Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week Ending 112314
Heaven.We will now begin the Doctrine of Heaven. Let’s begin with some definitions and descriptions.

Webster’s new world dictionary describes Heaven as “the dwelling place of God and His angels, variously conceived of as the place where the blessed will live after death.” It also describes Heaven as a “place of great beauty and pleasure.”

Believe it or not, recent polls indicate that approximately seventy-five percent of the American people believe in Heaven. Unfortunately, many of these people don’t know much more about Heaven than this description from a dictionary.  But the Bible is filled with specific facts about Heaven. For example, Heaven is said to be a glorious place in ISA 63:15 which calls it “God’s holy and glorious habitation.”

So glorious that only almighty God could conceive the absolute perfection of this eternal paradise which He has prepared for His children. Heaven is so magnificent that it is far beyond anything any of us could ever contemplate or imagine. Now, some of the things I’ll be teaching are merely speculations from comparing some scriptures with others. For example, according to the Bible there seems to be some way that the fallen angels can prohibit space travel or travel from Heaven to the earth, this is taught inDAN 10:1-13.

DAN 10:1-5, In the third year of Cyrus King of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and {one of} great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the entire three weeks [note, 21 days] were completed. And on the twenty‑fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with {a belt of} pure gold of uphaz.

As you will see in this passage, this was an angel sent by God.

DAN 10:6-13, His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “o daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that i am about to tell you and stand upright, for i have now been sent to you.” and when he had spoken this word to me, i stood up trembling. then he said to me, “do not be afraid, daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding {this} and on humbling yourself before your god, your words were heard, and i have come in response to your words. but the prince of the kingdom of persia [one of the angels of darkness that represented the Persian Empire] was withstanding me for twenty‑one days; then behold, michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for i had been left there with the kings of persia.

These type of battles have taken place in the spirit world and because of this, when a person dies they will immediately see the smiling faces of angels waiting to escort them to Heaven. Just as they did for Lazarus in LUK 16:22  “Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom [a reference to Paradise];

This brings us to a passage we will spend some time on concerning Heaven in Luk  16:19-31 which is not a parable, but is a true story. Parables never mention proper names. Furthermore, parables are always identified or explained as parables. The narrative in LUK 16:19-31 describes the first and second compartments of what is known as Sheol in the Hebrew or Hades in the Greek. And there are three perspectives are given in this passage:

1) The perspective of life, verses 19-21.
2) The perspective of death, verse 22.
3) The perspective of Sheol or Hades after death, verses 23-31.

This was an historical account given by our Lord prior to His death, burial and resurrection. Verse 19 introduces a wealthy unbeliever.

LUK 16:19   “Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living [living in splendor or luxury every day]

Here was a very wealthy unbeliever! There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being rich. That is an evil philosophy which has extended into Communism and has now even become a part of the political forum in this country. However, there are certain problems connected with being rich and having an abundance of possessions, just as there are certain problems connected with being poor. In other words, there are no set of circumstances in life that are free from problems. There is no excuse for the rich lording it over those less fortunate, and there is no excuse for the poor envying the rich. When a nation has rich people, it means that nation follows the principles of free enterprise, which are a part of the laws of divine establishment. Therefore, having wealth in a nation is a good and healthy sign that the nation is doing well and right, rather than poorly.  In fact, the idea of redistribution of wealth is an evil that enslaves the masses, as illustrated by those under the domination of the Russian experiment since 1917. One of the great problems of  being rich is to ignore the fact that there is life after death. Many become self-indulgent, and forgetMAR 8:36-37, “What shall it profit a person if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?”

So they give no thought to eternity and life after death. Yet time is just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity.

ECC 7:12  For wisdom is protection just as money is protection. but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.

In ECC 10:19, When Solomon said, “Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything……he was speaking in a cynical way! Hence, the tendency of the wealthy person is to ignore the fact that only through personal faith in Jesus Christ can an individual have eternal life, “what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?” In other words, there is no way you can buy your way into Heaven. Jesus Christ purchased our salvation on the cross, as taught by the doctrine of redemption.

This myth and lie was actually promoted by the roman catholic church and in their own Bible, in which they promote prayers and offerings for the dead, it says in Tobit 4:11, For giving money delivers from all sin, and from death and will not permit the soul to go to darkness. Money cannot buy eternal life, happiness, love, or virtue. It is not true that you are happy because you have money or miserable because you are poor. Happiness and misery are not based upon one’s economic status. This is one of the great myths in the time in which we live.

People with very little can be extremely happy; people with very much can be very miserable, and visa versa. Those who lust for money become a slave to money. But those who acquire wealth through the grace of god have discovered how to make money their slave.

