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Thread: What is Heaven?

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  1. #1
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    What is Heaven?

    I know this may open up another can of worms, but I have thought often of what heaven is like. This may sound way out in left field, but could it be that the reality of heaven is simply God, and us in him, rather than some place that is waay out there beyond outer space? In other words, for example, that famous verse which speaks of seeing "the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" might actually not be speaking about a location in the sky at all, but about his revelation in us, in God?

    Heaven=spiritual dimension and reality, where we are now hidden with Christ in God, who is ultimate reality, heaven himself.

    Earth=physical shadow, where our bodies of flesh are now, a shadow seed casing that contains the reality of heaven within us.

    Any thoughts?

    Ron

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    I know this may open up another can of worms, but I have thought often of what heaven is like. This may sound way out in left field, but could it be that the reality of heaven is simply God, and us in him, rather than some place that is waay out there beyond outer space? In other words, for example, that famous verse which speaks of seeing "the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" might actually not be speaking about a location in the sky at all, but about his revelation in us, in God?

    Heaven=spiritual dimension and reality, where we are now hidden with Christ in God, who is ultimate reality, heaven himself.

    Earth=physical shadow, where our bodies of flesh are now, a shadow seed casing that contains the reality of heaven within us.

    Any thoughts?

    Ron
    Hi Ron,

    I think that is pretty close to the truth. As you noted, Paul taught that we are currently "seated with Christ in the heavenlies" as a present reality. So it may be that the best and most accurate understanding of "heaven" in the Bible (when used as a description of the "place" of God) is a higher (or deeper or more fundamental or more "real") connection with Reality (capital R).

    This seems to fit very well with the Biblical teaching which states that the physical world is always in the process of "passing away" while the spiritual world is always "present" and "eternal" and indeed, it is the root souce of all Reality (which is grounded in God, of course):
    KJV Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
    The "things which do appear" refers to the visible physical world and the "Word of God" is the source of this visible reality that is itself not seen. The more I look, the more I see this teaching throughout Scripture:
    Matthew 6:19-21 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    "Heaven" is a place of "incorruption" and by implication, "permanence" and "eternality" whereas the "earth" is visible and corruptible and impermanent. This then coheres with Paul's teaching on the nature of the resurrected body:
    1 Corinthians 15:42-49 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
    It appears that "heaven" describes a relationship with God, that is, Ultimate Reality.

    Thank you for introducing this very interesting topic.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  3. #3
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    Such an interesting "symbol"......"can of worms".

    I suppose that if we look long enough we can see "heaven" in everything......maybe even in a can of worms.

    But what about "glory"?

    Jesus had a glory, given to Him of the Father, before the creation.....and...it was hidden from view to a certain extent,.......even though John said.....and we beheld His glory......but certainly not in its fullness.

    Hidden attributes of God are seen in the things that He has made,.......if you are given the eyes to see them......but we will see Him, face to face.

    Joel
    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Hidden attributes of God are seen in the things that He has made,.......if you are given the eyes to see them......but we will see Him, face to face.

    Joel
    I think I understand where you are coming from. Are you saying that in order to see him face to face, he has to be outside of us, separate from us where he is spatially close, yet separate, in order for this to be true?

    Thanks,

    Ron

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    Are you saying that in order to see him face to face, he has to be outside of us, separate from us where he is spatially close, yet separate, in order for this to be true?
    Yes.

    He came in the likeness of sin's flesh. His glory came forth as "grace and truth".

    When He took it (that body that hung on the tree) into the grave, He came out with a new body, but not yet radiating the glory that He now displays. It had the spear's incision, and the nail marks, but, His body did not show the dazzling brightness that was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration. He had not yet ascended into the heavenly realm.

    When Saul of Tarsus was knocked from his horse on the way to Damascus, the presence of Jesus was so bright that Saul was blinded temporarily.

    The glory He now displays is representative of the power and authority He has to subdue all things unto Himself. He will change our bodies to be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Phillipian 3:21). We will share in His glory.

    Joel
    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Yes.

    He came in the likeness of sin's flesh. His glory came forth as "grace and truth".

    When He took it (that body that hung on the tree) into the grave, He came out with a new body, but not yet radiating the glory that He now displays. It had the spear's incision, and the nail marks, but, His body did not show the dazzling brightness that was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration. He had not yet ascended into the heavenly realm.

    When Saul of Tarsus was knocked from his horse on the way to Damascus, the presence of Jesus was so bright that Saul was blinded temporarily.

    The glory He now displays is representative of the power and authority He has to subdue all things unto Himself. He will change our bodies to be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Phillipian 3:21). We will share in His glory.

    Joel
    Joel,

    Then you must reject what I have shared as false.

    Ron

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    I know this may open up another can of worms, but I have thought often of what heaven is like. This may sound way out in left field, but could it be that the reality of heaven is simply God, and us in him, rather than some place that is waay out there beyond outer space? In other words, for example, that famous verse which speaks of seeing "the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" might actually not be speaking about a location in the sky at all, but about his revelation in us, in God?

    Heaven=spiritual dimension and reality, where we are now hidden with Christ in God, who is ultimate reality, heaven himself.

    Earth=physical shadow, where our bodies of flesh are now, a shadow seed casing that contains the reality of heaven within us.

    Any thoughts?
    Ron
    Hi Ron,
    As Richard said I think you are on the right track.
    Heaven is used in various ways in Scripture. It can mean merely the sky or space as in the nighttime sky with stars and moon etc.
    More often it seems to be speaking of permanent planes as opposed to temporary carnal/physical planes.
    There seem to be more than one level of heaven as Paul spoke about the third heaven in one place and equated it with Paradise in another.
    But there is also a "Kingdom of Heaven" which I believe to be similar to the concept of the promised land.
    It is a place in consciousness, Not geographical. It is a spiritual condition that we can become aware of and actually dwell there.

    Jesus said "I and he Father are one". He was constantly aware of that condition (except when he called out on the cross "eli, eli lama sabachthani" or "My God My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?"). We are not. Though we may be fortunate to be blessed with this awareness from time to time.

    I believe we should strive more and more to be aware of this "Kingdom of Heaven." We are there spiritualy, why not be aware of it?
    After all, Jesus said "The things I do you can do also..."

    This is two grinding at the mill one is left and the other taken, etc.

    Who's to say whether the woman standing in front of us at the grocery store is not living in and aware of the Kindom of Heaven all around her and the guy behind us in line is not living in hell at the exact same moment.
    While we, unaware of these two conditions of mind, are simply waiting patiently or impatiently for our turn to check out.


    Bob

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