which would make it probably half as big or more than the same room! Can you imagine a pearl of that size? Well, that's the size of the gates, each gate a pearl, twelve gates altogether, three gates on each side of the City‚ North & South, East & West!
111. "THE STREET OF THE CITY WAS PURE GOLD, AS IT WERE TRANSPARENT GLASS." (Rev.21:21.)—That's a kind of gold we don't know anything about here! The gold of this Earth is not transparent & it doesn't look like glass, it's very heavy & solid. But the gold of the City will be transparent glass-like golden crystal, beautiful! It's going to be an everlasting eternal gold, crystal gold!—More beautiful than any gold in this World!—The eternal crystal Golden City that will be forever! PTL!
112. AND IT'S NOT ONLY THE STREETS THAT ARE MADE OF THIS PURE CRYSTAL CLEAR GOLD, but as we read a few verses earlier, the entire "City was pure gold, like unto clear glass!" (Rev.21:18.)—It's like clear golden-coloured glass!—Think how beautiful that is! The whole City is like crystal gold! So you'll be able to see out of the City through those transparent walls, out onto a beautiful‚ fully–restored & recreated New Earth! You're going to be able to look out there & see & enjoy the view of that beautiful Creation! PTL!
113. "AND I SAW NO TEMPLE THEREIN: FOR THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY & THE LAMB ARE THE TEMPLE OF IT." (Rev.21:22.) This gigantic, huge‚ amazing, marvellous, astonishing City has no temple, no church, no cathedral, no synagogue, no mosque! How about that? God Himself & His Son are the Temple of it!—The place of worship is Jesus! Everyone is going to worship in the Lord without buildings or temples or synagogues or mosques or cathedrals or churches‚ all of which have been such a great waste of man's time & wealth & resources.
114. "AND THE CITY HAD NO NEED OF THE SUN, NEITHER OF THE MOON, TO SHINE IN IT: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, & THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF." (Rev.21:23.) It doesn't say there'll be no moon & no sun, but it says in the City they won't need the moon & the sun‚ because it will have its own light, the Light of God & His Son Jesus! But the sun & moon will still continue on in the World outside the City on the planet Earth, which will still exist with its new Garden-of-Eden-like surface.
115. BUT INSIDE THIS HEAVENLY CITY WE WON'T NEED THESE EARTHLY LIGHTS, BECAUSE THE LORD IS THE LIGHT THEREOF & it will be light all the time, all day & all night, & we'll never have to go to bed, we'll never have to sleep‚ because we'll never get tired or weary. And even for those on the outside, it will be a blessing just to live anywhere within view, within sight of that City, just to be able to see it at night & thrill to its gorgeous splendour, resplendent with the golden, supernatural, miraculous Light of God! God's Word says that even the sun & the moon shall be ashamed in comparison with the glory & the beauty & the light of that Holy City here on the surface of the Earth! (Is.24:23.)
116. JUST IMAGINE WHAT THAT GORGEOUS GOLDEN CITY'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE AT NIGHT FROM THE WORLD OUTSIDE! The inhabitants of the Earth will be able to look up & view that beautiful City & know that God is there‚ that God now lives on Earth with man! He's come down out of Heaven to make His dwelling place with man, & that's His beautiful City, His Capital City. And even if you're not one of its citizens living inside the City, you'll be able to look up from the surface of the Earth & be thankful that you're even there at all!
117. "AND THE NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT"—in the City—"& the kings of the Earth do bring their glory & honour into it." (Rev.21:24.) There will still be nations & there will still be kings on the surface of the Earth, outside the City. Of course, they'll be nations ordained by God & kings appointed by Him—righteous kings, good kings, teaching the people to love & serve the Lord!—A beautiful, wonderful, Heavenly World & a Heavenly Earth! Heaven on Earth, for sure! And they'll be bringing glory & honour into the City!
118. "AND THE GATES OF IT SHALL NOT BE SHUT AT ALL BY DAY: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory & honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." (Re.21:25–27)
119. THE CITY'S GOING TO BE OPEN DAY & NIGHT, 24 HOURS A DAY!—And only the Saved, only those written in the Lamb's Book of Life, shall enter through its pearly portals.—How beautiful! How wonderful!—Nothing unclean there!—No dirty city streets, no vile vice, no filthy crime, no sin.—Not Sin City, as most are today, but the Sacred City of God!—The Holy City, the pure City‚ the beautiful City!—Everything absolutely spotless & clean & sinless & beautiful! What a City!
