PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART 109

PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART 109.

To become a member of that wonderful crowd in Revelation, one must heed the invitation of the Lamb of God.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If one thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).

Jesus became the Risen Christ on earth and appeared in a tangible and visible form to over five hundred believers (I Corinthians 15:6). How will He look like in heaven where there is “no flesh and blood” to identify a person (I Corinthians 15:50)? It is a concern for people who expect to have attractive, tangible, and visible bodies in heaven. Let us see what Jesus taught life in heaven would be like. The Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife and tried to tease Jesus and they were unprepared for Jesus’ answer, because there is no reproduction in heaven. God can only deal with a man when he is alive and not when he is dead. Heaven is a homecoming day for the soul and not for the flesh and the blood. All the changes and sacrifices to appease God and Christ must be made on earth.

The same day Sadducees came to Jesus, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked Him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and the third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her.” 

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God. ‘I Am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching (Matthew 22:23-33).      

WHAT BODY, WHAT FORM, OR WHAT SHAPE WILL THE SPIRIT BEINGS HAVE?

According to Jesus, the resurrected redeemed souls will be like angels. Angels are servants of God and hence heavenly messengers capable of communicating with and guarding man. The three visitors that Abraham entertained were angels sent by Yahweh to announce that Sarah would bear Abraham Isaac a legal heir (Genesis 18:1-15). Angels guarded Abraham’s grandson Jacob before he reformed and became the father of Israel. Jacob had this remarkable dream:

Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place, and stayed the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the pace he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the females of the earth bless themselves. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:10-17).

To Moses, the angel spoke from a burning bush (Exodus 3:2). To Joshua, an angel appeared as the commander of the Lord’s army 5:14-15). David believed that the Lord had sent an angel to punish him for having sinned by counting God’s people (II Samuel 24:16-17). During the days of Elisha the prophet, the Arameans(Syria) tried to subject Israel but could not because Elisha knew how to spoil their plots. So, the Aramean army surrounded Elisha’s home and frightened his servant Gehazi. The servant learned that there were more good angels than Arameans or Syrians.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around about the city. And the servants said, “Alas, mymaster! What shall we do?” He said, “Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed, and said, “O LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the you man, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha Prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray thee, with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. And Elisha said to them, “This is it the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

As Soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and lo, they were in the midst of Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I slay them? Shall I slay them?” He answered, “You shall not slay them. Would you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your God? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” So he prepared for a great feast; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians came no more on raids into the land of Israel (II Kings 6:15-23). 

GOD USED ANGELS TO CARRY HIS REDEMPTIVE NEWS TO MANKIND AND ANGELS CARE FOR MAN IN NEED

To announce the birth of Christ, the angel Gabriel was dispatched to the Virgin Mary in Nazareth, Galilee (Luke 1:26-38). An angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to be the earthly father of the Son of God (Matthew 1:18-25). A Choir of angels welcomed the baby Jesus to Bethlehem:

And in the region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen as it had been told them (Luke 2:8-20).

Then an angel of the Lord warned Joseph and Mary of Herod’s evil intentions to kill baby Jesus, and when it was safe to return to Nazareth an angel informed the couple  (Matthew 2:13-23). Jesus, Himself, after he was being tempted by the devi, angels attended Him (Matthew 4:11). In Gethsemane, praying on the Mount of Olives, when Jesus was exhausted an angel was sent to strengthen Him (Luke 22:39-46). Angels greeted the women on resurrection day to an empty tomb (John 20:12). Children have their angels with God all the time:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:10-14).

The rejected, by the rich, have angels watch and care for the rejected and poor. Lazarus was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom, where he received tender care and plenty nourishment. The parable is significant because it teaches that humans will know each other and regret having failed in their duties for those who needed their help. And it also teaches that in the future world good and evil will not coexist side by side like in this world (Luke 16:19-31).

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

THE GOOD ANGELS SHALL BE VERY BUSY WHEN CHRIST RETURNS

The Son of God or Jesus the Christ had legions of angels at his disposal. The belief that Jesus would call on his heavenly army when he was arrested, was not unreasonable. One disciple began to swing the sword, but Jesus gave this answer: 

And Judas Iscariot came up to Jesus and said, “Hail, Master!” And he kissed Jesus. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here ?” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook him and fled (Matthew 26:49-56).

JESUS PROMISED TO RETURN AND PICK UP HIS DISCIPLES

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Matthew 24:29-35).

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Then one of the elders addressed John, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb is the midst of the throne, will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:13-17).