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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.
You are what is known as: A GOOD BROTHER :)
I like all that you shared James, and would add a thought to your below comment that I know you know.
James: when we speak, not even God will make any distinction between us speaking and Him speaking.
Paul: Jesus speaks as king of all in perfect harmony with GOD. And from there each member speaks in perfect harmony with GOD pertaining to their place in Christ. As regards other aspects of eternal life and order, we are in complete trust and yieldedness to that portion of Christ given that place.
Why do you call me good? There is none good but God. :)
Must be the life in me :)
The New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven IS Heaven and Earth coming together.
The prevailing Christian tradition is that if we are saved we are going to a place called heaven. If you take that as the truth, then what is this at the end of the Bible called the New Jerusalem. It must be heaven, it must be the place we are going.
However, the Scripture says that there is a new heaven and a new earth, and that the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth, strongly implying the new heaven and the New Jerusalem are not the same. Can the New Jerusalem both come down from and be heaven? Can the New Jerusalem be both the wife of the Lamb and a physical city? I do not think so. I believe that the man and the woman in Genesis 1-2 are a figure, and this is also a figure.
Revelation 21:1&2 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I think we need to have our minds renewed. What John is seeing here is the fulfillment and consummation of God's will and intention for man revealed in Genesis 2. When Jehovah "took the rib and built the rib into a woman and brought her to the man, and the two became one" this is a figure, a type. The consummation is seen here in the last two chapters of the Bible. This is the corporate counterpart of Christ, the consummation of God "building the woman."
Taking care of the word of the Scriptures is not as simple as one might think. Many, many things commonly repeated among believers are not in the Bible. People repeat them so often and for so long that it is assumed it is the Scripture.
As an example, have you heard someone speak of walking on "streets of gold" in heaven? Nowhere in the Scriptures are there "streets of gold". The New Jerusalem has one street, which is gold. It having only one street is an important sign. I signifies that in God there is only one way and one walk. Many streets implies that you have your way and I have my way and that all ways are good. This is not right.
Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Why make an issue? Because God's word is His word. What is not His word has some other source. In the beginning is the word, and the word is God. This word is full of life and the life is the light of men. This is my experience. If an angel appeared to me in radiant glory and spoke something not out of the word, I would oppose him. That is my view and the burden in my heart.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This is Jesus' prayer for us brothers.
Amen Fred, so does the word lead us to a necessity of our obeying GOD, or to a place of abandonment to GOD that we might be found obeying, trusting, and loving Him in truth. That abandonment to GOD compels us to get off the throne of the life given us, and enthrone His Son. Have we gone through that door, straight gate? Or are we still alive walking as best we can? Is it finally a statement of who we are, or who GOD is?
so does the word lead us to a necessity of our obeying GOD
The Lord is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17)
We receive the Spirit through the hearing of faith, and we are bountifully supplied with the Spirit through the hearing of faith.
Obeying the word by keeping the law is the work of the flesh. Receiving the Spirit through the hearing of faith is to live Christ.
Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Yes dear brother, I agree100%. How to relate to these things through our Lord is a real testing ground IMO. James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. I see nothing for any of us apart from the mercy of GOD. Yet, that being true, how we can be hindered from a pure/mature walk with GOD through any compromise. Who is sufficient for these things = Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.