120. GOD'S CITY IS GOING TO BE PERFECT & PURE & GOVERNED BY GOD HIMSELF! It's going to be so beautiful! In fact‚ it's not going to be beautiful, it's already beautiful! Jesus has been working on it ever since He left! It will be the peak & ultimate of Heaven on Earth, inhabited only by angelic Saints in a perfect atmosphere‚ a Heavenly environment, with the most excellent housing the World has ever known!
121. —FULL OF PRECIOUS STONES & JEWELS, & BEST OF ALL, FULL OF PRECIOUS SOULS!—Immortal souls, saved souls that love Jesus & that you won to the Lord!—Millions who'll be there because you were faithful witnesses!—Billions who'll be there because there were millions of faithful witnesses down through 6,000 years of man's History, from the time of Adam & Eve in the first Garden of Eden until the Millennium, the next Garden of Eden‚ until the New Heaven & New Earth, the third Garden of Eden! Beautiful!
122. "AND HE SHEWED ME A PURE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, PROCEEDING OUT OF THE THRONE OF GOD & OF THE LAMB. And in the midst of the street of it"—or, in other words, in the midst of the course of it—"& on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, & yielded her fruit every month: & the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations." (Rev.22:1,2.)
123. WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING INSIDE THE HOLY CITY NOW, THE NEW JERUSALEM‚ SPACE CITY COME DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN TO A NEW EARTH, the Capital City of the World to Come, Kingdom Come! And here we see a beautiful river that flows right out of the Throne of God right through the center of the City, which is like a beautiful park.
124. THIS CITY IS GOING TO BE SO VERY, VERY BEAUTIFUL! In some places it's going to be like a beautiful park, & this wonderful River of Life is going to flow right through it!—"There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the City of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High! God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved!" (Ps.46:4,5.) And there are going to be beautiful trees growing in the middle of it & on both sides of it!—So there must be some little islands in the midst of this beautiful river! These Heavenly fruit trees will bear twelve different kinds of fruit, a different kind every month, think of that!
125. THE PROPHET EZEKIEL ALSO CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF THIS WONDERFUL RIVER & THESE HEAVENLY TREES & DESCRIBED THEM THUS: "And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side & on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade‚ neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: & the fruit thereof shall be for meat, & the leaf thereof for medicine." (Ez.47:12.)
"HEALING" FOR THE NATIONS!
126. "AND THE LEAVES OF THE TREE WERE FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS." (Rev.22:2.)—What nations? If there's not going to be any more pain or death or sickness or sorrow or crying, then what in the World are the leaves of the trees & why do they have to be used for the healing of the nations? Why is healing needed for anybody when there's not supposed to be any more pain, death, sickness, sorrow & so on?
127. WELL, TO ME THE ANSWER IS APPARENT.—The kings & nations outside the City who "bring their glory & honour" to the City (Rev.21:24-26), are obviously a class of people who still need some kind of healing. They are not in Hell, not in the Lake of Fire in the center of the Earth‚ nor are they the born-again, the Bride, who enter & enjoy the Heavenly City.
128. REMEMBER, ONLY THE SAVED WILL BE ALLOWED TO WALK IN THE CITY.—"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it." The only ones who can enter it are those "written in the Lamb's Book of Life". But it also says that "the kings of the Earth do bring their glory & honour into it." So it's clear that there will be whole "nations", outside the Heavenly City of the saved, whose "kings" will pay their respects to the City. In a sense, they will be like our subjects, even in this final Age‚ just as the unsaved were our subjects during the Millennium.
129. NOW SOME PREACHERS WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE THAT IT'S ALL GOING TO BE ONE GREAT LAKE OF FIRE OF THE DAMNED OUTSIDE THE HOLY CITY.—But thank God, this is obviously not the case nor the picture given us from God's Word! Outside the Heavenly City, the New Earth with its new atmospheric heavens is going to be like the Garden of Eden, like man was in his original state before he fell. But there will be no more sea, it will all be land, so there'll be plenty of room for everybody! And things will be as God originally intended them to be‚ in a completely restored condition.
