STATE OF SOULS IN HEAVEN

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.Revelation 6:9-11

These martyrs knew that God had not judged those that had killed them. They knew what was transpiring on earth. The martyrs remembered their life on earth even though they were murdered. The key to heavens joy is not ignorance to what transpired on earth but perspective.

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.” Hebrews 12:22-23

This verse indicates there is continuity of this life to the next – “righteous men made perfect”. We are the same people just relocated.

And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.Luke 9:30-31

Jesus was talking to Moses and Elijah about what Jesus was soon to accomplish and about His departure from this earth. They fully knew what was happening on this earth. For this Transfiguration event both had visible bodies.

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.Luke 15:10

Who is rejoicing in heaven over the sinners who repent surely it is the Saints in heaven, because it is not the angels. Why? Because it is “before the angels“, they are just observers. The Saints will be particularly rejoicing when it is one of their own family that repents.

Remember, this is Jesus telling us this, to rejoice over conversions on earth they must be aware of what is transpiring on earth, specifically not generally.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,Hebrews 12:1

Here we are told the Saints are a great cloud of witnesses watching us surely good reason to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,“.

Earth is centre stage awaiting earths climatic event, Jesus return to this earth. Jesus is watching closely the events that are unfolding on earth and these Scriptures would lead us to believe so are His followers even though they have not received their glorified bodies as yet.

GOD’S WRATH ON THE UNRIGHTEOUS

The Scriptures make it clear, particularly Romans 1:18-32, that God’s patience with people’s rejection of Him clearly ends. The following Scripture then describes what He does to them.

God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:24-25

The next Scripture describes what we see playing out in the world today as it rejects God and His values.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.Romans 1:26-27

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.Romans 1:29-32

Finally, the Scriptures make it clear that God’s wrath will be poured out on an unrepentant word. Also, Jesus has revealed in His Word the events that will take place prior to His wrath being poured out on the world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. What is happening in the world today, remarkably lines up with these prophesied “last days” signs.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.Romans 2:5

We are told the intensity of God’s judgements increase as His wrath is poured out first with the Trumpet judgements.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
.. ” Revelation 8:7-9

With the Bowl judgements the wrath of God further intensifies and I would like to think that some people who read these “end times” Scriptures will repent and ask God to forgive them for rejecting Him and His values. Jesus has made it possible for all of us to get right with God, our Father. If only they will repent and accept Him as Saviour and Lord. Only then will they escape the coming wrath of God spelled out so vividly in the following Scripture.

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished…. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God. So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.
..” Revelation 16:1-3

God’s people will not experience the coming wrath of God. They are taken up to heaven, first the dead in Christ and then those that are still living here on earth.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:9

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.Revelation 3:10-11

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1Thessalonians 4:16-17

GOD’S CONSTRUCTS ON EARTH A COPY OF HEAVENLY THINGS

“They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:5

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.Hebrews 9:23-24

Christ did not enter a man made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one, He entered heaven itself. The earthly sanctuary was a copy of the true one in heaven. The new Jerusalem that John sees descending from heaven to the new earth after the White Throne judgement is in the intermediate or present heaven.

After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tabernacle of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests.” Revelation 15:5-6

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant ” Hebrews 12:22-24

There is a city of the living God: the heavenly Jerusalem which John saw prophetically coming down to the new earth.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.Revelation 21:1-2

CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN

Christians in the west, in particular, have by and large lost any interest in heaven except when a loved one dies. But hope for heaven, “citizenship in heaven,” longing for heaven, has largely gone away from evangelical churches and homes. Where are the songs about heaven? They used to be common in evangelical churches, on evangelical radio, in evangelical devotional life. The problem: we became affluent and comfortable here on earth and forgot all about heaven—except as a lovely place to go when we die. But we rarely ever sing about it anymore nor hear sermons about it or Jesus soon coming return.

Years ago and possibly still in some evangelical churches the theme of “heaven is my true home” (“My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”) was very popular and powerful. Another popular song of that time, among evangelicals, was “I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop” by Ira Stanphill, a prolific gospel song writer of the 1950s.

The Book of the Martyrs of Jesus

Martin Luther strongly believed that Jesus was going to return in his lifetime. He expected the return of Christ at any time. He thought he was living in the biblical “end times.” But when someone asked him what he would do today if he knew Jesus would return tomorrow he is supposed to have said “Plant a tree.” In other words, strong belief in heaven and in the return of Jesus Christ does not have to take our minds so completely off this world that we become “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. My contention is that we should start living eternal now knowing that Jesus is going to return to this earth exactly as the many prophecies in His Word the Bible said He will. In fact, I have said many time before that there are more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were about His first coming and there were about 300 of those and yet most of the church is blind, living like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus day. Moreover, Jesus and the Bible give us a lot of information about the time of His return particularly about the great tribulation that will occur when the Satanically empowered person known as The Antichrist reigns on the earth for a period of 3 1/2 years. The church will be under intense persecution but it will also be its finest hour. It will be church operating in the power of the Holy Spirit just as it was in the early days of the church as described in the Book of Acts.

Every person who wants to know what true Christianity is like and follow in the footsteps of Christ should take time to read this precious document, THE BOOK OF THE MARTYRS OF JESUS by Joh Foxe.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Colossians is a great book for helping us to live eternally now. Paul instructs us to concentrate on the eternal realities of heaven. “Set your minds on things above” The Greek verb for set emphasizes an ongoing decision. Christians must continually discipline themselves to focus on eternal realities instead of the temporal realities of this earth.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11

Use of old self and new self. These two terms do not refer to the Christian’s fleshly and spiritual natures. Instead, Paul describes our former unredeemed life as the old self and our life as God’s child as the new self. The new self has the image of the new creation in Christ, just as the old self bears the image of our fallen nature. The old self is under an old master, Satan, while the new self has a new master, the Holy Spirit of God living within.

available on Amazon as eBook

A MESSAGE TO ALL PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

A Coptic Christian church’s worship service turned into a blood bath after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 11 people.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and many Christians were left wondering if they will ever be safe enough to worship Christ without fearing terrorism.

One young girl, Nesma Wael, was there when the attack happened and wrote a heartfelt message to the world published by BeeCatholic

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: ‘In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?’ He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in a few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move Mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who were out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: ‘Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.’

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight and had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“By the time Mom was taken into the ambulance she had died.

I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at the Cairo Kidney Center. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands and we have to adhere to our faith.'”

END TIMES – “AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH”

Genius” is a new and chilling movie based on the life and tragic murder of John Lennon. The Producer of the Los Angeles-based film company, Ray Comfort, said, “It’s chilling because it reveals what people will do for money. There are ordinary people out there who would kill you. All they need is the right amount of money and the belief that they won’t get caught.”

Just before he was murdered, John Lennon told Playboy magazine that he didn’t want to die at 40. Ironically the famous singer was gunned down at the age of 40 by a man who killed him just because he wanted to become famous.

This movie needs to be distributed widely, not only to the lost, but churches teaching a false gospel.