In the last video, we examined the hope of the Other Sheep mentioned in John 10:16.

“And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses teaches that these two groups of Christians—“this fold” and the “other sheep”—are distinguished by the reward they receive.  The first are spirit-anointed and go to heaven, the second are not spirit-anointed and live on earth still as imperfect sinners.  We saw from the Scriptures in our last video that this is a false teaching.  The Scriptural evidence supports the conclusion that the Other Sheep are distinguished from “this fold” not by their hope, but by their origins.  They are Gentile Christians, not Jewish Christians.  We also learned that the Bible does not teach two hopes, but one:

“. . .One body there is, and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

Admittedly, it takes a little time to adjust to this new reality.  When I first realized that I had the hope to become one of the children of God, it was with mixed feelings.  I was still steeped in JW theology, so I thought this new understanding meant that if I remained faithful, I would toddle off to heaven, never to be seen again.  I remember my wife—seldom given to tears—weeping at the prospect.

The question is, Do the anointed Children of God go to heaven for their reward?

It would be nice to point to a scripture that answers this question unambiguously, but alas, no such scripture exists to the best of my knowledge.  For many, that’s not good enough. They want to know. They want a black-and-white answer. The reason is that they don’t really want to go to heaven.  They like the idea of living on earth as perfect humans living forever.  So do I.  It’s a very natural desire.

There are two reasons to put our minds at ease regarding this question.

Reason 1

The first I can best illustrate by putting a question to you.  Now, I don’t want you to think about the answer.  Just respond from your gut.  Here’s the scenario.

You are single and looking for a mate.  You have two options.  In option 1, you can choose any mate from among the billions of humans on earth—any race, creed, or background.  Your choice. No restrictions.  Choose the best looking, the most intelligent, the richest, the kindest or funniest, or a combination of these.  Whatever sweetens your coffee.  In option 2, you don’t get to choose.  God chooses.  Whatever mate Jehovah brings to you, you must accept.

Gut reaction, choose now!

Did you choose option 1?  If not…if you chose option 2, are you still drawn to option 1?  Are you second guessing your choice?  Do you feel you have to think about it some, before making your final decision?

Our failing is that we make choices based on what we want, not what we need—not what’s best for us.  The problem is we rarely seem to know what is best for us.  Yet we often have the hubris to think we do.  Truth be told, when it comes to choosing a mate, we all too frequently make the wrong choice. The high divorce rate is evidence of this.

Given this reality, we all should have jumped at option 2, shuddering at even the thought of the first option.  God chose for me?  Bring it on!

But we don’t.  We doubt.

If we really believe that Jehovah knows more about us than we can possibly know about ourselves, and if we truly believe that He loves us and wants only what is best for us, then why wouldn’t we want him to chose a mate for us?

Should it be any different when it comes to the reward we get for putting faith in his Son?

What we have just illustrated is the essence of faith.  We’ve all read Hebrews 11:1.  The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures puts it this way:

“Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

When it comes to our salvation, the thing hoped for is most definitely not clearly seen, despite the beautiful depictions of life in the New World found in the publications of the Watchtower Society.

Do we really think that God is going to resurrect billions of unrighteous people, responsible for all the tragedies and atrocities of history, and everything will be hunky dory from the get-go?   It’s just not realistic.  How often have we found that the picture in advertising doesn’t match the product being sold?

The fact that we cannot accurately know the reality of the reward that the Children of God receive is why we need faith.  Consider the examples in the rest of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.

Verse four speaks of Abel: “By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than that of Cain…” (Hebrews 11:4)  Both brothers could see the angels and the flaming sword standing guard at the entrance to the Garden of Eden.  Neither doubted God’s existence. In fact, Cain spoke with God.  (Genesis 11:6, 9-16)  He spoke with God!!!  Yet, Cain lacked faith.  Abel, on the other hand, won his reward because of his faith.  There is no evidence that Abel had a clear picture of what that reward would be.  In fact, the Bible calls it a sacred secret that had been hidden until revealed by the Christ thousands of years later.

