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    • By Retrobyter
      Shabbat shalom, everyone.
      Sometimes, strange comparisons come to mind, and this is one of the strangest. HOWEVER, it is also one that I feel not only explains my position on "Heaven," but also shows why it became necessary to have such a position.
      I grew up on wonderful movies like "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart, and "The Naughty Nineties" with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Here's an excerpt from the "Who's On First" routine that Abbott and Costello did for the movie:
      (This was found at Baseball-Almanac.com.) It's a GREAT routine, and Abbott and Costello were probably the ONLY team that could have delivered it so hilariously!
      Now, here's the comparison:
      Who : Naturally :: Kingdom : Heaven.
      This is read, "'Who' is to 'Naturally' as 'Kingdom' is to 'Heaven.'"
      "Going to Heaven" is as bad to say as "picking up the ball and throwing it to Naturally!"
      Let me explain in terms of English grammar: "Who" is the guy's nickname; therefore, Abbott used it as a personal noun (and not a "personal PROnoun," either)! However, Costello is hearing it as an interrogative pronoun. "Naturally" is used by Abbott as an adverb, but Costello reasons that THIS is the personal noun!
      "Heaven" is NOT a "place" for which we are destined. We are destined for the Kingdom of God ruled by the King, God. It is called the "Kingdom of God" which means it is "God's Kingdom." God's Representative (His "Messiah"; His "Mashiyach"; His "Anointed"; His "Christos"; His "Christ") will be its PHYSICAL King, who is ONE with His Father, God, and who will be VISIBLE to the world!
      John 1:18 (KJV)
      18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
      The Messiah's Kingdom is described this way by the angel Gavri'el (Gabriel) to Miryam (Mary, Yeshua`s mother):
      Luke 1:30-33 (KJV)
      30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Greek: Ieesous = Aramaic: Yeeshuwa`). 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
      He was both the son of his ancestor David the King and the "Son of the Highest" because of these passages of Scripture:
      2 Samuel 7:1-17 (KJV)
      1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
      4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
      8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I WILL BE HIS FATHER, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 
      15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
      This scene was repeated in 1 Chronicles 17:
      1 Chronicles 17:1-15 (KJV)
      1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains. 2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
      3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in: 5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. 6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars? 
      7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel: 8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth. 9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, 10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house. 11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. 13 I WILL BE HIS FATHER, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: 14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. 15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
      These passages are NOT talking about Shlomoh (Solomon); they are talking about David's SEED! Furthermore, David acknowledged that YHWH GOD was King, not just himself! He recognized GOD as HIS King!
      Psalm 5:1-2 (KJV)
      1 {To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.}
      Give ear to my words, O LORD (YHWH), consider my meditation.
      2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
      So, the KINGDOM OF GOD will be ruled by the Messiah Yeshua`, and the KINGDOM OF GOD is our destiny! "Going THROUGH THE HEAVENS (THE SKIES) to get to the Messiah's Kingdom and be there forever" is just a truth that unfortunately has been misinterpreted to "GOING TO HEAVEN to be there forever!"
      Again, here is how Strong's Exhaustive Concordance lists "ouranos" in its Greek Dictionary:
      3772 οὐρανός, οὐρανοῦ, ὁ. Perhaps from the same as oros (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension, heaven (as the abode of God); by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel (Christianity) -- air, heaven(-ly), sky.
      Now, I know that it is also called "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN," but one must understand that the Greek uses the words "HEE BASILEIA TOON OURANOON" (using "EE" for an eta and "OO" for an omega), the "-oon" (omega-nu) ending being the plural ending for both the noun "ouranos" and its article "ho." 
      In Koine Greek, there are 8 cases for a noun: the nominative (which acts as the subject in a sentence), the genitive (translated with an "of"), the ablative (translated with a "from"), the locative (translated with an "in" or an "at), the instrumental (translated with a "with" or a "by"), the dative (translated with a "to" or a "for"), the accusative (which acts as the direct object in a sentence), and the vocative (as though one is talking TO the noun, acting as an appositive).
