RAPTURE, LIGHT, AND GLORY

RAPTURE, LIGHT, AND GLORY

RAPTURE, LIGHT, AND GLORY
ESCHATOLOGY.COM


In all of the rapture ideas people seem pretty intent on prooftexting for a literal rapture without any OT consultation. First, I have yet to find anyone who can defend that only part of us is in the kingdom now and yet we have to wait for a part to enter into the kingdom at physical death. Second, I have yet to find anyone who can prove that some part of us has everlasting life right now and yet some part of us does not have everlasting life.

Concerning why I believe we are in heaven now, here are just a few short notes:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
I have seen people try to twist the mere prepositions in this passage “sun” or “together with” Christ to change the meaning to mere association rather than position. This simply is unscriptural inasmuch as interpreting this passage as such would be:

1 Thessalonians5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.So then consider the passages: We are in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Christ is in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20). WE are together with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5,6).

In regard to the “caught up” passages, this cannot be separated from the trumpet of Matthew 24:31:

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.This gathering was the entire goal of OT Biblical theology:

Psalms 50:4-5 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. {5} Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Isaiah 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
Isaiah 54:7-8 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. {8} In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
Notice this last verse. Gathering is inseparable from having the everlasting kindness and mercy of the Redeemer upon His elect.

Gathering is a concept dealing specifically with the planting of Israel back into her land. Certainly this was not the physical land, but the heavenly land. This is why Paul uses the phrase “caught up.” Why? There was Jerusalem from “below” and Jerusalem from “above”, hence the phrase caught up. This is precisely why the writer of Hebrews declared:

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,“ye are come.” This is the glory of the New Covenant. There is no greater position or glory than coming where? “Mount Sion,” “the city of the living God,” “The heavenly Jerusalem” (The New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation 21, “To an innumerable company of angels.” Where are angels? Certainly not down. The kingdom of God is a kingdom not of this world. This is why Christ said that those in the kingdom are IN the world but not of the world. Therefore they are OF another world-the world of the glory and light of Christ. It is not a glory for which we have to wait at death. It is a glory procured upon faith:

Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. {15} For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.Are we glorified?

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.But look at the previous verse:

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Being conformed to the image of Christ and glorification are synonymous. This is that for which Christ prayed:

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:Now, if we have the glory which the Father gave Christ, we must ask, how much glory was given Christ? Was it full glory or parital glory? Did Christ merely pray “Father, the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, but only in one phase-the other phase they receive at death”? Or even more dishonoring, “The partial glory which thou hast given me I have given them.”

No, We are glorified through faith. This is life everlasting. There is only one life. First century saints were in the process of change from death to life into the image of Christ:

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.There is the glory which Christ prayed His people should have. There is only one glory- New Covenant glory. Christ said:

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.Now compare

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.They were already beholding His glory. It was a process of change concerning one life, and one glory, and one image.

David longed for this time:

Psalms 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness (image).Compare:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.That is full glory. To be made the righteousness of God is full glory. We are lacking nothing:

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:Either we have full new Covenant life and glory or we are still in the transformation. We have the Crown of glory:

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.Compare:

Isaiah 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,Now, have we received the crown of glory? If so, then Isaiah (A NC prophecy) is fulfilled in Christ. If not, then the Lord has not returned and we are still waiting.

Concerning the spiritual body, when 1 Corinthians speaks of the two bodies, Paul is merely speaking of the two men (Old man or natural man versus spiritual man or the new man). The Bible explains that natural is equivalent to earthly:

1 Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.One only need examine 2 Corinthians 3 to see that Paul is simply showing that there is a stark contrast between the OC and NC glories.

The following passages continue this contrast and notice the use of the present tense. Paul certainly could have used future tense if this resurrection or change was entirely future:

1 Corinthians 15:42-45 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is being sown in corruption (OC status); it is being raised in incorruption: (NC status) {43} It is being sown in dishonour (OC status); it is being raised in glory (NC status): it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: {44} It is being sown a natural body (OC body of death); it is being raised a spiritual body (NC body of life or Christ-hence the church). There is a natural body (OC), and there is a spiritual body (NC). {45} And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.Now, compare this last verse with

Romans 7:1-5 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man (first man under the OC) as long as he liveth? {2} For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband (OC) so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man (New Man or Christ), she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. {4} Wherefore, my brethren, ye (old man or Old body of death) also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ (New Man or New Body); that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. {5} For when we WERE in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
1 Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual (NC man), but that which is natural (OC man); and afterward that which is spiritual (NC man).
Compare that last verse with:

1 Corinthians 2:13-15 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. {15} But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man (OC man under the law) is of the earth (Earth representing status under the law), earthy: the second man (New Man or Christ) is the Lord from heaven (heaven representing status under grace) .
Compare those passages with Hebrews, which is essentially the key to understanding resurrection or planting of Israel into their own land. Hebrews explains that “earthly” represents that which is under law and “heavenly” represents that which is under grace, or the NC:

Hebrews 8:1-3 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (As opposed to the earth or under the law); {2} A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.Two tabernacles-one in heaven and one which was on earth. In which tabernacle do you reside?

