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The Eternal Kingdom Study - Tomorrow We Transition into the Old Testament Studies … Links Provided

THE ETERNAL KINGDOM


Only a few saints have been blessed and given the opportunity to see a vision of heaven while still in this life …


(1): Isaiah saw Heaven – (Isaiah 6:1-8) …


Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah Called to Be a Prophet

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”

4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am [a]undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin [b]purged.”

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”


-Isaiah vision has strongly influenced the development of Orthodox Christian worship … For the Church, like Heaven, has an ALTAR, A THRONE, SMOKE from the incense, and believers singing, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, “the Thrice- Holy Hymn …


(2): Ezekiel saw Heaven – (Ezekiel 1:1-28) …

-Ezekiel saw the hand of the Lord, and the four living creatures as Cherubim …

(3): John saw a New Heaven and New Earth, and God’s Eternal Kingdom is revealed as a city – (Revelation 21:1-22:5) …


-John gets to see God’s final plan for all and our salvation …


Reading these passages, we get an idea of the abundance of mystical, apocalyptic imagery … The similarities of these passages are suggesting a great reporting into these inspired visions … The living creatures, the light, the cherubic beings, the throne, and the glory of the Lord all work together to unveil a Kingdom of celestial majesty and splendor …


While confessing with the prophet Isaiah and the apostle Paul that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” – (1Corinthians 2:9), we find, taking the Scriptures as a whole, that certain things can be said about the eternal Kingdom …


(1): THE SAINTS WHO INHABIT GOD’S KINGDOM LIVE IN ACTIVE FULFILLMENT OF HIS ETERNAL PLAN … In the Kingdom, humanity becomes all it is meant to be … We were originally created to inhabit PARADISE – (the Garden of Eden), but our first parents (Ada, & Eve) chose through free will to sin against God and were expelled from the Garden of Eden (Paradise) … From that moment forward The Kingdom of God was closed to all mankind – (Genesis 3:24) … But God in His ever-enduring love for us, called His creation back to Himself, speaking through the law and the prophets and ultimately through His Incarnate Son Jesus Christ … Through new life in Jesus Christ, we are brought back by God’s mercy into the new creation, His everlasting Kingdom … As kings and priests, we will reign with Him forever – (Revelation 1:6) …


(2): WE EXPERIENCE A FORETASTE OF THE KINGDOM IN THE CHURCH … The very first words of the Divine Liturgy spoken by the priests are, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever unto the ages of ages …” The Church (Orthodox) at worship enters or ascends to the heavenly Kingdom … For it is in the Church that we are seated “TOGETHER IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS” – (Ephesians 2:6) and are raised to “Where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” – (Colossians 3:1) …

In worship we join the heavenly hosts – the saints and the angels – in giving praise to our God, our Lord and Savior … As the Body of Christ, we participate with that “great cloud of witnesses” – (Hebrews 12:1) surrounding us as we come to “the throne of God” – (Hebrews 12:2) … We also come liturgically “to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all” – (Hebrews 12:22-23) … With this heavenly vision, the Orthodox Church each Sunday remembers not only those in the parish but “all those who in faith have gone on before us to their rest …”


(3): KNOWLEDGE OF THE KINGDOM MOTIVATES US TO LIVE IN COMPLETE DEVOTION TO CHRIST … In this life, we have a foretaste of the Kingdom that inspires us to seek its fullness … In Paul’s words, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face” – (1Corinthians 13:12) … Worship is not a solitary act … Rather it is the Bride of Christ, the One Church – those on earth joining with those in heaven – giving thanks to our God and King, who has made us citizens of His magnificent domain …


The Apostle John writes, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is … And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” – (1 John 3:2-3) …


This concludes our study and our studies in the New Testament … We are now transitioning into the Old Testament, and we begin Genesis Chapter 1 – tomorrow, thanks for following my studies it’s been my pleasure to serve you all …


JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK


Links – Here is the Link to download The Orthodox Study Bible: https://www.pdfdrive.com/st-athanasius-academy-of-orthodox-theologys-the-orthodox-study-bible-ancient-christianity-speaks-to-todays-world-e158086083.html

Here is the Amazon Link for the Orthodox Study Bible:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=orthodox+study+bible&crid=359GKYH1B3Y7E&sprefix=orthodox+st%2Caps%2C887&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_11







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