130. AND ALTHOUGH THESE "UNSAVED" NATIONS‚ PEOPLES & KINGS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO LIVE INSIDE THE HOLY CITY‚ the beautiful Mountain of the Lord, New Jerusalem, Space City, the Capital of the Kingdom of God to come, they will be allowed upon the beautiful recreated surface of the beautiful New Earth! They will have been resurrected & been to the Great White Throne Judgement of God‚ & each one's judgement will have been decided, where he should go.
131. SO APPARENTLY, ALTHOUGH THESE FOLKS WERE NOT SAVED IN THIS LIFE & THUS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ENTRANCE & CITIZENSHIP TO THE GREAT HEAVENLY CITY, they will have either been entirely spared from or even released from the Lake of Fire, the place of severe punishment‚ & will be allowed to live on the surface of the Earth outside the Holy City, where we will rule over them. Speaking of the Saints, the inhabitants of the Holy City, it says, "And they shall reign forever & ever!" (Rev.22:5.)
132. IT EVEN SAYS THAT SOME OF THOSE LIVING OUTSIDE THE CITY ARE PRETTY BAD, & TELLS US SOME OF THEIR SINS. And even though they sound pretty awful, it doesn't say they're in Hell, it doesn't say they're in the Lake of Fire, it doesn't say they're in the heart of the Earth or the Pit or whatever.—It says outside the City! "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, & may enter in through the gates into the City. For without are dogs, & sorcerers, & whoremongers, & murderers‚ & idolaters, & whosoever loveth & maketh a lie!" (Rev.22:14,15.)
133. NOW WAIT A MINUTE! Didn't we just read about some of these same people being somewhere else?—Yes, back in Chapter 21‚ verse 8, we saw that "the fearful, & unbelieving, & the abominable, & murderers, & whoremongers, & sorcerers, & idolaters, & all liars, shall have their part in the Lake which burneth with fire & brimstone: which is the second death!" (Rev.21:8.)—So what are some of these apparently wicked people who were cast into Hellfire doing outside the City on the surface of the New Earth?
134. WELL‚ IT LOOKS LIKE THE LAKE OF FIRE IS WHERE THE WICKED GO TO GET PURGED FROM THEIR SINS, or at least purged enough to let them eventually come & live outside the City! So perhaps these folks outside the walls of the Heavenly City are former sinners, former dogs, former liars, etc., that He eventually allows to live outside there! No doubt a few ages in Purgatory or the Lake of Fire would purge even the most wicked & burn all the sin & rebellion out of them until they can at least be trusted to come out to the New Earth! I think God's even going to make them into some kind of useful—if not citizens—at least slaves of the Kingdom of God!
135. SO THE NEW EARTH WILL APPARENTLY BE POPULATED BY BOTH THOSE WHO WERE JUDGED AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT & were not considered bad enough to go to Hell but were not saved enough through Jesus to go to Heaven, & those who actually did go to Hell, to the Lake of Fire, but who learned their lessons there, served their sentence & were then mercifully released, having finally come to the Light & repented & reached some sort of reconciliation with God.
136. SINCE NONE OF THEM WERE A PART OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION—the Salvation of the first Saints of God, the Saved of this Day of Grace—but were all a part of the Second Resurrection, they will be in a separate class from us & will be permitted only to live on the surface of the New Earth outside the Heavenly City‚ while we will occupy the City itself. But to be able to enjoy the surface of the New Earth, a genuine Heaven–on-Earth, will be a Heaven in itself, Salvation in itself, so they will certainly be thankful!
137. IT WILL BE PARADISE COMPARED WITH HELL & ITS PRISONS & its Lake of Fire & its torments etc.‚ so that they will come, in a sense, to their final reward, depending on the degree of their sin, the degree of their punishment, the degree of their repentance, the degree of their reformation, you might say, or regeneration or reconciliation—but never within the Holy City, only outside.
138. BUT EVEN THEN, GOD'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAVE MERCY! He's going to send you & me out of those twelve pearly gates of that Holy City with the leaves of the Tree of Life for the healing of the nations!—We must be the ones who get the leaves for them, because nobody can get in but us! So we must be the ones who take them out for their healing.
139. NOW IF THAT'S NOT A LITERAL TREE OR LITERAL LEAVES—I'm not going to insist that it is—it certainly is a marvellous figurative picture of the fact that we will be taking life from the City—some healing power or healing methods—to those outside who apparently still need some kind of healing. Maybe it's spiritual healing, maybe it's mental healing, maybe it's just simply to get them better prepared to know God & worship Him & love Him & serve Him in the outside World.