Hebrews 8:3-5 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. {4} For if he were on earth (under the law), he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law (earthly things): {5} Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things (NC things), as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.
1 Corinthians 15:48-49 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy (Or of the law): and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly (of the new Covenant). {49} And as we have borne the image of the earthy (OC-remember, Paul was addressing Jews-see chapter 10), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (The NC image of Christ into which they were already being changed:
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
This is related to:

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man (NC man or Christ), which is being renewed in knowledge after the image (NC image of Christ) of him that created him:The catching up refers to being brought into the heavenly places with Christ:

Ephesians 1:10-11 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: {11} In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:Again, there is the gathering. Also:

John 11:51-52 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; {52} And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.Are we one?

Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. {29} And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.Notice the relationship: We are one and heirs. Ephesians says that He might gather together all things in one in Christ…having obtained an inheritance. What was the ultimate goal? The reception of the inheritance. What or who was the inheritance?

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:Christ in them was not a reality in its completeness. They had the Spirit as the guarantee and down payment of their inheritance:

2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.They were waiting for Christ to dwell in their hearts:

Ephesians 3:16-17 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Also, notice the promise is effectual for those in Christ, which corresponds well with:

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.The problem most people have with 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 is that they totally separate it from the OT. But it cannot be, neither can resurrection be separated from faith in Christ. Resurrection is not that which takes place upon physical death or physical rapture, but rather upon faith in Jesus Christ:

John 11:23-26 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?Martha was very likely believing in a physical resurrection just like the rest of the Israelites expected a physical kingdom with a physical resurrection. But Jesus answered her according to the one resurrection truth. He is that resurrection. That resurrection is through faith in Christ. That is when justification, life, glory, and all the promises of God are applied. This is none other than the initial promise to Abraham that God would justify the heathen through faith:

Genesis 17:1-7 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. {2} And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. {3} And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, {4} As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. {5} Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. {6} And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. {7} And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.Compare with:

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.What is that blessing?

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.The blessing is this:

Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:13-14 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Hebrews 11:16 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.
They desire a better country. With what better things is this better country synonymous?

Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Hebrews 11:35-40 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: {36} And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: {37} They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; {38} (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. {39} And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: {40} God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
This is so clear. Resurrection, the heavenly country, the better covenant, and the inheritance and justification are all synonymous. There is no difference. Where people get confused is their total disregard for the transformation that was in the process of taking place in the first century.

Some may object that Ephesians says they were raised with Christ then and that was before AD 70. Of course there are other passages that speak this way as well. Something that is vital to our understanding the particular perspectives from which the NT writers were writing is this: In some places they spoke of the NC as a whole and what it would be like once all was said and done. For example, consider this comparison:

Ephesians 1:21-22 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: {22} And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,This uses the past tense to identify that under the NC all things are under Christ’s feet. But was this really the case when Paul actually wrote this?

Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.And…

1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.So who was wrong? Do we take the liberal, skeptical approach and deny the inspiration of the apostles? Do we just say that we cannot understand it? Or do we take the gloomy already-but-not-yet approach? Actually, I believe the clear biblical approach is acknowledging that Paul wrote from different perspectives depending on the particular context. In one place he would write using the future tense because the completion of the transformation was not consummated until the destruction of the Temple.

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one about to come (a yet future completion).In another place he would write of the actual place where they were during the transformation:

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving (present tense) a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:And finally in another place he would write of the status once all would be said and done under the New Covenant:

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come (past tense) unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,There is one Jerusalem from above, but there were different perspectives from which Paul was writing. Since the destruction of the Temple, the way into the holiest is manifest, and all who are believers in Christ are present in the holiest or the New Jerusalem. Either we are out of His presence or in His presence.

Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free (or liberated), which is the mother of us all….
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
This freedom from bondage is inseparable from resurrection (i.e. Christ’s resurrection):

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.What is that verse telling us? That Christ’s resurrection is freedom or resurrection or planting into the new land. Specifically God was addressing Israelites, however, it is clear that Gentiles are grafted into that land or root that is planted into that land. Freedom from bondage or resurrection was the hope of Israel. Here is the type:

Exodus 13:14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:Of course we know there was a forty-year period before they were planted in the land, but the freedom was already there, they were merely following the light (the pillar of fire while the darkness was passing) until they reached the promised land:

1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is passing, and the true light now shineth.Compare this light/bondage analysis:

Jeremiah 30:8-10 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: {9} But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. {10} Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.Notice the rest. Compare with:

Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed are entering into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.The rest was the final destiny of Israel. This rest is the Light or the freedom from bondage or the planting of Israel into the New Covenant heavenly land, where God would be their glory and their light:

