BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN - PART 5
A MINISTRY OF GLAD TIDINGS
October 23, 2013
This series on Bringing Heaven Down is having a profound effect on everyone who reads it. Practically everyone who writes us rejoices at the possibility. And the subject matter has been a successful topic for conversation in the face-to-face ministry. For example, we received this email from an elder who stepped down from his position of oversight to be able to have more freeness of speech in the ministry:
“Hello my friends, I’m so enjoying the "Bringing Heaven Down" series. It is a hum dinger! I’ve had the best most fruit bearing discussions on the Perfect Will & Heaven in the Home, and let me say this you fire starter of spiritual vision. So many witnesses, and those fortunate enough not to be, just love the info because it’s real life, it’s uncommon sense that people are waking up to. I, for an old gezzer, look forward to heavenly life, but right now I’m having such a good time, I hope ‘heaven can wait.’”
Others are having similar experiences. We also received an email from a visitor who seems to appreciate the possibility of ‘bringing heaven down,’ but is concerned about a certain potential consequence – its effect on the second coming of Jesus. This visitor wrote:
“Hi!! I follow your posts. I have found them sooo encouraging. I was a former [Jehovah’s Witness] ... Maybe I'm misconstruing the heaven on earth posts.... But I don't feel we can stop Jesus return or postpone it. It says right in Bible, come quickly Lord Jesus .. amen .. That would have been 2,000 years ago... This earth needs a cleansing to be WASHED... Satan has his agenda .. Don't you want this world cleansed and under Jesus control and Satan disposed of?”
This visitor raises a valid question that should be addressed. If we are able to bring heaven down by causing the majority of mankind to turn to God, does that mean Jesus will not come? That the earth will not be cleansed? And that Satan will not be disposed of? Is a ministry of glad tidings counterproductive? Let’s see.
In Bringing Heaven Down - Turning Back Destruction, we postulate that if enough of mankind repents of our bad ways, perhaps we can turn away any coming destruction. We call this postulation “The Ninevite Possibility” based on the Biblical account of the people of Nineveh as recorded in the book of Jonah. In the article, we recognize that various national, political, and religious systems and authorities may indeed come to an end if they continue to stand in the way of the spiritual progress of man and the ministry of Jesus. Much of the uprisings we see around the world today are a result of the restless and agitated spirit in man who is exasperated with the retarded, backward, and enslaving domination by selfish and ignorant men. But what the articles speak against is the idea of a wholesale destruction of our entire system of things all at once, as preached and promoted by most Christian sects. The articles do not suggest in any way that Jesus is not going to return, nor do they imply that Satan will not be done away with.
From the email, it seems our visitor believes that Jesus will only come if mankind is deserving of destruction. In other words, he believes that the primary purpose for Jesus’ second coming is to war against mankind and destroy the vast majority of his creation (Colossians 1:15-16), culminating in the disposal of Satan. We believe this is erroneous thinking, especially since Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) We strongly believe that Christianity in general has grossly misunderstood the book of Revelation and has erroneously tied together the events in Revelation with the prophesies in the book of Matthew. We do not believe Jesus’ second coming is what is described in Revelation. We believe it is a separate and distinct event that will occur according to the Father’s timetable. In articles such as The Plain and Open Teachings of Jesus and the Bringing Heaven Down – Training Our Perceptive Powers, we discuss this in further detail.
Of course, ‘we want this world cleansed and under Jesus’ control and Satan disposed of.’ But we do not believe the method that the Prince of Peace will use to accomplish this is an all-out war. We believe Jesus’ message – the true good news of the kingdom – is what will cleanse the earth and bring it under Jesus’ control. Matthew 24:14 says that once the good news is preached, ‘then the end will come.’ The end to what? We believe it is the end to suffering, sorrow and despair by means of the restoring message of Jesus, not an end by worldwide destruction. The good news is not that God, by Christ Jesus, will destroy everything. The good news is that God, by Christ Jesus, will save everything. It is glad tidings, not doom and gloom.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
– John 3:16
As for Satan, he has already lost. Jesus conquered him 2,000 years ago. (John 14:30; 16:33) Nevertheless, most of the badness on the earth cannot be attributed to Satan. He has been given far more power and credit than he deserves. Much of man’s badness arises from and originates in his own heart:
“The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?”
