Almost from infancy we have been told that if we are good we will go to heaven when we die. This is a nice thought but unfortunately is not scriptural. Jesus said it clearly during his Sermon on the Mount. He was at the time teaching the multitudes and disciples how to pray (Mt. 6:5:15). The most significant part of His teaching came in Mt. 6:9-13). This passage has become known as the Lord’s Prayer but it is actually the disciple’s prayer as Jesus was teaching them to pray. In Verse 6:9-10 He says: “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven”.
This one brief verse clearly indicates the ultimate location of the Kingdom. It is to be on earth just as it already is in Heaven. In Greek, the language translated at the time heaven is transliterated and defined: Heaven, abode of God (Mt 18:10; Mk 16:19 v.r.; Lk 22:43 3. LN 12.16 God, (Lk 15:18, 21); 4. LN 1.3 ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ (ho ouranos kai hē gē), universe (Mt 11:25)…( Swanson, James: Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament). electronic ed. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, S. DBLG 4041, #9). Thus heaven is the abode of God. It is His spiritual dwelling place.
God is not flesh and blood like humans but is Spirit. Jesus said: “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). Thus heaven is composed of pure spirit. In the Kingdom of God the earth will also become spirit like heaven but it will retain its earthly characteristics.
The Book of Joel says: “It will come about
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29). God will pour out His Spirit and the earth will then have the spiritual component present in heaven.
The Lord promises: “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14; Is 11:9). “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM” (Heb 8:11; Jer 31:34). The earth will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord just as ‘heaven” (the spirit realm) is filled.
Perhaps we should review the basic natures of the entities involved. God is a triune (3) part being-The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each entity is Spirit and each entity is one with the other. John 17:21 states: “…that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me”. Man is spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). However man is a fallen nature due to what occurred at the Garden of Eden. In man’s ideal condition the Spirit would rule the soul and body natures. The spirit is the only part of man’s anatomy that can commune with God. However when man fell the spirit lost its ascendancy and the soul took over. That is why we see such corruption and soulish pursuits in the earth today. Whereas man is supposed to be one with God through his human spirit the is no longer able to relate to God being buried beneath the soul and flesh nature
Thus man was left in an impossible situation that required the Messiah Jesus Christ to come to earth, render the acceptable sacrifice and free man to once again be one with the Godhead. Although we don’t see the complete manifestation of this today it has already happened upon Christ’s resurrection and the Word of God makes it a sure thing. Today we contend for the fullness of Christ to be manifest ON EARTH as he is already manifest in the spirit realm (heaven).
The great men of God who died in the faith did not receive what was promised even though their spirits went to be with God in the spirit realm. But heaven is not their final dwelling place. Their fulfillment is on earth.
Hebrews 11:39-40 makes this clear. Hebrews 11 is called the chapter of the call of faith. It honors the Saints who served God in their day but points out that, by dying in the faith, did not receive what god promised them. They exist as spirits in “heaven” but their true fulfillment is here. Hebrews says: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect”. We who are on earth must be made perfect (restored) before those who went before us receive perfection.
Revelation makes the same point: “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also” (Rev 6:9-12). Although they were in heaven, under the altar of the Lord, they would not taste fulfillment until those on earth finished.
Isaiah describes what heaven on earth may be like. “THEN a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit
Speaking of Jesus of the Davidic line. Jesse was the farther of David and Jesus was a branch from his roots..
And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him [Jesus]
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD (Isaiah 11:1-2).
And in this earthly Kingdom: “the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze;
Their young will lie down together;
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
Then it will come about in that day
That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:3-10).
Likewise in The Book of Revelation: “AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. The new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth.
“He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”… There will be a great separation between those who serve God and those who don’t.
“AND he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever” (full scripture Rev 21:1-22:1-5).
God says nothing about dying as a prerequisite to inheriting his Kingdom. It is also clear that the fulfillment take place on earth as heaven and earth merge into one Kingdom. The Lord is returning to the earth to abide with His Sons. He will bring with Him all who have died in Christ. He will set up His Kingdom here. Revelation says about the second Coming of Christ: “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev 19:11-16). The second coming of Christ to the earth.