      However, in CLASSICAL Greek (Attic Greek), there are only FIVE cases: the nominative, the genitive, the dative, the accusative, and the vocative. In Classical Greek, the genitive case can be used for BOTH the traditional genitive and origins of the ablative case! Thus, one can also translate Classical genitive case as either "of" or "from" in English. Indeed, even in the Koine Greek, the genitive and ablative cases are SPELLED THE SAME WAY! (That's also true about the locative, instrumental, and dative cases; they also are all spelled the same as each other.) My point is that the words, "hee basileia toon ouranoon," could also be translated as "the kingdom FROM the skies (the plural)," speaking not about "ownership" but about "ORIGIN!" One may have ASSUMED a genitive case when it should have been considered to be an ablative case!
      Yeshua` SHALL come again, not just to "judge the world," although He will certainly do that. He is to be its KING! As I've said before, one of the roles of the King of Israel was to be its "Supreme Court Justice!" Lesser judges could handle the easier matters of judgment, but when necessary, they could escalate the matter to the King who would then be the FINAL SAY in the matter. He is to rule and reign, both over Israel and its tributaries until He has conquered ALL the nations of the earth! Some shall submit willingly; some shall submit reluctantly to save their economies; many will resist. He shall "rule them with a rod of iron," and He shall "subdue all His enemies" until the last enemy, death itself, is finally subdued, as well. This will take a THOUSAND YEARS to accomplish (Psalm 2:1-12; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; 2 Peter 3:7-12; Revelation 20:1-7). All this must be accomplished BEFORE the Great White Throne Judgment after the final Resurrection, after which Yeshua` shall turn the Kingdom - the WORLD EMPIRE at that time - over to His Father.
      It's not until AFTER all this, that God allows His New Jerusalem to come down out of the sky to the New Earth with its New Sky to be what many have called "Heaven on earth." It will be THEN that God "wipes away all tears" and "creates all things new."
    • By Retrobyter
      Shalom, everyone.
      I know that this will be unpopular and some will say downright alarming, but we are NOT told that we go to heaven when we die. As I've said in other threads, the "soul" is NOT independent from the "body." Genesis 2:7 bears repeating:
      Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
      7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
      In Hebrew (transliterated), this is...
      B'reeshiyt 2:7 (JPS Tanakh)
      7 Vayiytser YHWH Elohiym et-haa'aadaam `aafaar min-haa'adaamaah vayipach b'apaayv nishmat chayiym vayhiy haa'aadaam l-nefesh chayaah:
      7 Vayiytser = And-formed
      YHWH = YHWH; the-LORD; ADONAI
      Elohiym = God
      et- = (the next word is the direct object)
      haa'aadaam = the-man
      `aafaar = of-the-dust
      min-= from
      haa'adaamaah = the-ground
      vayipach = and-he-breathed
      b'apaayv = in-his-nostrils
      nishmat = a-puff
      chayiym = of-living-things
      vayhiy = and-became
      haa'aadaam = the-man
      l-nefesh = to-an-air-breather
      chayaah: = living:
      Therefore, God FORMED the MAN, NOT the BODY of the man! And, the MAN became a living air-breather once air was puffed into his nostrils. Furthermore, the term "soul" IS this "air-breather."
      Strong's dictionary say it like this:
      5315 nefesh (NEH-fesh). From naafash; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. Animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental) -- any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead(-ly), desire, X (dis-)contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-)self, them (your)-selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.
      Which comes from the root word, the verb form,...
      5314 naafash (naw-FAHSH). A primitive root; to breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air) -- (be) refresh selves (-ed).
      So, it's not some "immaterial part" of a person; it's talking about the fact that this body - this PERSON - is alive and breathing!
      The word "spirit," translated from the Hebrew word "ruwach," means a "wind," or by resemblance, the "breath":
      7307 ruwach (ROO-akh). From ruwach; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. A sensible [palpable] (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions) -- air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit((-ual)), tempest, X vain, ((whirl-))wind(-y).
      Which comes from its root word, the verb form,...