“. . .the sacred secret that was hidden from the past systems of things and from the past generations. But now it has been revealed to his holy ones,” (Colossians 1:26)

Abel’s faith was not about belief in God, because even Cain had that. Nor was his faith specifically that God would keep his promises, because there is no evidence that promises were made to him.  In some way, Jehovah manifested his approval of Abel’s sacrifices, but all we can state with certainty from the inspired record is that Abel was aware he was pleasing Jehovah.  Witness was borne to him that in God’s eyes, he was righteous; but what did that mean in the final outcome?  There is no evidence that he knew. The important thing for us to realize is that he didn’t need to know.  As the writer of Hebrews states:

“. . .Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please [him] well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

And what is that reward?  We don’t need to know.  In fact, faith is all about not knowing.  Faith is about trusting in the supreme goodness of God.

Let us say you are a builder, and a man comes to you and says, “Build me a house, but you must pay for all expenses out of your own pocket, and I will pay you nothing until I take possession, and then I will pay you what I see fit.”

Would you build a house under those conditions?  Would you be able to put that kind of faith in the goodness and reliability of another human?

This is what Jehovah God is asking us to do.

The point is, do you need to know exactly what the reward will be before you can accept it?

The Bible says:

“But just as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor have there been conceived in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.’” (1 Co 2:9)

Granted, we have a better picture of what the reward entails than Abel did, but we still don’t have the whole picture—not even close.

Even though the sacred secret had been revealed in Paul’s day, and he wrote under inspiration sharing a number of details to help clarify the nature of the reward, he still only had a vague picture.

“For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known. Now, however, these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, 13)

The need for faith has not expired.  If Jehovah says, “I will reward you if you are faithful to me”, are we going to respond, “Before I make my decision, Father, could you be a little specific about what you are offering?”

So, the first reason for us not to worry about the nature of our reward involves faith in God. If we really have faith that Jehovah is supremely good and infinitely wise and overwhelmingly abundant in his love for us and his desire to make us happy, then we will leave the rewarding in his hands, confident that whatever it turns out to be will be a delight beyond anything we can imagine.

Reason 2

The second reason not to worry is that much of our concern stems from a belief about the reward that in fact, is not real.

I’m going to start off by making a rather bold statement.  Every religion believes in some form of heavenly reward and they all have it wrong.  Hindus and Buddhists have their planes of existence, the Hindu Bhuva Loka and Swarga Loka, or the Buddhist Nirvana—which isn’t so much heaven as a kind of blissful oblivion.  The Islamic version of the afterlife seems to be slanted in favor of men, promising an abundance of beautiful virgins to marry.

Within gardens and springs, Wearing [garments of] fine silk and brocade, facing each other…We will marry…fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes. (Qur’an, 44:52-54)

In them [the gardens] are women limiting [their] glances, untouched before them by man or jinni – As if they were rubies and coral. (Qur’an, 55:56,58)

And then we come to Christendom.  Most churches, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, believe that all good people go to heaven.  The difference is that Witnesses believe the number is limited to only 144,000.

Let’s go back to the Bible to begin to undo all the false teachings.  Let’s reread 1 Corinthians 2:9, but this time in context.

“Now we speak wisdom among those who are mature, but not the wisdom of this system of things nor that of the rulers of this system of things, who are to come to nothing. But we speak God’s wisdom in a sacred secret, the hidden wisdom, which God foreordained before the systems of things for our glory. It is this wisdom that none of the rulers of this system of things came to know, for if they had known it, they would not have executed the glorious Lord. But just as it is written: “Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor have there been conceived in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” For it is to us God has revealed them through his spirit, for the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-10)

So, who are the “rulers of this system of things”? They are the ones who “executed the glorious Lord”.  Who executed Jesus?   The Romans had a hand in it, to be sure, but those most culpable, those who insisted that Pontius Pilate sentence Jesus to death, were the rulers of Jehovah’s Organization, as Witnesses would put it—the nation of Israel.  Since we claim that the nation of Israel was Jehovah’s earthly organization, it follows that its rulers—its governing body—were the Priests, Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees.  These are the “rulers of this system of things” to whom Paul refers.  Thus, when we read this passage, let us not restrict our thinking to political rulers of today, but include those who are the religious rulers; for it is the religious rulers who should be a position to understand “God’s wisdom in a sacred secret, the hidden wisdom” of which Paul speaks.

