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What is Heaven According to the Bible and What Will We Do There?

This post was written by my friend Susie Kyman. I discovered it after I completed writing a series about the 5 Eternal Crown Rewards Christians will receive in heaven.  I went to her Facebook profile to look for a certain post she had made.

However, this is what I found, I was astounded at the clarity and insight she wrote about heaven and what it will be like for Christians. I know it will bring deeper insight for you, too.

As you read the last paragraph keep in mind that she wrote it before her beloved husband Troy was diagnosed with cancer that took his life. He personally “liked” her post and is now in the great cloud of witnesses watching for her!

HEAVEN: A RESURRECTED LIFE, IN A RESURRECTED BODY, WITH A RESURRECTED CHRIST, ON A RESURRECTED EARTH!

October 8, 2011 at 10:53 AM

What is heaven according to the bible and what will we do?

Heaven and eternal life are talked about and taught about very little considering it is our only hope! The Word of God gives us many glimpses of Heaven and even goes beyond that to promise life on a new and redeemed earth.

Even many Christians continue to fear death, dread death and are not confident about what awaits them when this life ends.

Many have been taught or have assumed that heaven is a place of “disembodied spirits,” that we will spend our days floating on clouds, in a state of eternal sleep, or that all of eternity is spent worshipping around the throne.

None of these descriptions fit what the Word promises us regarding eternal life!  It will be a LIFE, although much richer than the one we enjoy now.   We can’t know everything that awaits us, but the Bible has given us many clues as to what we can look forward to.

I am going to include the Scripture references for each of these claims, but I am going to let you look most of them up, as I believe our own diligent search in the Word brings the most revelation.

HEAVEN HAS PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND IS CAPABLE OF CONTAINING PHYSICAL OBJECTS. IT HAS CITIES, GARDENS, BUILDINGS, BANQUETS, AND BODIES!

City – (Hebrews 11:16)

Buildings – (John 14: 1-3) Jesus promised a house with many rooms.

Food – We are promised a “wedding banquet” and a supper. Jesus talked about eating and drinking again when the Passover was fulfilled (after His death) – Luke 22. Wedding feasts and banquets in Jesus’ day served the best foods available to them.

Garden – Jesus called it paradise when talking to the thief on the cross (Luke 23-43). The Greek definition of paradise compares it to the enclosed gardens of the Persians.

Heaven has physical properties and is capable of containing physical objects. It has cities, gardens, buildings, banquets, and bodies!Click to Tweet

Are you confident about what awats you when this life ends?

IN HEAVEN WE WILL NOT BE DISEMBODIED SPIRITS. IF THERE IS NO NEED FOR A BODY, THERE IS NO NEED FOR A RESURRECTION!

The body is referred to as a glorified body free of sickness, pain, and limitations.

A resurrected body is the thing that distinguishes Christianity from every other belief.

In order to receive and believe in Jesus for our salvation, we have to believe that His BODY was resurrected after 3 days.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  Romans 10:9-10

To be CONFIDENT in your salvation, go here>> My Story How God Found Me

A resurrected body is the thing that distinguishes Christianity from every other belief. In order to receive and believe in Jesus for our salvation, we have to believe that His BODY was resurrected after three days.Click to Tweet

WE WILL HAVE REAL THOUGHTS AND CAPABILITIES

The Word suggests our memory won’t be erased but will be free of any painful memories

~ Lazarus, full of sores and forced to beg crumbs at the rich man’s table, found comfort in heaven from his hard life on earth––in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16: 19-31).

~ The martyrs in the book of Revelation ask God about justice for their murders on earth  (Revelation 6:10).

WE WILL BE INDIVIDUALS KNOWN BY NAME

EACH NAME is written in the book of Life (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 20:12 and more).

EACH is given a robe (Revelation 6:11).

Jesus came back after the resurrection and said: “It is I, myself . . . .” He resumed his previous relationships when he returned.

When Moses and Elijah made a visit to a few of the disciples with Jesus, they were still recognizable as Moses and Elijah. (Matthew 17:1-8).