140. WHO KNOWS‚ MAYBE THIS GREAT SPACE CITY, THIS BEAUTIFUL HOLY CITY‚ THIS MARVELLOUS CITY OF GOD WHICH WILL COME DOWN HERE TO THIS EARTH, "from God, out of Heaven", maybe it will float above the surface of the Earth! Perhaps it's going to hover above the Earth sort of like a great hover-craft! Then it could rise & move around to different places, facilitating our job of ministering the leaves of the Trees of Life to the different nations & peoples of the World.
141. IF IT CAN FLOAT DOWN FROM OUTER SPACE FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN TO THE EARTH‚ then it can still float around the Earth & hover here or there or set down here or there, if that's what God wants it to do! After all, it's only 1,500 miles long & 1,500 miles wide & 1,500 miles high!—With God, a City like that could just float around! So maybe it'll move around so it can minister to different parts of the World!—We'll see!
142. WHATEVER, IT WILL DEFINITELY BE ANOTHER ONE OF GOD'S AGES OR STAGES, one of His eras in which things are all going to be settled & made right & purified. The nations of the Earth are going to be healed of all their diseases & sins & rebellions & everything is going to be made perfect in a complete, eternal, Universal Reconciliation of all things to God Himself, both His natural Creation & also man, all men who have ever lived on the face of the Earth!
143. WHAT A WONDERFUL PICTURE! It's thrilling to think that we will still be engaged in the marvellous‚ thrilling, wonderful‚ soul-satisfying process of the redemption of man, of all men everywhere, the whole World for whom Jesus died! God's Word says that He died for all men, "that all men might be saved!" (1Ti.2:4.) Even those who don't receive Him now, but who will believe & receive Him later.
144. SO WE WILL STILL HAVE A JOB TO DO EVEN IN THAT HEAVENLY CITY ON THE NEW EARTH & NEW HEAVEN, THINK OF THAT! Outside there will be all kinds of people who will still need the Lord's healing & our help! Isn't that wonderful? That churchy idea of us sitting around floating on clouds, fiddling with harps & doing nothing‚ that's the imagination of some stupid cartoonist who has no idea of what it's really going to be like!
145. IT SAYS WE SHALL "REIGN FOR EVER & EVER"! (Rev.22:5.) Well, no matter how powerful & supernatural you are, ruling & reigning & governing is still a form of work.—Even the angels are called "ministering spirits" (Heb.1:14), which means "serving" spirits. So if even the angels are ministering spirits, surely we'll be ministering & helping others too!
146. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE LOTS OF WORK TO DO IN THE AFTERLIFE, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE A LOT EASIER, THANK THE LORD! There'll be no sorrow, no sickness‚ no pain, no weariness, no death‚ no more tears & no more crying.—That's certainly going to make things easier! So don't let it worry you now, it's not going to be that hard to be in Heaven or the Heavenly City, but you're still going to have something to do & something to keep you busy!—You wouldn't be happy if you didn't!
147. LIKE OUR WORK FOR THE LORD EVEN NOW‚ IT'S A JOY & A PLEASURE for us to give God's Love & the Good News of the Gospel of Salvation to folks today. We enjoy it! But then we will have full power & control, with no dangers, lacks, physical problems, weariness, sickness, sorrow‚ pain, death or Satanic anti-Christ opposition or persecution!—Just smooth sailing & pure pleasure! Hallelujah! TYJ!
148. BUT LET'S HOPE THAT EVEN IN THE NEW EARTH, THERE WILL SOMEDAY COME AN END TO THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS WITH THE LEAVES FROM THE TREE OF LIFE.—So that all suffering & all punishment & all Hell on Earth & under the Earth will eventually end.—So that all men everywhere, all the billions who ever lived, will finally be restored & reconciled & in a sense, saved, & live either with the elect, the elite, within the City, or else outside the City on the New Earth, in varying stages & conditions & levels of either forgiveness or shame & contempt or whatever.
149. IT SOUNDS LIKE A MONUMENTAL, COLOSSAL, ALMOST UNIMAGINABLY GIGANTIC TASK‚ that God is finally going to save everybody, or at least reconcile everybody, & restore everybody to some form of bearable existence on the Earth! But there are oodles of Scriptures indicating that the time will come when everybody will believe, everyone will repent, every knee will bow, everyone will worship the Lord, every man will know Him‚ everyone will be corrected & virtually everyone will change!
