The Thomas Pages homepage
What Is Heaven For?
"...the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows Himself holy in righteousness."

Isaiah 5:16.
The
short answer is – Justice!  
Heaven is the moral centre of the whole universe!
 
Without
Heaven, morality would be relative to personal benefit (selfishness), and the survival-of-the-fittest principle would rule by any means possible, for this is the instinctual order. 
 
 
We would then be gods in a morally insane universe, even if 'karmic justice' were true. Thank Heaven this is not so!
 
 
But, the reason for the existence of God's Heaven has been almost hopelessly confused by religious sentiment and myth, in Christian as well as in non-Christian religions.
 
Some
common ideas are that Heaven is –
'God's home'
'Where angels live'
'The spirit dimension'
'A place where the good dead go'
'The address our prayers go to ...'
'Paradise' ... ...
 
 
Very understandable, but wrong! These answers reflect the debasement of Christianity from a biblical to mythical religious world-view.
 
 
The Bible is the basis of Christianity and it paints a very different picture. It associates Heaven directly with the transcendent authority of God. It is pre-eminently – the place of His 'Throne'. This is not a reference to furniture, but to His rule – His authority.
 
 
The Bible's closer view of Heaven is of a great 'court'. It is not a royal court in the modern sense, but in the ancient sense (the time in which the descriptions were written). It is a view of the king as supreme judge of his domain and of his court as the place of final judicial appeal.
 
 
Thus the overall management of law and order is Heaven's primary purpose, as it should be of any form of government today. Of God. the Bible says –
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne"
Psalm 89:14.
 
In other words, God's authority, God's government over this universe, is firstly moral! If that idea raises even more questions, it is probably because our understanding of government and God's understanding of it do not quite coincide.
 
 
It is important to understand that God does not police our earth! That issue is our job. But, Heaven remains the judicial centre of this universe, God's universe.

 
The Court  
 
"Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings? In the Council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
He is more awesome than all who surround Him."
This inspired view of God is more than the pomp of a king holding court. This is the Supreme  Council over which God presides.
Psalm 89:7.
 
Daniel presents us with a similar scene in God's revelation to him of the prophetic sequence of empires to the end time. 
"As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The Court was seated, and the books were opened."
Daniel 7:9-10
 
In the New Testament book of Revelation, John's vision of Heaven reflects this same scene (4-5). Daniel's "thrones" are shown to be twenty-four Assessors around the Supreme Judge, facing the awesome majesty of His presence.
 
  This Court exercises judicial supervision over all supernatural beings –
"God stands in the congregation of the mighty; in the midst of the gods He judges.
'How long will you judge unjustly and lift up the faces of the wicked? ---
Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy; save them out of the hand of the wicked.'
They neither know nor will understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
'I have said, You are gods; and all of you sons of the Most High.
But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.'
Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all the nations."
Psalm 82:1-8.
 
Unfortunately, inaccurate New Testament manuscripts upon which the influential King James Version of the Bible was based, in about 1611 AD, created the false impression that these twenty-four Elders symbolize believers. This textual error in Rev.5:9 ('us' instead of 'people') encouraged misinterpretation of the Assessors as simply symbolic of God's people represented numerically from the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles of Jesus to make 24, and then from that it was derived as a symbol of the Old and New Covenants. This error became traditional among scholars even though Christ expressly based the number of His apostles on the number of the tribes of Israel to identify His mission as limited initially only to the whole twelve-tribe house of Israel (Matt.10:4-6).
The number of Assessors in Heaven's court has more to do with the division of a day into 24 parts, in two groups of twelve, as in ancient Egypt from the division of the year into 12 moons, to represent God's government of time.
But
according to the Bible's own perspective therefore (Daniel 7 and Revelation 4,5), these twenty-four are the presiding officers of the great Court of God, the court which awards the kingdom to Christ. For this reason more than any other, these 'Elders' or Seniors cannot symbolize believers of either the Old or of the New Covenants. We, symbolically or otherwise, cannot confer anything on CHrist. We have standing before God only in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
 
Outside of Christ, believers have no standing whatsoever before God. Therefore, that anything representing us could ever be thought to award anything to Christ is worse than silly. This idea becomes even more bizarre when one remembers the angel's inspired interpretation of the Court scene to Daniel –
"But the Court will sit, and his [Antichrist's] power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever. Then the sovereignty, power and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High."
Daniel 7:26-27
  The saints awarding themselves?  – Of course not!  
 
These angelic Assessors are part of God's judicial administration of the universe; a universe in which the angels of God have a real and intelligent role to fulfil at various levels. For this reason Jesus Himself said –
"And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,
but the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God."
Luke 12:8-9.
 
