Signals All Along
God has been signaling the end of time from the beginning; that is, He has pictured the New Heaven and New Earth since He expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. For example, the Great Flood was an illustration of the Rapture of the righteous and the condemnation of the wicked to the Lake of Fire, along with the devil. Compare Genesis 6-9 to Revelation 4.1 & 20.11-21.1. Similarly, when Jesus walked the Earth, He spoke of the future in parables, just as God told Him (John 12.49). For example, Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Man and Beggar—Luke 16.19-31—describes the Intermediate Heaven/Paradise as separated by a great gulf from the flames burning those in the Pit of Hell/Sheol/Hades without relief. These contrasts are meant to warn those disdaining God and to comfort us who have accepted His salvation of John 14.6.
A. Old Testament Signals
- How is God’s filling of Solomon’s Temple an illustration of Him being the Temple of the New Jerusalem? Compare 2 Chronicles 7.1-3 to Revelation 21.22-24.
- How is Isaiah’s (4.2-6) description of the Renewal of Zion and the illustration of the Pillar of Cloud by Day and of Fire by Night (Exodus 13.21-22) protecting the wandering Israelites a picture of Revelation 21.24-27?
- How is God’s determination to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem by Nehemiah (6.15, 27-43) similar to the fortress described in Revelation 21.12-21?
- How is the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21.1) described in Isaiah 65.17-25 & 22. [Note any contrasts of the hope of the future with the realities of the present.]
- Why could Isaiah 11.6-9 only be possible in the New Earth?
- Does Isaiah 11.10-12 describe the events of the 144,000 (Revelation 7.4-8) that will lead to satan’s assault on Jerusalem (Revelation 20.7-10)?
B. Jesus’ Signals
8. Fishing net: Matthew 13.47-50. How do these verses change the illustration above?
9. King’s ten servants given minas/three servants given talents: Luke 19.12-27/Matthew 25.14-30. How are Christians these ‘servants’ investing ‘minas’ and ‘talents’? Are these the ‘good works’ of God that Paul states in Ephesians 2.10? Has your return on investment qualified you to rule over ‘many’ ‘cities’ or ‘things’?
C. Perhaps, we have missed some of God’s messages about the eternal Heaven by applying them historical or current contexts only. Maybe we need to reread the Bible with eternity in mind. What else have we missed? How do God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 22.17 illustrate this?
What Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017. www.sozoclass.com