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I received the following question:

Nathan, I have over time greatly appreciated your help to us in study of God’s Word.

Recently had the pleasure of listening and studying your talk on the Resurrections at the 2015 conference.

I have a question and need for clarifying a couple of points.

You explained that you believed Enoch was translated to heaven without seeing death.

Did you mean that he was translated so quickly he did not see death, or that he is now permanently in heaven with the Lord and did not die, but went thru a change into an immortal body? Some type of out resurrection/translation? Could Paul also have had similar as Enoch translation if he desired?

The faith chapter mentions a number of people of faith, but it says these ….ALL
DIED not as yet receiving the promises, of these, Enoch is mentioned. Was he also one that died not having received the promises, or are we to assume he is excluded from the list that died. It did say these all died?

Thanks for your input on this. Read the rest of this entry »

angelart02I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, clear this up for me from the last Bible study you said Satan at one time was guarding Gods throne and he was a Cherubim. In Isa. 6:1-7 it has the Seraphim hovering over God’s throne and they have six wings the highest order. That would make the Cherubim the 2nd order of Angels. Talk to you soon.

Thanks for the good question!

I would agree that the cherubim are guarding the throne of God, as we see in Ezekiel 10, which reveals that the living creatures surrounding the throne of chapter 1 are the cherubim. Read the rest of this entry »

ghostman02I received the following questions:

Many of my friends are arguing with me about the reason we are resurrected is for our heavenly bodies but not because we are not in heaven when we die (sheol).  I don’t really know what to say to this?

I’ve been reading in Hebrews that Hezekiah was pleading not to die, but if he thought he was going to heaven when he died why would he plead to not die, right?  Does this make sense for an argument against not going to heaven when you die?

Any help please?

Your friends are arguing, not based on Bible truth, but on the doctrines and traditions of men. Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. Literally in Hebrew, this reads, “Dying you will not die.” Eve believed him…that dying, she would not be dead, but be in some other state, “like God.” (verse 5.) And the vast majority of people on earth, including most Christians, still believe what Satan said rather than what God said. They refuse to believe that death results in being dead, instead insisting that the dead are still very much alive. Read the rest of this entry »

goingup02I received the following question:

I have a quick question concerning heaven.  You know how the word heaven is used today in the Christian church how that people say they are going to heaven or that their relatives are in heaven.

I understand that the word heaven appears in the Bible over 600 times, are there any scripture verses that has the word heaven and that believer go to heaven at dead in the same verse?  I don’t think so; just want to get someone else’s opinion.  Appreciate your quick response.

You are correct. No, there are no verses that say this anywhere in the Bible. The verses they stake all on are II Corinthians 5:8, misquoted as “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” This says nothing about death or heaven, and besides being misquoted is badly translated. John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” There is nothing saying the “Father’s house” is heaven. In fact, in John 2, the phrase (the only other place in the Word it is used) is clearly speaking of the temple in Jerusalem. Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse is the “impregnable fortress” that they try to hide behind to rescue their traditional ideas. However, the meaning of the verse is far from clear, and to say that we wait for a Savior from heaven is a far cry from saying we are going there, either at death or any other time. Other than these few, misused and abused verses, there is no evidence of anyone going to heaven upon death in the Bible.

Thanks for the great question.

ladder02It is doubtful that there is any single belief Christians have that is so deep-seated and so taken for granted as those regarding heaven. For those of us who base our beliefs on the Bible, not on the Christian church, there are still very few who dare to re-examine the issue of heaven, or to compare what they believe with what is written in the Scriptures. Long before one comes to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the idea that “good people go to heaven when they die” is solidified in the mind. When one becomes a believer, that might transfer a bit to “those who believe in Jesus Christ go to heaven when they die,” but other than this change, this belief really is never reconsidered or examined in the light of God’s Word.

Perhaps there is no one view out there so in need of study and thoughtful examination in the light of God’s Word than this view regarding heaven. Yet there is also probably no view out there which so few would ever be willing to reconsider. The idea of heaven is taught to most of us from almost the time we can talk by our parents, whether they were true believers or not, and it is one that has so much emotion tied to it that few would even be open to any changes regarding it whatsoever. The fact that we claim loyalty to the Bible makes no difference regarding this. It has always been believed by most that the Bible teaches about people going to heaven, and this idea has been so brainwashed into the minds of men that they never would even consider going to the Bible to see if this is really so.

That said, the true student of Scripture should not shy away from subjecting any teaching or belief, no matter how foundational or obvious in the minds of the majority, to the revealing light of the Word of God. If we desire to be believers in the Scriptures rather than just more traditionalists, it is beliefs such as this one that we most need to subject to a Biblical examination. And perhaps there is no better way to do this than the method I have demonstrated before in examining the subjects of the spirit and the soul. That method is to take the Hebrew and Greek words involved, and to examine every occurrence of them to see how the Spirit of God uses them in the Word of God. Then and only then can we get God’s teaching on this subject, rather than man’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

heaven-sky02I received the following question:

What does the phrase “third heaven” mean? It is part of scripture in the KJV, 2 Cor. 12:2. As far as I know, there is no reference to a “second Heaven.” And the only reference I could find to a “first heaven” is in Rev 21:1. Can you try to explain this phrase to me please?

