Bible Truths about the Kingdom of Heaven
Note: Discussing the flat earth is all about creation. We often talk about earth, sun and moon, but little talk about Heaven. With that in mind, it’s good to know where Christians, like us, will be when we are resurrected. With that mind, let’s see exactly what God’s Word says about it, as recorded in the Bible.
by Robert T. Woodworth
There is abundant Bible evidence that the final abode of all Christians is not “the beautiful isle of somewhere,” but right here on the earth God created to be inhabited.
For centuries since the Reformation, Christians have been led to believe that the Kingdom of Heaven was something ethereal and spiritual, apart from the earth. The truth is that both the Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God referred to in the Gospels are synonymous, and both refer to Jesus’ reign on earth over the kingdoms of this world. Christians are saved, not to be taken out of this world, but to be rulers over it.
While Jesus taught the necessity for separation from worldly lusts and earthly appetites, He never insinuated that they were to isolate themselves from the earth and its problems. In fact, they were to be salt in the earth and light to the world, that this old sin-cursed planet be made better by the presence of Christians.
Ultimately the earth is to culminate in the eternal Kingdom of Jesus the Anointed which shall rule over all nations for ever and ever. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom Jesus preached, early Christians taught, and modern Christians seem to have forgotten or distorted,
“Is heaven a place, as well as a state?” This question was proposed by Augustus Strong in his classic text on Systematic Theology. It is worthy of consideration in light of what the Bible texts have to say, especially if one believes the Bible to be the final authority in matters of theology and eschatology. If heaven is a place, then where? If heaven is to be on earth, then how and when?
Jesus indicated that heaven was both a place and a state. In John 14, Jesus says: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” So our eternal abode is both a place and a condition, or the status of being in the presence of the LORD.
The word translated mansions is also translated abode in the 23rd verse (KW) or home (NKJV). The songwriter has put it like this: “0 hallelujah, yes, `tis heaven. `Tis heaven to know my sins forgiven. On land or sea, what matters where? Where Jesus is, `tis heaven there.” Heaven is wherever Jesus is.
But the question remains – is heaven far away in distance and time, or is it right here on earth soon? There is a great preponderance of Scripture to show that heaven is God’s perfect place where Jesus is, and it is also to come on earth.
The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which John saw come down from God out of heaven to the earth. John testified that this vision of the future he saw “a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” (Rev 21:1). If “passed away” meant utter destruction, then not only the earth but heaven also would be entirely gone. Obviously, the earth did not disappear, but was transformed, changed, and renewed. In a similar manner our bodies must undergo change and transformation, as Paul writes in I Cor. 15:51-53, “this mortal must put on immortality.”
Peter also confirms this vital transformation of both heaven and earth, but he did not imply that the earth would
Christian Identity Ministries – PO Box 146 – CARDWELL QLD 4849 be destroyed any more than heaven could be destroyed. They would, however, go through a tremendous transformation, removing all vestiges of the curse of sin so that earth would result in a suitable place for the Kingdom of Jesus. (2 Peter 3:7-13). Again, Paul confirms that all God’s creatures and creation eagerly await deliverance and reconciliation (Romans 8:19-23).
CHRISTIANS ARE TO INHERIT THE EARTH
Jesus told us in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt 5:5). This was in keeping with Old Testament prophecies repeated many times and places. In Psalm 37:9-11 we read, “Evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth . . . The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” The Psalmist repeats the destiny of God’s people in verse 22, “For those blessed by Him shall inherit the land and dwell in it forever” This is not a temporary restraint, but a permanent restoration for God’s people (see also Romans 4:13), not for all as the Universalists teach.
In spite of these precious promises for the faithful, some will sit and sing, “This world is not my home; I’m just passing through!” Yet there is NO scriptural basis for wanting to die and leave this earth in the hope of going to heaven. Our alternatives are not heaven or hell, but the redemption and transformation into the presence of the Savior to live in eternal bliss with Him It is those who are cursed who are cut off, and those who are blessed who remain all through Scripture. Psalm 37:22 ends with “those cursed by Him shall be cut off.”
