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Friday, April 04, 2014

The People of the Presence: Heightened Consciousness & Answered Questions

'Do you believe there is terror in heaven? sin? sickness? answered questions? face to face interaction with God?'

This question was posed to me recently, and it's gotten me to thinking ( again )!

If 'Heaven', as I believe, is simply the Presence of God, then will we eventually get to the point where we will know everything that's knowable, understand everything that's understandable; will we eventually be free of sin & sickness, will there be the terror of death in 'Heaven'?

Starting with the last one first; no, there is no terror in biological death for the one who follows the heavenly pattern set for us by the Son of God, our Brother, Jesus who was the Christ, or Messiah of Israel! Secondly, as for the sin of Adam, yes, we have been freed from the sin & the death of Adam; we have, corporately, as the Body of Christ, been brought back into Blessed Communion with our Creator, our Heavenly Father!

Finally, to answer the question of whether unanswered questions will be satisfied in 'Heaven'; I believe that there are things knowable to God alone, and that it will always be that way! ( Some things should probably be left unanswered anyway ) Many questions, as knowledge increases are beginning to be answered through study in the area of fulfilled, realized, or covenant eschatology, for example, and we're just getting started!

Will we ever fully understand the Nature of God? What does it really mean that He is the Creator of all things; does that mean that He is the Author of Evil? To a point, we understand the Nature of God well enough to know the answer to the question of the Author of Evil, but as to the question of the Nature of God, and what it really means that He is the Creator of all things, I believe that it is entirely possible, and as we eternally commune with our Heavenly Father in this, His New Temple & Dwelling Place, that things will become clearer to us as His Presence increases our knowledge & understanding!

'Face to Face' with our Creator?! ( talk abut 'terror'-oh, wait, that was under that first covenant! ) Speaking of the Nature of God, has His Nature changed at all from what we read about in the Hebrew Scriptures? I would say no! Scripture tells us in various places of the immutability of our Heavenly Father, but many people who claim to be followers of the Heavenly Vision would say yes, that the God of Israel is not the kinder, gentler One that we read about in the pages of the Greek Scripture! The old God of Israel was a cruel & vindictive ( even petty ) God, but His Son came along in the New Testament and tamed the Savage Beast! However, we know that Scripture says ( Hebrews 12:29 ) that 'our God is a consuming fire'!

One might speculate, as I have in the past, that when our biological processes finally shut down and our physical body expires and returns to the dust, we will be purely spirit, and more clearly able to interact with our Heavenly Father, who is the Spirit. Whether this is plausible speculation or not, does not Scripture tell us in various Scriptures that we are 'a dwelling place of God in the Spirit' ( Ephesians 2:19-21 )? How about my favorite, John 14:23; 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him'? If we are the Dwelling ( place ) of God in the Spirit, would you not think that as we share in communion with Him & with His Body, that we ARE 'Face to Face' with our Heavenly Father?!

As we dwell in His Presence ( as He in ours ), let us put aside speculation about some future 'Heaven', let us cease bludgeoning each other because this one believes that about some fabled after-life, the other believes that about this 'after-life', and yet another believes that there is no 'after-life'; this is all there is!

Let us focus instead on the Life we have been given, and cease lusting & longing after 'something better'! Is the grass greener on the other side of the fabled fence? Doubtful, and most probably not, unless our neighbor does a better job of keep his lawn water than we do!


We are Living in the Here & Now, and better yet, we have the Presence of God; what more could we ask for, what more could we want?! A Closer Communion with our Heavenly Father & with His People, His Temple, yes, but how do we do this?

Not by dying, but by Living!

In Communion,
Charles Haddon Shank

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