The most common view out there, it seems at least from my experience, is that this refers to “levels” of heaven. Those who suggest this view point out that sometimes what we call the “sky” is called heaven, the place where the birds fly (see the phrase “birds of the heaven” in verses like Job 35:11, Psalm 79:2, 104:12, Jeremiah 4:25, etc.) The second heaven, they would suggest, is the greater sphere of the universe, containing the sun, moon, stars, and planets, such as in Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3, Joshua 10:13, II Kings 23:5, etc. The third heaven, they would suggest, is the place where the Lord and the angels are said to dwell (as in Genesis 22:11, 22:15, Deuteronomy 4:39, etc.)

This view seems very nice on the surface of it, but it leaves a multitude of questions. First of all, since the word “heaven” means “lifted up” or “exalted,” it does fit with all three of these things, and all of them are called “heaven” in Scripture. Yet since to the Hebrews this word just was indicating things that are over and above, though this fits well with all of them, it makes no sense to number them or put them in any kind of order. Why, then, this sequence? What point or purpose is there in it? And if this is all it means, what does it tell us in II Corinthians 12:2 any more than just the word “heaven” would have conveyed? What possible teaching could there be in the fact that the heaven that is God’s home is “third”? Wouldn’t it be more fitting to call it “first,” as being first in importance? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Referring to when Christ shall reign from Heaven, you say: “Heaven will be the seat of God’s government, and Christ will be in heaven, reigning from the throne. ” I agree with what you say about where Christ will be reigning from during His pre-parousia kingdom. However, this presents another question in my mind. I have read in one of Otis Sellers’ articles that he believed toward the end of his ministry that the church of this dispensation would not be located far above all heavens when we appear with Him in glory but that we would be on this earth instead. I have not heard you speak on any of this yet but I am just trying to understand what would be wrong with the idea of us having access to where our Lord is now dwelling “in heaven” and from whence He will be ruling during those pre-millennial days of His kingdom. Maybe you could comment on this for me.

I believe Mr. Sellers adopted this idea right about at the middle of his ministry (circa 1955, his ministry going from about 1925 to 1985.)

You use some interesting words in phrasing this question. First you use the word “located,” then the phrase “having access to.” Where you are “located” would be where you base your operations, where you live your life, ultimately where you are dwelling. Having access to a place is a far different matter. Read the rest of this entry »

As we study through the book of John, we come upon a very interesting passage in John 14:2-3.  Many have lauded this as a very beautiful passage, and indeed it is.  Yet this is another one of those passages that it is very difficult to deal with.  This is not because it is hugely difficult to figure out what the Lord is talking about, or that what He intended to say is unclear.  The reason this passage is hard to deal with is because it has been used by many as a passage relating to death, and to comfort people whose loved ones have died.  This passage is often quoted at funerals, and many are the mourning relatives who have been comforted by the thought that the Lord Jesus has received a deceased loved one into a mansion in heaven.  Yet, emotions or not, it is necessary for those of us who deal, not with popular interpretations, but rather with truth, to examine this passage and see if this is indeed what the Lord was saying, or if there is another explanation that the Word of God would set forth to us. Read the rest of this entry »

heaven or hellI was listening to a Christian music radio station as I was driving in my car today, and I happened to hear a song that contained the line, “There is just one Heaven, and there is just one Hell.” I started thinking about this, and realized how weak a Biblical foundation such a statement is laid upon. First of all, the Hebrew and Greek words for Heaven are plural almost every time they are used in Scripture (although not every time.) So how can there be only one Heaven? Then there is the statement, ” the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s.” (Deuteronomy 10:14, King James Version) How can there be one Heaven if there are Heavens and a Heaven of Heavens? Read the rest of this entry »

Road To HeavenMany of those who hold to the advanced dispensational view have correctly noted the significant phrase “in heavenly places” that occurs exclusively in post-Acts books of Paul. This phrase is somewhat mysterious, and has caused much speculation, conjecture, and difference of opinion among progressive dispensational believers. Some think that it refers to some super-heavenly sphere that exists far above the regular heaven. Others suppose that it should be translated as “the heavenlies,” and refers to a place other than heaven, perhaps where specially blessed believers get to go. We will examine this phrase and its meaning in this article.

First of all, let us get all the relevant facts before us and examine all occurrences of this phrase in the Scriptures. This phrase seems to be unique to the book of Ephesians. Let us examine each occurrence in order. Read the rest of this entry »