Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, September 4, 2019
This is a review of the previous six meditations. I encourage you to re-read them. They are written to, and about, those who know the Lord. You can find them on Shomair Yisrael’s website: https://syknox.org/blog/
Paul wrote of the resurrection of the dead, that his passionate pursuit of the knowledge of the Messiah was a means to an end: to participate in the resurrection of the blessed.
In Colossians he wrote of the hope of glory: our Ultimate Hope. The Resurrection of the Righteous is when the hope of glory is experienced.
If you have been born from above, then the Spirit of God lives in you. If He lives in you, you qualify for this resurrection.
Participation in the age to come is going to be amazing. Every promise God ever made will come to pass.
Ultimate Hope is the anticipation of the culmination of our salvation.
Every hope you have for God’s intervention in this life follows the pattern of Ultimate Hope. Cultivate a healthy expectation of the hope of glory. As you do, you strengthen your soul and are able to see every circumstance through the eyes of that hope.
The Hope of Heaven
The Lord taught that after death the soul lives on. At death there is an initial dividing of righteous reconciled believers –who are united to the Messiah in this life – from those alienated from God in motive, nature, action and, alas, destiny.
Paul made clear that he experienced, and expected, a separate existence of his inner-man, his soul, from his outer man. Ultimately, he expected his inner-person to be temporarily separated from his flesh, to depart, and be with the Lord. He expected to be absent from the body and be at home with Yeshua.
Right now, the spirits of the righteous-made-perfect participate in Heaven’s jubilation. They celebrate God’s victory over suffering, evil, and the powers of darkness.
A new beginning will commence. This new beginning includes the awe-filled joy of the redeemed who are amazed at the scope of this redemption. We, the goal of God’s saving love, will be filled with unspeakable joy and come into the fullness of our true identities.
God has the capacity to relate to, and experience, both the spiritual and the material realms. In the resurrection this full range of experience is given to the awakened saint. At the resurrection, wholeness is restored, fullness of human existence is brought into a holy fulfillment. The image of God in humanity will be fully restored.
Heaven is Better
Those present with the Lord will have a relationship with the Lord with whom they are present. In Heaven, their relationship with God has come into the beginnings of fullness; their understanding about themselves and reality has increased; their emotional wholeness is complete and ready to grow.
When we die and go to Heaven our souls will be instantaneously transformed. It is akin to the coming resurrection. When someone’s soul departs and goes to Heaven it is the same soul that was united to its body, but it will be changed. This is the foretaste of glorification.
We shall know as we have been known. We shall be immersed in glory. The breadth, length, height, and depth of God’s love shall immediately, permanently, affect our souls.
Imagine the fruit of the Spirit exponentially increased. That shall be our souls’ experience in Heaven. Consider righteousness, peace and joy in the Ruach ha-Kodesh revealed in unspeakable fullness in our internal lives and in relationship with others.
We are guarded by God so we might receive an eternal inheritance. Our confidence in the Father’s preservation power is the foundation of a life-directing hope.
We have hope for the future of departed loved ones. We have hope for our own futures.
Yeshua conquered death and therefore we are no longer subject to the fear of death. We await the final outcome of Yeshua’s victory. While we await the ultimate destruction of this enemy we rejoice in the Hope of Heaven: the foretaste of the Resurrection.
Of What Are We Aware When We’re Finally There?
If in this life our best relationships are marked by generous love, our relationships in Heaven will have more love. Also, our relationships will have more truth. They will have more righteousness, peace, and joy in the Lord’s Presence.
In Ephesians 1 Paul wrote of the Age to Come. In Ephesians 2:7 he wrote of AGES(!) to Come. Eons are ahead, and each age shall be an easel for the canvas of our lives as God paints increasingly creative depictions of favor revealed in His kindness towards us.
Yeshua expected us to anticipate this: we will know people with whom we were in relationship and, also, those we never met.
Contemplate the reunion of justified, righteous, loved ones meeting and communing with one another. What will their relationships be like? For one thing, they will be freed from emotional trauma, mixed motivations, and insecurity. It is going to be beyond the best of the best of times.