150. WHAT MORE COULD GOD DO TO SHOW HIS ALMIGHTY POWER & THE FACT THAT HE NEVER FAILS than to reclaim & regenerate & reconcile & reconstitute His entire Creation, including everybody He has ever created?—What greater thing could God do to prove that He never fails & Love never fails than to finally "save" everybody? It won't all be the same kind of salvation, but if He wants to, in a sense, He can save everybody & change everybody & restore everybody!
151. I AM CONVINCED THAT HE STILL WANTS TO TEACH & TRAIN & SHOW EVERYONE HIS LOVE, & help them to receive it & get used to it & adapt themselves to it & His Kingdom & His way of doing things & thus completely restore His whole Kingdom & His whole Creation, so that it will be one great grand victory in the end!—So that nothing will be lost, nothing will be destroyed that was good, & He salvaged everything He possibly could! I believe it!
152. EVERYONE'S GOING TO BE REWARDED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS, EVEN THE ANGELS OF GOD—EVEN THE ANGELS OF THE DEVIL! But if the punishment was eternal‚ there wouldn't be any point to it! What's the purpose of punishment?—Even the Worldly penal system calls their places of punishment "correctional" institutions, "penal" institutions, meaning they're doing penance or serving for their sins. And it's the same in God's prisons & places of punishment: The guilty are punished, corrected & chastised for their sins until the time comes when the punishment, the chastisement, the correction is ended, according to how much they need.
153. THEY WILL THEN STAND CORRECTED, PUNISHED—PAST TENSE!—THEY WILL HAVE LEARNED THEIR LESSON & they will have been corrected & reconciled to God. Now doesn't that sound a lot wiser & more loving & vastly more understandable & superior to the ridiculous &, sorry to say, Church-promoted doctrine of literal eternal punishment & torment, which is so cruel & so horrible & so unfathomable that I cannot believe it! I don't think it's Scriptural, & I've got a lot of Scriptures to prove it!
154. SO I BELIEVE THAT EVENTUALLY, EVEN THE REBELLIOUS ANGELS WILL BE REDEEMED, IN A WAY! They won't have the same quality & quantity of salvation that we have, but it'll sort of be "second class goods", damaged goods‚ a cheaper form of salvation, because they didn't receive it when they should have & they instead rebelled against the Lord. They're going to have to be judged severely, some even harshly, & some punished greatly before they learn their lessons & before the Lord will lay off the rod & finally forgive & restore eternally in Universal Reconciliation!
155. NOW YOU MAY THINK THAT'S STRETCHING IT A BIT & IT MAY BE A BIT HARD FOR YOU TO BELIEVE, but if God's going to salvage mankind in Universal Reconciliation, why not stretch it a bit further to also include the rebellious spirits? If He's going to give rebellious mankind another chance, why not give the rebellious angels another chance?
156. AS AN OLD PREACHER I KNEW USED TO SAY: "EVEN THE DEVIL!"—IN THE END! It may take a long time for that Old Boy, but it doesn't say he's going to be totally exterminated or annihilated. He's going to be cast into the Lake of Fire with the Beast & the False Prophet & all those rascals‚ & they shall be "tormented day & night for ever & ever"—or for an age & an age! (Rev.20:10.)—No doubt, a very long time! And I'll tell you‚ it's going to be hot for them when the Lord turns up the heat, & they are going to repent!
157. SO AS FAR AS I CAN SEE, ALL SUCH PUNISHMENT, EVEN THE LAKE OF FIRE, WILL SOME DAY COME TO AN END! In a way, the Catholics even teach that in the matter of Purgatory. But of course, they more or less teach it only for the Saved or those who finally get to Heaven. But Purgatory is a rather simple childlike form of what we believe—Universal Reconciliation. So thank the Lord, the time's coming when it will all be over & everybody will have received their reward, even the angels!
158. THE DAY IS COMING WHEN, "AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, OF THINGS IN HEAVEN, & THINGS IN EARTH, & THINGS UNDER THE EARTH; & that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord‚ to the glory of God the Father!" (Ph.2:10,11.) The Bible even says that He is "the Saviour of all men‚ especially of those that believe." (1Ti.4:10.) For "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.—Who will have all men to be saved!" (2Pe.3:9; 1Ti.2:4.)