We will not be different people in heaven, but the same people relocated and transformed!

We will not be different people in heaven, but the same people - relocated and transformed!Click to Tweet

WE WILL ENJOY RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY IN HEAVEN

Heaven = rich relationships with people and with God

Hell = isolation from others and separation from God

Abraham and Lazarus were together (Luke 16:19-31)

Moses and Elijah returned to earth together to visit with Jesus (Matthew 17:1-8)

Jesus tells the thief on the cross that he will be “with him” in Paradise (Luke 23:43)

WE WILL BE ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS, WE WILL STILL BE LEARNING

The martyrs ask God a question in heaven (Revelation 6:10).

THE SCRIPTURES SUGGEST AN AWARENESS OF “TIME” IN HEAVEN

Jesus refers to time and dates for all events of the future.

The angels are aware that there are future events yet to unfold.

The martyrs in Heaven ask “How long until there is justice for our murders?”

WE DO NOT BECOME “ANGELS” WHEN WE DIE

Angels, as described in the Word, are separate created beings who have only resided in heaven.  We will remain children of God when we die which is an even higher privilege.

When Jesus was asked if we will marry in heaven, he said, “no you will be ‘like’ the angels (in that you will not marry).”  Even the angels have their own names and identities (Michael, Gabriel, etc.) which further shows everyone has their own identity in heaven.

THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN PEOPLE & EVENTS IN HEAVEN AND PEOPLE AND EVENTS ON EARTH

Heaven’s occupants may not have knowledge of your everyday coming and going, but are aware of the spiritually important events on earth:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).

A great multitude is rejoicing over God’s judgment on the earth.(Revelation 10:1-5).

There is much rejoicing over one sinner on earth that repents (Luke 15:7).

He promises even more than that.  The heaven that we refer to is the “3rd heaven” that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12.  It is the heaven where God currently dwells.  It is the location where believers in Christ currently go when leaving this earth but is referred to as a “temporary place” until the formation of the New Heavens and the New Earth! (2Peter 3: 10-13).

This hope does not completely erase the current pain of losing someone you love.  As one pastor said, “The depth of your grief can be measured equal to the depth of the love that you had for that person.” Even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died even though he was about to resurrect him from the dead and return him to his family. But it can keep us from being hopeless and look toward the day when we do get to see them again.

A NOTE FROM ANN:

Susie’s article brings to light what I’ve recently read in The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn. He compares life on this Earth and heaven to living in the womb and after birth. In the womb we have eyes, ears, a mouth, feet, and hands, although we can’t see, hear, speak, walk and touch; however, we were created to do those things. Just think how much more the difference will be for us to LIVE in heaven compared to our existence down here!

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Heaven A Resurrected Life in a resurrected body with a resurrected Christ on a resurrected earth

M3D Jesus Performs Heart Operation: Jehovah Tsidkenu

3. Jesus Performs Heart Operation that Brings Death:

While the heart is being connected to the artificial heart-lung machine, the coronary (heart) arteries are infused with a cold potassium solution. The heart beat stops; it grows cold and motionless so the physician can work on it. “The body is preserved by the nutrient flow provided by the heart-lung circuit, while the heart is preserved by the low temperature and other conditions managed by the surgeon.”10  Likewise, placing our life into the hands of the great Physician, Jehovah Tsidkenu, means Jesus performs heart operation that brings death.

Millions of surgeries are performed each year where only a percentage die. All those who trust Jesus to replace their heart must die to self. The heart during surgery is seemingly dead; it is not beating. “The great Physician, who sees in us what we cannot see, knows exactly where to place the knife. He cuts away that which we are most reluctant to give up. And how it hurts! But we must remember that pain is only felt where there is life, and where there is life is just the place where death is needed.”11

Death Springs Forth Life

Jesus performs heart operation

What a paradox! Death brings life–like a seed has to die before it can spring forth life.