Do the rulers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses system of things, the Governing Body, understand the sacred secret?  Are they privy to the wisdom of God?  One might assume so, because we are taught that they have God’s spirit and so, again as Paul says, should be able to search into “the deep things of God.”

Yet, as we saw in our previous video, these men are teaching millions of sincere Christians searching for truth that they have been excluded from this sacred secret.  Part of their teaching is that only 144,000 will rule with Christ.  And they also teach that this rule will be in heaven.  In other words, the 144,000 leave earth for good and go off to heaven to be with God.

It is said that in real estate, there are three factors you must always keep in mind when buying a house: The first is location.  The second is location, and the third is, you guessed it, location. Is that what the reward for Christians is?  Location, location, location?  Is our reward a better place to live?

If so, then what of Psalm 115:16:

“. . .As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong, But the earth he has given to the sons of men.” (Psalm 115:16)

And did he not promise Christians, the Children of God, that they would possess the earth as an inheritance?

“Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Of course, in the same passage, what is known as the Beatitudes, Jesus also said:

“Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

Was he speaking metaphorically?  Possibly, but I don’t think so.  Nevertheless, that is just my opinion and my opinion and $1.85 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks.  You must look at the facts and form your own conclusion.

The question before us stands: Is the reward for anointed Christians, whether of the Jewish fold, or the larger gentile Other Sheep, to leave earth and live in heaven?

Jesus did say:

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.” (Matthew 5:3)

Now the phrase, “kingdom of the heavens”, appears 32 times in the book of Matthew. (It appears nowhere else in Scripture.)  But notice it is not the “kingdom in the heavens”.  Matthew is not talking about location, but of origin—the source of the kingdom’s authority.  This kingdom is not of the earth but of the heavens. Its authority is therefore from God not from men.

Perhaps this would be a good time to pause and look at the word “heaven” as it is used in Scripture. “Heaven”, singular, occurs in the Bible almost 300 times, and “heavens”, over 500 times.  “Heavenly” occurs close to 50 times.  The terms have various meanings.

“Heaven” or “heavens” can mean simply the sky above us. Mark 4:32 speaks of the birds of heaven. The heavens can also refer to the physical universe. However, they are often used to refer to the spiritual realm. The Lord’s prayer starts off with the phrase, “our father in the heavens…” (Matthew 6:9) there the plural is used. However, at Matthew 18:10 Jesus speaks of ‘the angels in heaven who always look upon the face of my Father who is in heaven.’  There, the singular is used. Does this contradict what we just read from first Kings about God not being contained even in the heaven of heavens?  Not at all.  These are just expressions to give us some small level of understanding about the nature of God.

For example, when speaking of Jesus, Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter 4 verse 10 that he “ascended far above all the heavens”. Is Paul suggesting that Jesus ascended above God Himself?  No way.

We speak of God being in heaven, yet he is not.

“But will God really dwell on the earth? Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27)

The Bible says that Jehovah is in heaven, but it also says that heaven cannot contain him.

Imagine trying to explain to a man born blind what the colours red, blue, green, and yellow look like. You might try by comparing colours to temperature.  Red is warm, blue is cool. You are trying to give the blind man some frame of reference, but he still doesn’t really understand colour.

We can understand location. So, to say that God is in heaven means that he is not here with us but is somewhere else far beyond our reach. However, that doesn’t begin to explain what heaven really is nor the nature of God. We have to come to terms with our limitations if we are going to understand anything about our heavenly hope.

Let me explain this with a practical example. I’m going to show you what many call the most important photograph every taken.