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for thy (Israel) light (Christ) is come, and the glory (Christ’s glory) of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory (Christ) shall be seen (by whom?) upon thee. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to thy light (Coming to Christ through faith), and kings to the brightness of thy rising (Christ, their brightness)….
Isaiah 60:5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee….
Isaiah 60:9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
Compare with:

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.And…

John 17:22-23 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: {23} I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.Hence, “His glory shall be seen upon thee…”

And also continuing this glorious theme of glory and the Gentiles being united in this glory with Israel:

Luke 2:30-32 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, {31} Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; {32} A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Jeremiah 30:18-20 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. {19} And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. {20} Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
Again, notice the association of glory and the planting of them in their land and the bringing of their captivity (bondage to sin).

More glory:

Isaiah 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
Isaiah 60:13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
What or who is this glorified house or sanctuary?

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.Recall the two glories of the two covenants or houses of 2 Corinthians 3:

2 Corinthians 3:7-10 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious (OC glory), so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away, 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit (NC glory) be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory (OC glory), much more doth the ministration of righteousness (NC glory) exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious (OC glory) had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth (NC glory). 11 For if that which is passing away was glorious (OC glory), much more that which remaineth is glorious (NC glory).
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory (OC glory) to glory (NC glory), even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Now compare with:

Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.Then compare:

Isaiah 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.The Gentiles combined with the Israelites would compose this house which God says would be glorified. This is glorious, but people insist on a separated future glory at physical death. The Bible simply does not support that, and to make two proof texts try to counter the Scriptures presented is simply that-a proof text without the profit of OT Scriptures instead of identifying Jesus as our fullness now and not later. We are not waiting for the fullness of Christ in us. The first-century saints were:

Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, {23} Which is his body, the fulness of him that is filling all in all.This was the transforming work of the Holy Spirit to change them from OC death into NC life:

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:Not only does this passage completely support the unchangeable security of the first-century believer, it also shows the work that was being performed in them until the day of Christ. At that day they would be completely transformed into His image and the fullness of New Covenant life-a life into which all believers enter upon faith in the living waters that are for the healing of nations:

Revelation 22:1-5 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. {2} In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. {3} And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: {4} And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. {5} And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.Is Christ our Light? If we answer yes, then according to this passage we see His face. The very passage in Isaiah 60, which spoke of glory, also spoke of this Light:

Isaiah 60:19-21 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. {20} Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. {21} Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.Again, this is so clear. The planting in the land must be connected with the glorification of God’s people. God is their Light. God is their glory. This will help us understand what Paul meant in Colossians:

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:They were hoping for Christ in them, who would be their glory. But until He was formed in them it was merely a hope. This is why Paul also said:

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which is about to be revealed in us.This is the catching up or the complete change into the image or the glory of Christ. This image and glory is Christ. Christ came into the Father’s house wherein were many mansions or dwelling places:

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions (Gk. monai-plural-dwelling places): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.Compare with:

John 14:22-23 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? {23} Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our mansion (Gk. monane-singular-dwelling place) with him.It is amazing that Judas understood that Jesus taught that Christ would manifest Himself only to His people and not to the whole world. Jesus then explains HOW He would accomplish this-by making them HIS dwelling place. He is speaking of the Father’s House, or the life of heaven of the believer in Christ and Christ in them:

John 17:22-24 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: {23} I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. {24} Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.Again, regarding the dwelling places, this also was prophesied in the OT Scriptures:

Isaiah 32:18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
Isaiah 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Psalms 132:13-16 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. {14} This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. {15} I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. {16} I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
These passages are stunning. I hope you can see the connections I am making. I have written on these subjects previously, but those who believe in resurrection at death or glorification or heaven at death simply have never responded to these passages. We simply cannot interpret 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 without the light of the above passages.

Truly, we are not of this world and we are in the Jerusalem from above. Indeed, nations enter into that city. Of course once we are in the New Jerusalem, that makes us citizens of heaven or the New Jerusalem, which consequently makes us Jews:

Romans 2:26-29 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? {27} And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? {28} For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: {29} But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Isaiah 56:6-7 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; {7} Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Through Christ, all the righteousness of the law is fulfilled for the Israelite and the Gentiles:

Romans 8:3-4 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.This is very clear here, and again we see Light:

Isaiah 49:5-13 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. {6} And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. {7} Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. {8} Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; {9} That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. {10} They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. {11} And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. {12} Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. {13} Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.Also, have you noticed the abundance of Scripture, which speaks of Living waters and the quenching of thirst? It is all connected. Please observe these things and concentrate as you see these inseparable elements of the kingdom. Then after doing so, make the appropriate NT comparisons:

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:15-17 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. {16} They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. {17} For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
I do hope you are edified. However, if you insist on final glorification coming *only* at physical death, you cannot truly appreciate the reality of all these passages as fulfilled for the believer in Jesus Christ.

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