But the person who regards money as his #1 priority in life becomes a slave to money. We have noted many times, the concept of the priority principle. Priority number 1 should be Bible doctrine. Therefore, you concentrate on whatever is your #1 priority. Then you organize your life around priority #1. Therefore, you organize your thinking around priority #1. This determines the outcome of your life.

Now, if your number 1 priority is money, then you concentrate on money. You organize your life around money. You organize your thinking around money, and this determines the outcome of your life.

1TI 6:10, for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.

Now, the rich man in verse 19 spent all his concentration, time, and life on self-indulgence. Therefore, MAR 8:36-37 says to him,“What shall it profit a person if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?  or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?” So, the most important things in life cannot be purchased with money, such as eternal life, +H or sharing the happiness of God, love and virtue. And again, those who lust for money become slaves to money, and it’s one of the worst categories of slavery in the world. This principle applies to power as well. Those who lust for power are slaves to power, but those who acquire power through the grace of god can enjoy it without abusing it or stepping beyond their capacity for it.

MAT 6:24-25, “no one can serve two masters.  for he will either hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other.  you cannot serve god and mammon [the god of riches]. it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle [small gate in the main gate through which only a man could pass] than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Rich people and poor people are saved exactly the same way, by faith in Jesus Christ. So why is this true? Because the rich man tends to be preoccupied with himself and his life on this earth to the extent that he has forgotten about eternity. He is not interested in Jesus Christ.

So the Lord says in LUK 16:19, “Now there was a certain rich man… Notice that the rich man is simply identified as a certain man and the poor man, lazarus is called by name! This is to testify that the spiritual order of things is contrary to the worldly. In the world, the names of the rich are known, but the names of the poor are either Not known or, if known, are counted as unworthy to be particularly noted. Now, this man is described as dressing well and living in luxury. There is nothing wrong with dressing well and there is nothing wrong with luxury as such. In fact, the very one who Lazarus will be carried to is Abraham, who had been rich in flocks, and in herds, and in all possessions while on earth.

So, there is nothing wrong with dressing well and there is nothing wrong with luxury as such. There are some problems with wrong emphasis on status symbols of life, money, power, success, approbation, pleasure, material things, luxury, social life, sex, health; i.e., anything that takes precedence over Bible doctrine. The wealthy unbeliever enjoys life so much that he forgets about death and eternity. He forgets HEB 9:27, which says, “It is destined for mankind to die once, but after this the judgment.”So this rich man lusted for wealth and became the slave to wealth.

LUK 16:19, “Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, and lived in luxury every day.” 

Ther are some interesting analogies here: The rich man is covered with purple and fine line; Lazarus is covered only with boils and sores. The rich man eats expensive and magnificent food; Lazarus desires to be fed with crumbs. The rich man has numerous servants to attend his every need, Lazarus has only dogs to lick his sores. However, eternity changes all of this around! So, much for the rich man!

As a slave to money and pleasure, he had no time for the Gospel until it was too late. Verse 20 introduces a suffering believer.

LUK 16:20, “And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid or thrown down at his gate, covered with sores,[cancerous ulcers],”

Lazarus had been thrown there and left there until he died. Lazarus had been thrown or cast at the rich man’s gate, and he would lie there until he died. When our Lord gave this message, Lazarus was already dead. If Lazarus were still alive at the gate of the rich man, the perfect tense of ballo would have used. Lazarus was helpless and couldn’t move from that spot. In this narrative, we see the great cruelty of man toward helpless man. In fact, that is the attitude today, people are very cruel, man’s attitude toward man is one of great cruelty. And when people are helpless or infirm or older they are treated with great cruelty. Sometimes that cruelty is neglect and sometimes that cruelty is persecution….but it is a tragic thing.

Evil people and those under the influence of evil can be very cruel! Hence, this was cruel and unnecessary treatment. It was violence against the weak and helpless. Lazarus had been tossed there out of cruelty by a mob. In fact, the mob didn’t like Lazarus, and the mob didn’t like the rich man. Evil men do not discriminate; they despise the rich, the poor and the helpless.

LUK 16:20, “And a certain poor man named lazarus was laid or thrown down at his gate, covered with sores,[cancerous ulcers],

And there is a definite parallelism between Lazarus and Job. Both were mature believers facing evidence testing, but with different results.

a)  Job lost and regained in time; lazarus lost and regained in eternity.

b)  Both were covered with sores and ulcers.|

Hence, both Job and Lazarus had loss of health and were maltreated by people because they were repulsive to the eyes of the beholder. Both Job and Lazarus had loss of health, but again there was a difference. Job recovered his health and lived a long time. Hence,  Job emphasizes living grace in evidence testing. Lazarus never recovered his health and eventually died.

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