Back in 1995, the people at NASA took a huge risk. Time on the Hubble telescope was very expensive, with a long waiting list of people wishing to use it. Nevertheless, they decided to point it at a tiny portion of the sky that was empty. Imagine the size of a tennis ball at one goalpost of the football field body stand at the other. How tiny that would be. That is how big the area of the sky they examined was. For 10 days the faint light from that part of the sky dribbled in, photon by photon, to be detected on the telescope’s sensor. They could’ve ended up with nothing, but instead they got this.

Every every dot, every speck of white on this image is not a star but a galaxy. A galaxy with hundreds of millions if not billions of stars. Since that time they have done even deeper scans in different parts of the sky and each time they get the same result. Do we think God lives in a place? The physical universe that we can perceive is so big that it cannot be imagined by the human brain. How can Jehovah live in a place? The angels, yes. They are finite like you and I. They must live somewhere. It would appear there are other dimensions of existence, planes of reality. Again, the blind trying to understand colour – that’s what we are.

So, when the Bible speaks of heaven, or heavens, these are simply a conventionality to assist us somewhat in understanding what we cannot understand. If we are going to try to find a common definition that links all the various usages of “heaven”,” heavens”, “heavenly”, it might be this:

Heaven is that which is not of the earth. 

The idea of heaven in the Bible is always that of something which is superior to the earth and/or earthly things, even in a negative way.  Ephesians 6:12 speaks of “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” and 2 Peter 3:7 speaks of “the heavens and the earth that are now stored up for fire”.

Is there any verse in the Bible that unequivocally says that our reward is to rule from heaven or live in heaven?  Religionists have inferred that for centuries from the Scriptures; but remember, these are the same men who have taught doctrines like Hellfire, the immortal soul, or the 1914 presence of Christ—to name only a few.  To be safe, we must disregard any teaching of theirs as “fruit of the poisoned tree”. Instead, let us simply go to the Bible, making no assumptions, and see where it leads us.

There are two questions that consume us.  Where will we live?  And what will we be?  Let us try to address the issue of location first.

Location

Jesus said we would rule with him. (2 Timothy 2:12) Does Jesus rule from heaven? If he can rule from heaven, why did he have to appoint a faithful and discreet slave to feed his flock after he left? (Mt 24:45-47) In parable after parable—the talents, the minas, the 10 virgins, the faithful steward—we see the same common theme: Jesus departs and leaves his servants in charge until he returns.  To fully govern, he must be present, and the whole of Christianity is about waiting for his return to earth to rule.

Some would say, “Hey, God can do anything he wants.  If God wants Jesus and the anointed to govern from heaven, they can.”

True. But the issue isn’t what God can do, but what God has chosen to do.  We have to look at the inspired record to see just how Jehovah has governed mankind down to this day.

For instance, take the account of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The angelic spokesman for Jehovah who materialized as a man and visited Abraham told him:

“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is very heavy. I will go down to see whether they are acting according to the outcry that has reached me. And if not, I can get to know it.”” (Genesis 18:20, 21)

It appears Jehovah didn’t use his omniscience to tell the angels what the situation actually was in those cities, but instead let them find out for themselves.  They had to come down to learn. They had to materialize as men.  A physical presence was needed, and they had to visit the location.

Likewise, when Jesus returns, he will be on the earth to rule and to judge mankind.  The Bible doesn’t speak only of a brief interval where he arrives, gathers up his chosen ones, and then whisks them off to heaven never to return.  Jesus is not present now. He is in heaven. When he returns, his Parousia, his presence will begin. If his presence begins when he returns to the earth, how can his presence continue if he goes back to heaven? How did we miss this?

Revelation tells us that “The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them…” “Reside with them!” How can God would reside with us? Because Jesus will be with us. He was called Immanuel which means “with us is God”. (Mt 1:23)  he is “the exact representation” of Jehovah’s very being, “and he sustains all things by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:3)  he is the “image of God”, and those who see him, see the Father. (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 14:9)

Not only will Jesus reside with mankind, but so will the anointed, his kings and priests.  We are also told that the New Jerusalem—where the anointed reside—comes down out of heaven.  (Revelation 21:1-4)

The Children of God who rule with Jesus as kings and priests are said to rule on the earth, not in heaven.  The NWT mistranslates Revelation 5:10 rendering the Greek word epi which means “on or upon” as “over”.  This is misleading!