– Jeremiah 17:9
“But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.”
– James 1:14-15
Satan only has power over those whose minds are blinded and who cannot see or understand or accept the true good news.
“If, in fact, the good news we declare is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through. For we are preaching, not about ourselves, but about Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For God is the one who said: “Let the light shine out of darkness,” and he has shone on our hearts to illuminate them with the glorious knowledge of God by the face of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Notice that the solution to those who are blinded by Satan is not destruction, but the ‘illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ.’ Glad tidings! When we all, as ambassadors substituting for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), reach those blind persons with the light of the good news, they will be transferred, like us, into ‘the kingdom of the son of his love.’ (Colossians 1:13) This is the change we need to see. Not just a removal of Satan, but a change in the hearts of men. This can be accomplished by the spirited preaching and teaching of the true good news.
And, yes, the time will come when Jesus will annihilate Satan and his comrades. But he does not have to destroy civilization in order to accomplish that. The removal of Satan is a matter than can be accomplished in the heavens without any involvement of man, as is symbolically prophesied:
“And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
– Revelation 20:10
A significant factor that determines how we view the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is our own hope. Do we see ourselves as sons of God with the hope of everlasting life in heaven? Or do we see ourselves as friends of God with the hope of everlasting life on earth. If we see ourselves as sons of God, we have nothing to fear. What does it matter whether the entire system crashes since our hope is secure. By our baptism, we have already agreed to give up our lives in order to attain our hope. We can go about our work with joy and thanksgiving.
Those most seriously distressed by the lingering end of the ‘system of things’ are those who want to ‘save their lives’ (Luke 17:33) – those with the ‘earthly hope.’ They agonize at the continuation of this system of things since they have been taught they would be able to ‘walk through’ the ‘Great Tribulation’ and never die. They are getting older and do not want to give up their lives in order to attain their hope. And many, we fear, have dwindling faith in the resurrection or either do not want what they perceive the earthly resurrection entails – namely, no marriage, no sex, no children. (Matthew 22:30)
This distinction in and of itself should be an eye opener to Christians. If one’s hope depends on the death and destruction of billions of lives, something is wrong with that hope. Our Father does not want such a thing:
“For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.”
– John 3:17
And no Christian Bible writer ever taught such a thing:
“This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”
— 1 Timothy 2:3-4
We must be careful that we do not impute onto God and Christ Jesus our own selfish desires and limited view of matters.
When we examine the ministry and message of Jesus, we note that it was decidedly optimistic. He preached glad tidings:
“Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away free, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.”
– Luke 4:18-19
Jesus’ message was freeing and empowering.
“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted. Happy are the mild-tempered, since they will inherit the earth. Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled. Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy. are the pure in heart, since they will see God. Happy are the peacemakers, since they will be called sons of God.”
– Matthew 5:3-9
The only ‘system’ Jesus ever prophesied against was the then-existing Jewish system of things and the ‘system’ of religious domination over man. So we wonder, who took it upon themselves to change the spirit of the good news? Who presumed to know more about the message God wants preached to our generation than does Jesus Christ? Perhaps it is those who were not looking though the spiritual lens of the ‘mind of Christ,’ but were looking through the veiled lens of the limited mind of man.
“But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
Our goal in establishing this website is to restore the plain and open teachings of Jesus and thereby uplifting the spiritual conversation away from doom and gloom as preached by traditional Christianity, and into the glory of the kingdom of the heavens as preached by Christ Jesus. We know we have quite a task on our hands, but we are confident in the power of the true good news of the kingdom and the Spirit of Truth to transform our world and to strengthen the hands of all those who choose to take up this ministry as fellow workers with God. (1 Corinthians 3:9) We believe our world is on an upward spiritual swing.
This is what the Bringing Heaven Down series is all about. There is enough bad news in the world. And we have lingered long enough on the pessimistic messages of backward and retarded religious systems that would rather see worldwide destruction than promote the plain and open, and hopeful, teachings of Jesus.
To their chagrin, the Spirit of Truth is awakening millions to their true relationship with God and with one another. It is opening our eyes to see that there is something we can do, something we must do. That is to preach the glad tidings – the true good news of the kingdom of the heavens – and let the Spirit of God do its work.
And in the meantime, we welcome your comments. Continue to our next article in this series - Bringing Heaven Down - An Open and Candid Discussion