December 15th, 2016

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There are so many texts that assert a glorious place for Israel in the Age to come.  Space only allows us to quote a few.

Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. (Joel 3:20)

I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; They will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God. (Amos 9:13-15)

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.   Many peoples will come and say, “Come let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out form Zion, the word of the LORD form Jerusalem.  He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2: 1-4)

These scriptures seem to describe conditions on a renewed Earth, not in Heaven.

Note the parallel in Isaiah 11.  After the sword comes from the anointed of the LORD, the Messiah, and He slays the wicked, we read in vv. 4-9:

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, The calf and the lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hold of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

This description again is of a renewed Earth.

Isaiah 2, Isaiah 19:20-24Isaiah 65, 66Zechariah 14, Malachi , Rev. 11, Acts 15, Romans 15, Rev. 21.  These passages describe a real world with real people who are wonderfully distinct.  The Age to Come is best understood as all goodness, beauty and truth that we have known in this world, redeemed and enhanced at an amazing level beyond our comprehension.