Location: In Summary

While it may seem so, I am not stating anything categorically. That would be a mistake. I’m merely showing where the weight of evidence leads. To go beyond that would be to ignore Paul’s words that we only see things partially. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

This leads us to the next question: What will we be like?

What Will We Be Like?

Will we simply be perfect humans? The problem is, if we are only humans, albeit perfect and sinless, how can we rule as kings?

The Bible says: ‘Man dominates man to his injury’, and ‘it does not belong to man to direct his own step’. (Ecclesiastes 8:9; Jeremiah 10:23)

The Bible says that we will judge mankind, and more than that, we will even judge angels, referring to the fallen angels that are with Satan. (1 Corinthians 6:3) To do all this and more, we will need both power and insight beyond what any human can possess.

The Bible speaks of a New Creation, indicating something that has not existed before.

 “. . .Therefore, if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; look! new things have come into existence.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“. . .But may I never boast, except in the torture stake of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been put to death with regard to me and I with regard to the world. For neither is circumcision anything nor is uncircumcision, but a new creation is. As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:14-16)

Is Paul here speaking metaphorically, or is he alluding to something else.  The question remains, What will we be in the re-creation that Jesus spoke of at Matthew 19:28?

We can get a glimpse of that by examining Jesus. We can say this because what John told us in one of the last books of the Bible ever written.

“. . .See what sort of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. That is why the world does not know us, because it has not come to know him. Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

Whatever Jesus is now, when he is manifest, he will become what he needs to become to rule on the earth for a thousand years and restore humankind back to the family of God. At that time, we will be as he is.

When Jesus was resurrected by God, he was no longer human, but a spirit.  More than that, he became a spirit that had life within himself, life he could impart to others.

“. . .So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living person.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45)

“For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself.” (John 5:26)

“Indeed, the sacred secret of this godly devotion is admittedly great: ‘He was made manifest in flesh, was declared righteous in spirit, appeared to angels, was preached about among nations, was believed upon in the world, was received up in glory.’” (1 Timothy 3:16)

Jesus was resurrected by God, “declared righteous in spirit”.

“. . .let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you executed on a stake but whom God raised up from the dead, . . .” (Acts 4:10)

However, in his resurrected, glorified form, he was able to raise up his body. He was “made manifest in flesh”.

“. . .Jesus replied to them: “Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said: “This temple was built in 46 years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was talking about the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-22)

Notice, he was raised up by God, but heJesuswould raise up his body.  This he did repeatedly, because he could not manifest himself to his disciples as a spirit.  Humans do not possess the sensory capability to see a spirit.  So, Jesus took on flesh at will.  In this form, he was no longer a spirit, but a man.  It appears he could don and doff his body at will.  He could appear out of thin air…eat, drink, touch and be touched…then disappear back into thin air.  (See John 20:19-29)

On the other hand, during that same time Jesus appeared to the spirits in prison, the demons who had been cast down and confined to the earth. (1 Peter 3:18-20; Revelation 12:7-9) This, he would have done as a spirit.

The reason that Jesus appeared as a man was that he needed to tend to his disciples’ needs.  Take for instance the healing of Peter.

Peter was a broken man. He had failed his Lord. He had denied him three times.  Knowing that Peter had to be restored to spiritual health, Jesus staged a loving scenario.  Standing on the shore while they were fishing, he directed them to cast their net on the starboard side of the boat. Instantly, the net was overflowing with fish.  Peter recognized that it was the Lord and leapt from the boat to swim ashore.

On shore he found the Lord quietly sitting tending a charcoal fire.  The night that Peter denied the Lord, there was also a charcoal fire. (John 18:18) The stage was set.