The same theme is found in Jesus’ parables where the bad seed is taken away and burned, but the righteous gathered into His home (Matthew 13:30, 40-42). All these parables concern the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven, not some ethereal place in the nether world. Job saw it correctly when he said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives and that He shall stand at last on the earth.” (Job 19:25).
Psalm 25:12-13 asks, “Who is the man that fears the Lord?” Then concludes that “his descendants shall inherit the earth.” God’s ultimate victory over the forces of evil are culminated in His destruction of the wicked, His physical transformation of the world, and His dwelling in exaltation with His saints on the earth. Psalm 66 reminds us of this total dominance of a supreme God over the forces of evil. Psalm 66:3-4 tells us, “Your enemies shall submit themselves to You. All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You.” The next chapter adds, “Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously and govern the nations on earth.” (67:4). How often do you hear these triumphant declarations from pulpits today? Too often we lament what the devils are doing and omit what God has declared.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Isaiah prophesies of God’s country, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the water covers the sea.” Then Habakkuk 2:14 presents a second witness of this heaven on earth, not doom and gloom, but dominion and glory.
Isaiah 24 tells us how God will judge the wicked and punish evil, transforming the earth into a suitable habitation for the kingdom of Jesus and His saints. After tremendous chaos and destruction comes triumphant restoration; “For the LORD shall reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders gloriously.” (Isa 24:33). This is the culmination of the Gospel of the Kingdom John the Baptist and Jesus preached and told us to propagate. (See Matt 3:2, 4:17, 10:5-7; Mark 1:14-15). Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, is not in the salvage business to rescue His creation from the wiles of the devil, but rather is in the business of reconciliation to restore His People to their rightful heritage, to inherit the earth.
The purifying process for His people and cleansing for His kingdom are necessary prerequisites for the “place” He went to prepare for us so He could come again and receive us for Himself (John 14:3). “And the last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:26 and Rev 21:4).
Isaiah 25:8 says victoriously: “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces. The rebuke of His People He will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.” The next chapter is devoted to telling how the Lord will miraculously transform the earth to make it a desirable place for His Kingdom and His Chosen People.
“For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabit-ants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isa 26:9). The earth was never intended to be a temporary place for God’s prime creation, but their permanent home. Earth was not created for the devil and for evil but for the living devoted. Listen to what the Lord says: “I have made the earth and created man on it .. For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:12,18).
Almighty God created the earth to be inhabited, to be inherited. God does not come back to earth to waft away His righteous few, but to rule and reign with them over the earth. This is God’s plan both for individuals and the nations.
Further evidence that God’s people, Israel, shall inherit the earth and dwell in it forever, is found in Isaiah 57:13, “But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain.” Again, in Isaiah 60:21, “Also your people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.”
HEAVEN COMES TO EARTH
God’s final plan calls for heaven to come down to earth. That is why He sent His Son Jesus to give us a taste of heaven on earth.
The Prophet Hosea tells of the last day when scattered Israel is regathered, and heaven and earth are united. We do not go away to heaven, but heaven comes to us. “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living God.'” (Hosea 1:10. The Gospel confirms the identity of these people with Christian Israel in John 1:12). Paul seconds the motion in Romans 8.14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” Read vs 18¬23. Peter also identifies these lost Israelites as being found among Christians now. (1 Peter 1:9-10). Finally John records that the New Jerusalem was coming down from God out of heaven to earth! (Rev. 21:2).
We are not going to heaven, but heaven is coming to us. As another song-writer, Maltbie Babcock, put it:
“This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done;
Jesus who dies shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one.”
HEAVEN IS ON EARTH
The final and irrefutable evidence that God intends to make the earth the final abode of His Chosen People is the reconstructed Kingdom of Jesus the Anointed is found in the last books of the Bible. The principles of the Kingdom of Heaven were spiritual and heavenly, but they are manifested and materialized in the Kingdom of God on earth which is an everlasting kingdom. According to Revelation, these final events all take place on the earth.
Revelation 3:10 tells of Judgment, where Jesus says to the church, “Because you have kept My commandment to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole earth to test those who dwell on the earth.”