Have you ever considered carefully the opening words of the Bible? "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Now, think, why doesn't it simply say that God created the Universe? Why specifically the heaven and the earth?
As we go on reading we find the answer to this question, and that is because the Bible clearly teaches that God has a two-fold purpose; one having to do with the earth and the other with heaven. The former is the subject of prophecy, while the latter is the subject of the "Mystery", or secret, revealed to and through the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 3:21 ; then Romans 16:25 ). The former concerns Israel and the nations; the latter "the Body of Christ", of the holy heavenly calling.
Some people are surprised to learn that there is not one promise in the whole Old Testament about going to Heaven. There the whole outlook is earthly, with Messiah reigning as King (Jeremiah 23:5 ). When our Lord appeared in the flesh the angels cried, "Peace on earth" (Luke 2:14 ). He Himself said that "the meek" shall "inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5 ). He taught His disciples to pray, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10 ).
Even at Pentecost the Apostle Peter declared that after "the restitution of all things" God would send Jesus BACK to earth and the times of refreshing would "come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19-21 ).
BUT, not until the raising up of the Apostle Paul do we learn that NOW all believers in Christ are "baptized into one body", 1 Corinthians 12:13 , and Colossians 1:5 , and many other Pauline passages, speak of "the hope which is laid up for you IN HEAVEN". Indeed, before God, believers are already given a position "in heavenly places" and are "blessed with all spiritual blessings IN [THE] HEAVENLIES in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3 ; Ephesians 2:4-7 ).
The prophecies regarding the Kingdom, however, will still be fulfilled and Christ will reign on earth and bring the promised "times of refreshing". THANK GOD, this world will not forever be a place of war and bloodshed, sickness and death, misery and woe. Indeed, at that time, Heaven and Earth will be opened to each other, and thus will be fulfilled God's two-fold purpose, "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10 ).
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )
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