Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Heaven 33

posted by xscot mcknight

The issue we have examined, assuming that explicit mentions of “heaven” can give us all we need for our decision, is what “heaven” refers to and whether or not “heaven” is the final “resting place.” We turn in this our final week of this study to the Apocalypse of John.
The significance of Revelation for this term is clear enough from this observation: the term appears no fewer than 50x in this book; the term appears 255x in the NT altogether so Revelation is about 20%.
Heaven in this book is the place in which the divine will is decided and out of which its plans are realized. In heaven God sits on his throne in majesty as God enacts the divine will. It can be accurately described as the Throne Room where the plans of God for earth are decided. Thus, the Control Room, the Meeting Room, the Planning Room. Thus:
Rev. 3:12 If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Rev. 4:1 After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ?Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.? 2 At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne!
Rev. 8:10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
Rev. 9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit;
Rev. 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.
Rev. 10:8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, ?Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.?
Rev. 14:17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
Rev. 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor.
Rev. 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.



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Joe B

posted September 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm


I have now perused all of the appearances of the word Heaven in the entire bible, but particularly the NT. The word is used variously, of course, but it’s overwhelming used in the sense of “God’s place.” It is clearly represented as being “above the earth”. As you said so well, the ultimate states of things are decided there, and events on earth are initiated there.
8 of the 9 verses you selected make reference to things coming down from heaven to earth. Only one (4:1) makes reference to going up there, and that apparently for the purpose of glimpsing the machinations of God’s heavenly sphere. The grand finale of Relelation (and God’s grand story) is in Rev 21:2-3:
“I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from the heaven of God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.’”
Interesting clippings Scott!



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