Jesus roasted some of the fish they caught and they ate together.  In Israel, eating together meant you were at peace with one another.  Jesus was telling Peter that they were at peace.  After the meal, Jesus asked only Peter, if he loved him.  He asked him not once, but three times.  Peter had denied the Lord three times, so with each affirmation of his love, he was undoing his previous denial. No spirit could do this.  It was a very human-to-human interaction.

Let us bear that in mind as we examine what God has in store for his chosen ones.

Isaiah speaks of a King who will rule for righteousness and princes who will rule for justice.

“. . .Look! A king will reign for righteousness,
And princes will rule for justice.
And each one will be like a hiding place from the wind,
A place of concealment from the rainstorm,
Like streams of water in a waterless land,
Like the shadow of a massive crag in a parched land.”
(Isaiah 32:1, 2)

We can easily determine that the King here referred to is Jesus, but who are the princes?  The Organization teaches that these are the elders, circuit overseers, and branch committee members who will rule on the earth in the New World.

In the new world, Jesus will appoint “princes in all the earth” to take the lead among Jehovah’s worshipers on earth. (Psalm 45:16) No doubt he will select many of these from among the faithful elders of today. Because these men are proving themselves now, he will choose to entrust many with even greater privileges in the future when he reveals the role of the chieftain class in the new world.
(w99 3/1 p. 17 par. 18 “The Temple” and “the Chieftain” Today)

The “chieftain class”!?  The organization does seem to love its classes. The “Jeremiah class”, the “Isaiah class”, the “Jonadab class”…the list goes on.   Are we really to believe that Jehovah inspired Isaiah to prophecy about Jesus as King, skip over the entire body of Christ—the Children of God—and write about the elders, circuit overseers, and Bethel elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses?!  Are congregation elders ever referred to as princes in the Bible?  The ones called princes or kings are the chosen ones, the anointed children of God, and that, only after they are resurrected to glory.  Isaiah was referring prophetically to the Israel of God, the children of God, not imperfect humans.

That being said, how will they serve as refreshing sources of life-giving water and protective crags?  What need will there be for such things if, as the organization claims, the New World will be a paradise from the start?

Consider what Paul has to say about these princes or kings.

“. . .For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22)

The “creation” is seen as distinct from the “Children of God”.  The creation Paul speaks of is fallen, imperfect humanity – the unrighteous. These are not God’s children, but are alienated from God, and in need of reconciliation. These people, in their billions, will be resurrected to earth with all their foibles, biases, shortcomings, and emotional baggage intact.  God does not mess with free will.  They will have to come around on their own, decide of their own volition to accept the redeeming power of Christ’s ransom.

Like Jesus did with Peter, these ones will need tender loving care to be restored to a state of grace with God.  This will be the role of priest. Some will not accept, will rebel.  A firm and powerful hand will be needed to keep the peace and protect those who humble themselves before God. This is the role of Kings.  But all of this is the role of humans, not angels.  This human problem will not be resolved by angels, but by humans, chosen by God, tested as to fitness, and given the power and wisdom to rule and cure.

In Summary

If you are looking for some definitive answers as to where we would live and what we will be once we get our reward, I’m sorry that I cannot give them. The Lord simply has not revealed these things to us. As Paul said:

“. . .For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12)

I can state that there is no clear evidence that we will live in heaven, but the abundance of evidence supports the idea that we will be on the earth. That is, after all, the place for humanity.

Will we be able to transition between heaven and earth, between the spirit realm and the physical realm? Who can say for sure? That does seem to be a distinct possibility.

Some might ask, but what if I don’t want to be a king and a priest? What if I just want to live on the earth as an average human?

Here is what I do know. Jehovah God, through his son Jesus Christ, is offering us the opportunity to become his adopted children even now in our current state of sin.  John 1:12 says:

“However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name.” (John 1:12)

Whatever reward that entails, whatever form our new body will be, is up to God. He is making us an offer and it doesn’t seem prudent to question it, to say so to speak, “That’s fine God, but what’s behind door number two?”

Let us simply put faith in realities though not seen, trusting in our loving Father to make us happy beyond our wildest dreams.

As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

 

Meleti Vivlon