It is with this judicial perspective that the prophet Micaiah presents Heaven as a court issuing sentence against king Ahab – a court in which even deceiving spirits/demons are present and accountable (1 Kings 22:19-22).

 
Court Process  
King David's experience is useful to illustrate the working of the Court of God in the affairs of this world. The Bible tells us of a national economic crisis in Israel, which had its cause in a past political injustice. 
"During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, 'It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death." (2 Sam.21:1).
The weather patterns had denied Israel rain for three long years (almost as long as Elijah's drought). The economy of the country was being brought down. King David prays desperately for help. God says the problem is a matter of justice. The previous head of state had violated Israel's mutual defence treaty with the Amorite community of Gibeon. Time to redress this injustice had run out and judgment was now upon the nation.
 
 
David consults the survivors of Saul's massacre. Guilt by association is accepted in the redress that follows. The victims receive their delayed judicial satisfaction, and –
"After that, God answered prayer on behalf of the land"
2 Samuel 21:14.
 
Again, lest it be thought that the Court only overseas the affairs of Israel, the experience of the world's most powerful head of state illustrates its process. Nebuchadnezzar had built up Babylon to its greatest architectural glory. 
"Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Dan.4:30).
But a year earlier he had been warned by God through Daniel that he would be sentenced to seven years of insanity because of his pride if he did not correct himself by - "being kind to the oppressed" (4:27). He did not, and God's angel carried out the Court's verdict.
 
  Israel's arrogance is also judged through the precipitate of Satan's trap and David's military pride (1 Chron.21:1-15)  
This Court also processes accusations –  
    • Job accused (Jb.1:6-12;2:1-7, innocence accused);
  • Peter accused (weakness accused).
 
 
Petition before God (Prayer has power only when it is heard
"He sends from Heaven and saves me" (Ps.57:3).

Remember, 'numbers' only matter in prayer, not because many pray, but because many care (Dorcas' healing is an example of this, Ac.9:39-41).

 
The Judge  
 
The All Glorious – whose own moral character is both the basis of His qualification to judge and the ultimate standard against which all justice is measured!

 
The Officers  
 
The officers of Heaven are generally described by us under the term 'Angels' – whom the Bible calls Messengers (angelos).
  • They are asexual, as Jesus described them when refuting Jewish objections (by the Sadducees) to the idea of a resurrection body. 
  • They function within an organized structure of authority. 
  • They operate by the parameters of history written for them in 'the book of truth' (Daniel 10:21).
  • They implement special instructions arising from God's response to petitions and prayer (Dan.9:23).
  • Their origin preceded the beginning of the physical universe (Job 38:4-7).
  • They are eye-witnesses of the Creator's original intention/design (1 Cor.11:10).

See: Angels of God
Injustices of Justice  
 
"God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech. God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers." 
Judges 9:23-24.
 
 
  Our Advocate Enters  
 
The ascension of Jesus Christ was a unique turning point in history. This was the beginning of a new experience in the lives of those who believed –
"And they worshiped Him [Christ ascended] and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and were continually in the temple blessing God."
(Lk.24:52-53).
 
  Christ and the Christian centuries (1 John 2:1-2).  
 
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."

1 John 2:1-2.
  Prosecutor Expelled  
  Satan and the last Holocaust (Rev.12:7-17)
"Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God."
Revelation 12:10.
 
 
The Final Sitting  
 
The Books are opened (Rev.20:11-15)
"Then I saw a great white Throne and Him who was seated on it.
From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the Throne, and books were opened.
Then another book was opened, which is the book of life.
And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done."
Revelation 20:11-12.
 
 
  Heaven Closes Down  
  The cubic 'New Jerusalem' begins, within which is the Throne* of God and the Lamb (Rev.21, 22) *'Throne' singular
 
 
It is important
to remember that the symbolism in the Book of Revelation is only symbolism in appearance, but that which is seen is real. This is exemplified in its first chapter where Jesus is seen –
"I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around His chest. The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. In His right hand he held seven stars, from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full strength."
See:
Revelation Commentary
His
appearance is symbolic but He Himself is real!
Likwise – the appearance of the Church of Jesus in the Revelation is symbolic but it is real.
In other words the New Jerusalem is not a place! It is the symbolic appearance of the Redeemed of the Lord from all ages, upon which the future of all turns.
 

The Angels of God Antichrist 'Christian' Fallacies Satan A Structure of History

back
Copyright © Lloyd Thomas 2007-2014. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Feel free to copy, as long as this full copyright notice is included.

FOR A ROUGH TRANSLATION SIMPLY CHOOSE A LANGUAGE