At the very moment Marie chose Jesus, she was crucified with Christ. She no longer lived, but Christ mysteriously started to live His life in her, as the Bible says,

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! -Galatians 2:20-21

Marie’s choice was saying to God, “I’m tired of trying to live this life by myself. I’m miserable and have failed on my own.” Turning her life over to God was no less than placing her own body on an altar.

It was Henry Van Dyuke who said, “Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.” Dying to self means mentally letting-go of my rights-the “i” in the middle of pride. This spiritual death to self is the only thing that brings life–Jesus living His life through us when we are out of the way.

4. Jesus Performs Heart Operation that Brings Life:

The next thing we need to understand about the heart is that it requires energy. It is a muscle with cells that contract in sequence to force blood into every organ and cell in the body. It is a vascular highway taking nutrition to the whole body as well as the heart itself. “A normal heart in an average sized person will pump 4 to 5 liters of blood per minute. The average heart will beat almost 4 million times per year. It is estimated that the energy required to continuously pump blood at these rates is almost 5 watts of power per hour.”12 To show how much energy this is, blood “. . . moves in the principal arteries at the rate of a foot per second and it makes the circuit of the vascular system in about 20 seconds.”13

The arteries of the heart of a patient requiring a CABG are blocked with cholesterol deposits. The surgeon builds substitute passages, with harvested vessels from other parts of the body, to restore blood (energy) to the heart. Only a bypass is erected. Jesus, our substitute, completely annihilated sin–actually removed the blockages–no mere bypass. Consequently, Jesus is the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

The energy Jesus restores to our heart takes beyond a lifetime to comprehend. Our hearts are no longer sprinkled with the blood of bulls and goats as Moses did to the people under the Old Covenant. At the moment the tired, blue, lifeless blood, carrying all its impurities, hits the heart-lung machine (the substitute), it is infused with high energy far above any natural oxygen we could ever imagine!

The powerful heavenly energy Jesus infuses into our hearts catapults us all the way to heaven in the blink of an eye! We are immediately translated, just as Hebrew is translated into English (Tsidkenu to “righteousness”)-into the body of Jesus Christ “who delivered us out of the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love . . .” (Col.1:13 ASV).

We must comprehend: we are living with Him in heaven right now, “And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together-giving us joint seating with Him-in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One” (Eph. 2:6 Amplified). Additionally, heaven’s energy “fills all things” (Eph. 4:10).

This supernatural energy brings life. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Marie’s vision of the angels fighting over her–warfare not visible to the naked eye–unmasks this spiritual battle continually being waged for the hearts of humans. Thankfully, Marie confessed her sin and asked Jesus to come in and take over her life, bringing salvation, truth, and life.

Jesus performs heart surgery

Jesus prayed for Marie and for us immediately before he was arrested and crucified. He prayed to His Father, “that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26). That prayer was answered with His blood actually replacing our own selfish, sin-stained blood at the very moment the Roman soldier pierced His side, “bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:34). Jesus purchased salvation for the whole world right then (see John 3:16), but only those who choose to believe and receive this gift are “saved” from sin’s natural punishment. This is a free gift of grace through faith, not of ourselves, not by works we can do; for Jesus paid the price with His blood (see Eph. 2:9).
Hell is sin’s natural punishment. Hell is an “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41); God never sends anyone there, but the devil is deceiving many to go there with him.

After her salvation, Marie experienced the cleansing life-blood of Jehovah Tsidkenu. She wanted to feel pure again in regard to her virginity, “While reading my Bible one day, I came across 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ That was the day I gave that sin to Christ and became a born again virgin. Although I didn’t save sex for marriage, God gave me a second chance and a whole new joy-filled life. I changed my goal from living day to day with no direction, to living with my path pointed toward heaven.”