      7306 ruwach (roo-AKH). A primitive root; properly, to blow, i.e. Breathe; only (literally) to smell or (by implication) perceive (figuratively, to anticipate, enjoy) -- accept, smell, X touch, make of quick understanding.
      When a person ceases to breathe, when he or she "breathes his/her last (which thankfully may not really be his or her last because of the Resurrection)" - "gives up the ghost" - "gives up the spirit" - "gives up the breath" - then he or she ceases to be an "air-breather." He or she ceases to be a "soul," and he/she awaits the Resurrection. Therefore, "soul" ("air-breather") = "body" + "spirit" ("breath").
      Now, let me quickly add that I DO believe in an afterlife of blessing for the believer, but that doesn't begin until the Resurrection and culminates in that which many CALL "Heaven" because of its description, the New Jerusalem, descending to the New Earth THROUGH the "heavens" and landing upon this New Earth. It is THERE - within this New Jerusalem - that one will find the descriptions that many assign to "Heaven," namely (1) the streets of gold, (2) the golden city, (3) the gates of pearl, (4) the river of the water of life, (5) the tree of life, (6) the jasper walls, (7) the foundations consisting of several precious gems, and of course, (8) the throne of God and of the Lamb.
      This brings us to one more definition: "Heaven" itself:
      The Hebrew word translated as "heaven" or "heavens," depending upon the English version of the Bible one uses, is "shaamayim":
      8064 shaamayim (shaw-MAH-yeem). Dual of an unused singular shaameh {shaw-meh'}; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve) -- air, X astrologer, heaven(-s).
      As noted, this is a DUAL word, neither singular nor plural in the multiple sense. The dual number is most often used for things that come in pairs, particularly body parts, such as the eyes, for instance. The author of this Strong's entry suggests that it refers to the atmosphere and to space visible beyond it, and in a sense, that's true. However, it really refers to the fact that the sky itself comes in a pair - the day sky and the night sky.
      Some make the mistake of thinking that Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 have a gap of time between them, but that is NOT how Hebrew literature works. The first verse is a SYNOPSIS of what is to follow. They frequently "telegraph their punches" in literature. If one is honest with himself or herself, he or she will realize that the words "et hashaamayim v'et haa'aarets" ("the heavens and the earth") in Genesis 1:1, the direct objects of God's creative power, are GIVEN those names by God in the following verses! Verse 8 in context says,
      Genesis 1:6-8 (KJV)
      6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven (Hebrew: shaamaayim). And the evening and the morning were the second day.
      God named this expanse of air between the waters above and the waters below, "shaamayim!" Adding the definite article "ha-" to this word gives one the word in Genesis 1:1, "hashaamayim."
      Verse 10 in context says,
      Genesis 1:9-13 (KJV)
      9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth (Hebrew: erets); and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it wasgood. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
      God named this dry ground "erets!" Adding the definite article (which also changes the vowel pointing) gives one the word in Genesis 1:1, "haa'aarets." There were no previous "skies and earth" because God hadn't created the expanse-between-waters and the dry-ground, yet! That wasn't accomplished until days 2 and 3 of the Creation week!
      Regarding this "shaamayim," this is where the birds are said to fly:
      Genesis 1:20-23 (KJV)
      20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament [expanse] of heaven (Hebrew: hashaamaayim = "of-the-[2]-skies"). 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
      That basically limits this expanse to the atmosphere. One might wonder about the fourth day:
      Genesis 1:14-19 (KJV)
      14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
      However, one should notice that this passage always uses the word "lights," never the "sun" or the "moon."
       
    • By ChristianGirl7770
      Hey everyone,
      Yesterday I visited a new church on my (Church Adventure). During the sermon the pastor was talking about Salvation. And the one thing that threw me off guard was the fact that he said "Revelation IS Salvation" I know that when it comes to the book of Revelation. There is lots of symbolism, and meaning to the end of days with the rapture and the mark of the beast. He tried explaining Salvation in Revelation. But it is impossible for me to see Jesus giving Salvation when he returns since he is going to bring justice for his people and finish the wicked. I wanted to know your opinion on Salvation and if it in any way relates to the book of Revelation?
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