We shall know the kindness of God from age to age (Ephesians 2:4-7). We will know these kindnesses within the context of new, and renewed, relationships which are similar, but better. We can expect to be aware of God’s kindness toward us and those with whom we are in relationship in the presence of the victory celebration of God in His Messiah.
Heaven, the Resurrection, and Relationships
In the same way that in this life there are previews of the powers of the ages to come, so Heaven is a prelude to the Resurrection. This life’s best experiences are amplified in Heaven. Heaven’s best experiences are promises waiting to be fulfilled after our Resurrection.
According to Revelation 6 we may cautiously conclude that those who are present with the Lord know about what is going on in our lives. These souls either know what is going on through observation, or they receive reports from recently arrived saved-ones. No matter what the source of information, they are concerned, and they intercede.
Yeshua, the Risen Messiah, provides us with a pattern of our future relationships. Accordingly, the depths of the goodness of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, united and fused with our souls, is going to be revealed through a fuller manifestation of who we really are.
It is likely that there will be aspects of self-revelation imparted to us from those we knew best, and loved most. After all, who knows another perfectly in this life?
It’s going to be an amazing experience when, in Heaven, we relate to those we knew on earth. They are in the beginnings of the full revelation of God’s intention for them. They are going to be the renewed and improved people we knew. You will recognize and know them, and the relationships will reveal the ever fresh splendor of eternal life. If the disciples could interact with the risen Messiah, then you will be able to commune with your loved ones who are present with the Lord.
Hope at the Judgment
At The Judgment, believers will be rewarded. Our initial experience of being rewarded happens at the believer’s resurrection. This shall transpire at the eagerly awaited return of the Messiah. (Philippians 3:20b–21; Hebrews 9:28)
The current manifestation of the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. This is the merest hint at what God has prepared. They are the hors d’oeuvres meant to whet our appetite and prepare us for the feast. (Hebrews 6:5)
The final outcome of this judgment will be that the born-from-above child of God will be rewarded. The wonderful outcome of your work will be seen for what it is.
In 2 Corinthians 5:10 it speaks of receiving the results of our actions. 1 Corinthians 4:5 focuses on our motivations. The outcome of our motivations being judged will be approval and praise.
At the end of this age our life stories will be like Joseph’s, revealing that all things have, in fact, worked out for the good. At the Messiah’s Judgment Seat we will receive the promise of everlasting resurrection life and vindication.
Every good thing you have done as a result of His redemption has had a ripple effect. Every wonderful result will be celebrated as having been done while abiding in union with Yeshua. It is not just you who will be vindicated. God with you, God in you, will be revealed to be righteous. His judgments will be manifest.
I hope this review is helpful. I encourage you to pray about these very real hope-expectations.
Let’s share our anticipation with others who share the same hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13)
PS: Here’s a poem I wrote over twenty years ago. It is a prayer asking for God’s restorative, redemptive justice. It was written in a time of confusion, turmoil, and personal conflict. It captures something of the hope of God’s Judgment that brings about reconciliation in this life. That hope, in His revealed righteousness, anticipates our confidence in His Justice, revealed at the Day of Judgment.
When He reveals His evaluation it is possible to adjust to His way.
Shall the Judge of the whole world not exercise justice?” (Genesis 18:25b)
Lord, You are justified when you judge
You alone are pure when You speak
All Your verdicts faithful and true
Motivations weighed before You
Judgment always starts in Your house
We are silent, waiting for You
Every motive stands on its own
Every moment’s heart is laid bare
Constant consequences are weighed
In the light of justice and grace
Every passion held to the flame
And our arrogance is laid waste
We are fleeting, shadowy lives
In the darkness, can’t recognize
That eternal things are done here
Rings of ripples clash and prevail
Our reactions cannot disguise
Where responsibility lies
All our vision, darkened, untrue
Quite deceived, we think we’re like You
That You see things just like we do
We accept the sentence from You
Hoping for the time You arise
Word, divide the darkness and light
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 4 Sep 2021 27th of Elul, 5781 Parashat Nitzavim Leil Selichot
De 30:15-20 Isa 61:10-63:9 Lk 4:14-21