5. Jesus Performs Heart Operation that is Legal:

The first thing a patient does before any surgery is sign a consent form–Conditions of Services–giving the surgeon the legal right to do surgery with consent for medical treatment. It also says, “Should the patient not accept the treatment recommended, or leave the hospital contrary to the doctor’s advice, the patient or his agent will assume full responsibility for such action and will in no way hold the hospital, its employees or the patient’s attending physician responsible for the result.”14

Jesus performs heart operation

Followers of Jesus Christ are signing a legal contract as well. The Hebrew word for covenant means, “A contract which was accompanied by signs, sacrifices, and a solemn oath which sealed the relationship with promises of blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience.”15 Only when we come to understand this are we able to take advantage of the benefits, like any contract we would sign, such as for a house or a car.

Our spiritual covenant is between two parties: the first, Jesus; the second, us.

First Party: Jesus

The Old Covenant was between Jehovah and Abraham, also called the Abrahamic Covenant. The new contract is between God the Father and Jesus. When we accept Jesus, we enter into the New Covenant.

It is legal because Jesus was a legal Jewish sacrifice. The high priest turned Jesus Christ over to the Romans to be crucified on a cross altar outside the camp (see Luke 23: 13-14). Hebrews 13:12 refers to the Old Testament scapegoat, “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.”

Jesus’ final words, “It is finished!”16 while dying on the cross meant He fulfilled (not replaced) the Old Covenant. Jesus ascended into heaven’s tabernacle and “entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12).

He later gave us His New Testament– testament meaning “a covenant between God and the human race.”17 Like a last will and testament, it documents his gifts to us.

Jesus was His Father’s firstborn Son, without blemish, whom He sacrificed for the world’s sin, thus, bridging the gap of separation between God and man. Jesus, who paid the only legal price for sin said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Just as a patient must give legal consent, we must give Jesus permission to continually perform His  heart operation  before we can truly see Him. By so doing, we enter legally into the New Covenant with Him and receive what the shedding of His blood did for us, as it now courses through our veins.

Second Party: You and Me

Jesus performs heart operation

What if we later change our mind in allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to have their way in our heart and life? We have to accept the consequences of breaking our end of the contract. A patient not accepting treatment may die. A person not paying their mortgage or car payment could possibly no longer live in the house or drive the car. Our spiritual covenant with God is different from a contract in that we may pull away, but God never does–the same as the fact that the hospital is still here and the car is still around, but we no longer have access to their benefits.

The New Testament documents our contract including what is contained in the Old Testament. The whole book of Deuteronomy, written by Moses, is the formal treaty between God and Israel. It holds all the elements contained in treaties from the 2nd millennium B.C.: the introduction of the speaker, historical prologue, stipulations, statements concerning the document; witnesses, curses, and the blessings.18 Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy stipulates the “Conditions of Services,” the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

We are legal heirs to the blessings through Jesus Christ because, “cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Gal. 3:13-14).

In a nutshell, God tells us in Deuteronomy 28 He will set those who honor His name and obey Him, high above all nations on earth; He will bless all the work of their hands; they shall lend and not borrow. The curses are blessings withdrawn from those who do not honor His name or obey His commands: confusion, disease (including those yet unnamed), defeat before enemies, unsuccessful endeavors, and indebtedness. Both blessings and curses extend to the next generation. The blessings are detailed in fourteen verses; the curses in fifty-four. Jesus took the curses in His body so we can receive the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant.

# # #

With her heartfelt prayer, Marie voiced to Jesus legal permission to change her heart, which would change her life. It was just the beginning, but eventually her understanding would grow. We, too, must “sign” our consent form. (An actual signature on paper or in a journal is not a bad idea.)

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV

ENDNOTES
9. Mark M. Levinson M.D., The Heart Surgery Forum, www.hsforum.com, Hutchinson Hospital, Hutchinson, KS (accessed April 2005).
10. Ibid.
11. Fénelon, Let Go, (Whitaker House New Kensington, PA, 1973), p. 6.
12. Ibid.
13. Clarence W. Taber, Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 10th Edition (Philadelphia, F. A. Davis Company, 1968), B-28.
14. Mercy Health System of Kansas, Conditions of Services, item 7.
15. Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1716.
16. See John 19:30.
17. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary-Eleventh Edition, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, MA, 2003), p. 1291.
18. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 176.