159. HOW GOOD IS GOD!—HOW KIND, HOW LOVING, HOW MERCIFUL! The Bible says there's no end to His mercy!—His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting! He is forgiving, kind, gracious & loving & He's not going to lose one of His sheep.—Not one soul! He's going to save them all in the long run‚ even those outside the City who will never be able to enter in because they rejected Him in this life, but at least they will be reconciled & restored to Him.
160. "THE LORD IS MERCIFUL & GRACIOUS, SLOW TO ANGER, & PLENTEOUS IN MERCY. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the Heaven is high above the Earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the East is from the West, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." (Ps.103:8–14.) PTL!
161. IT WILL BE A BETTER WORLD THEN WITH BETTER PEOPLE who will have learned their lessons of the Law of the Love of God & will be happier than ever before, because at last they will be purged & purified of their sins of rebellion against Him & healed by the leaves of the Trees of Life which we shall minister to them from where they grow by the River of Life within the City! Hallelujah!
162. EVERYBODY WILL BE SATISFIED & KNOW THAT HE GOT JUST WHAT HE DESERVED AS HIS PUNISHMENT, JUST WHAT HE NEEDED. There will be nothing but righteousness then—no more evil, no more wicked, no more wickedness, no more disobedience! All men everywhere will worship Him, all men everywhere will know Him, all nations shall fall down before Him & serve Him‚ & the whole Earth will be restored!
163. "THAT IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES HE MIGHT GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, both which are in Heaven, & which are on Earth; even in Him. That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus!" (Eph.1:10; 2:7.)
164. AND WHEN THAT'S ALL DONE, WHO KNOWS WHAT GOD WILL HAVE IN STORE FOR US? Who knows but what the Lord may want us to colonise other Worlds! What's the whole Universe & all this huge amount of space for if He's only interested in this one little Planet?—So maybe there will be other Worlds that we will have to salvage & save & restore & regenerate, reconcile & teach & train & heal, etc.! Maybe God didn't go that far in His Word because we don't have to know that far! He went far enough even to tell us this much, as much as He has!
165. BUT AS WE SAID IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS LESSON, HEAVEN IS NOT THE END!—IT'S ONLY THE BEGINNING! God only knows how much more we'll have to conquer after we've conquered the Earth & all the souls who have ever lived on it & all their problems! Who knows what other Worlds we may have to conquer, what other Universes we may yet have to learn to rule! We're going to go right on through the Coming of Christ & the Millennium & Space City & right on out to Outer Space, & God only knows how far we have to go!—And we'll enjoy every minute of it if we're faithful servants! PTL!
166. SO I HOPE THIS LESSON HAS GIVEN YOU A LITTLE BETTER IDEA & CONCEPT OF WHAT HEAVEN IS REALLY LIKE, from the descriptions that God has already given us & the few dreams & visions & experiences I have had concerning it. And I hope that it thrills you & fills you with a desire to see it & be there soon!—But don't run off from your job here too soon! Don't cop out & want to die & go to be with the Lord before you're finished!—You've got a lot of other folks to round up yet to take with you! Amen?
167. ARE YOU READY FOR IT? HAVE YOU GOT YOUR RESERVATION IN? ARE YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO WALK IN THAT CITY? It says, "Only the saved shall walk therein." (Rev.21:24.) You don't want to miss that, do you? You don't want to settle for just living outside the City & viewing it from afar‚ do you? Don't you want to live there, inside the World of the beautiful Holy City of the Saved‚ & be able to go out & minister to the poor folks who we're going to be saving & rejuvenating & rehabilitating & reconstructing & reconciling?
168. ADMISSION TO THIS GREAT HEAVENLY SPACE CITY IS FREE!—Already paid for by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross! All you have to do is receive Jesus as your Saviour!—Take Him now!—Have your name put in the Lamb's Book of Life in Heaven so you'll be sure you've got your reservation confirmed for one of those mansions in God's Golden Space City! That's the place you'll be happy forever with Jesus! If you love & receive & live for Him now, you can enjoy Him & Heaven forever! PTL!
169. "AND THE SPIRIT & THE BRIDE SAY, COME. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely!" (Rev.22:17.) God bless you with His wonderful gift of eternal Salvation & a truly Heavenly Future to look forward to!—See you There!