Bringing Heaven To Earth
Bringing Heaven to Earth
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday 27th October, 2019
We’ve been following a bit of a series these last couple of weeks – and it’s all been centred around the life changing revelation that – “To live is Christ!”
And I’ve realised that what God is really wanting to do with us, is to get us to see with even more clarity and confidence, who we really are – because out of that revelation, everything else in life will flow. When you really know who you are – in Christ, you then have a clearer vision of what you are meant to be doing with your life – and how you are meant to be expressing yourself in the world.
We are Born For More! More revelation and expression of Jesus Christ in our life!
When you know how much your Father in heaven loves you as a son or daughter – you can do anything! It changes how you not only see yourself, but how you see the world – and how you see others.
Last week I spoke about the literal and physical unveiling that happened when Jesus died for us – when He paid the price of death for our sin on the cross of Calvary.
The actual veil, which was a massive, thick and heavy curtain, that separated the people from the very presence of God within the tabernacle – it was torn in two from top to bottom – right at that moment of Jesus’ death.
All of a sudden, the separation was removed, and we were all given free access to the very presence and heart of God.
Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for sin. His blood was shed once and for all. No longer would the blood of animals have to be shed for our sin, as was the the usual practice in the tabernacle.
So not only did Jesus make a way for the people of God to come close to His presence on the mercy seat in the tabernacle on earth – but He also sprinkled His own blood upon the mercy seat in heaven.
Hebrews 9:12 (Passion), “And he has entered once and forever into the Holiest Sanctuary of All, not with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the sacred blood of his own sacrifice. And he alone has made our salvation secure forever!”
He secured our salvation. We are forever in a place of security with Jesus in heaven.
And I love that scripture from the Passion Translation that says:
Hebrews 6:19-20 (Passion), “We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us…”
Our salvation is held by an unbreakable anchor that is attached to the mercy seat. I have never seen that vision before. But now I’ll never forget it. My soul is anchored in the mercy seat in heaven. Your soul is anchored in the mercy seat in heaven.
So this leads me then to where I believe the Holy Spirit is taking us this morning.
If we are held by heaven – through Jesus our Saviour and the mercy of God – then heaven itself can’t be all that far away.
In fact, there are other scriptures that express that closeness to Jesus and to heaven.
I may have many scriptures this morning – but to be honest, I don’t know of any better way to get this message across. It’s actually the Word of God that will transform us – not the words of Jim White.
Ephesians 2:5-6 (Passion), “Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace! He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!”
You see, heaven isn’t a place like we think of a place. Where you live, in your street – that is a place. Today we are meeting together in a place – 52 De-Havilland Cres – in a physical building. We experience, for the most part, a three dimensional world. Except for when we get lost in worship, or God speaks some revelation to us through His Word and reveals something by His Spirit, or we get a vision that we know isn’t part of our natural world. We do have those moments where we seem to cross over into another dimension.
Heaven is not so much a place – it’s a realm. It’s another dimension. It’s something that we don’t yet understand. But just because we don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. We know it’s there! We have glimpses of it. We have all pretty much seen heaven crossing over to our world – whether it’s through experiencing or witnessing a divine healing – God’s supernatural provision – His Grace towards us when we know we deserve the opposite…
I had a special time with Barrie Wright during the week, with all his family gathered around. And Barrie was with us in one moment, then he was gone off somewhere else the next. And then he’d be back again. I know we can explain that naturally because of medication…
But I had this sense that he was in a transition from this earthly realm to the heavenly realm. It’s like he was going backwards and forwards.. in preparation for His eternal home. Only he really knows what that was like.
But it felt like heaven was so close…
On Friday we popped in again, and he’s sitting up in bed – again – a bit confused about where he was – but he knew us, and he chatted with us, and even asked us how we were. As if that was the real issue….
Judy came over and said to him, do you know who’s here with you? Meaning of course, do you know it’s Jim and Venese? And Barrie looked at her for a moment and said – Jesus!
I couldn’t think of a more perfect answer. Jesus was there with Barrie and most likely closer to him than He had ever been. It was beautiful.
There’s a biblical example of this very close heavenly dimension as Jesus leads Peter, James and John – not to some far away distant cosmos… but simply up a mountain.
Matthew 17:2-8, “and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”
Have you ever thought much about that story? I just think it’s an example of heaven being so close – and I bet Jesus didn’t really have to go up a mountain. That was probably more about privacy than anything else. But out of nowhere – as if stepping from one dimension into another – two of the old patriarchs who had been dead for hundreds of years simply walk out of heaven and into the earth. And Jesus is transfigured by that realm as well. Heaven is not that far away!
Even now – for all of us who are in Christ – we are at the same time living this earthly existence – but also seated with Christ in heavenly places.
We are in one sense – spiritually positioned – in heaven with Jesus. And we are also here. We are part of this world – with all its good – and all it’s brokenness and evil.
We are with Jesus already in heaven. And He is also just as much with us here on earth – in this natural realm.
He is with us in and through the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went into heaven soon after His resurrection, He then sent the Holy Spirit to empower us and to help us and to become the presence of God within. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. And they are One with the Father. They are just different expressions of the same Person – God Almighty – Yahweh!
How is this for a bold, but I believe true statement. Wherever Jesus is – heaven is there!
And now we are His dwelling place on earth.
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV), “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (Passion), “Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!”
God has always had His tabernacle, His temple, His sanctuary on earth…
Even where it says that Jesus came and dwelt among us – it actually means – He came and tabernacled with us. He pitched His tent among us.
This tabernacle or dwelling with his people has taken different forms in different seasons. But in this season – as we move closer and closer to His kingdom and reign being fully established over all the earth – His tabernacle is now His people – all of those who love Him and have invited Him into their lives – whether we are Jews, Gentiles, white, black, men, women, children… all the walls of separation have been removed in Jesus.
There are no more veils – no more walls – no more false coverings…
And so – let’s walk in and fulfil the heart of Jesus – and the prayer He taught us to pray:
Luke 11:2 (NKJV), “So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
In other words – let all that is happening in the supernatural realm of heaven, also be happening in the natural realm of the earth.
This is the desire of Jesus. And the only way that heaven is going to come to earth is through the us. Because Christ, through His Spirit, now dwells and tabernacles in us. We are now filled with all the fullness of God.
By the way – how is this for confirmation that heaven in within…?
Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV), “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Luke 17: 21 (Passion), “The kingdom is not discovered in one place or another, for God’s kingdom realm is already expanding within some of you.”
The kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are interchangeable expressions of the same thing.
I’m praying that the kingdom of heaven is actually expanding on the inside of each one of us right now. I feel like this message is part of the expansion of our understanding of who we really are! It’s part of our stepping into the prophetic declaration that we are Born For More!
So how do we bring heaven to earth?
Personally, we expand and enlarge ourselves through reading the Word of God. By praying in the spirit. By positioning ourselves in environments and atmospheres where we step across into the dimension of heaven – and we do that through worship, with songs of praise and gratitude, by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s presence in the world, in other people…
We can come into agreement in faith – to see signs and wonders, miracles, healing, salvations…
But then we bring heaven to earth by choosing to live as Christians are meant to live as light and salt to the world.
We will influence our world by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
And it’s by allowing the gifts of the Spirit to flow freely through us. For example: a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues.
Heaven on earth will look like you and I expressing the true, unconditional love and compassion of God to others. It will be seeing the blind receive sight. Seeing the broken restored. Seeing the captive set free. Seeing the poor given help.
Heaven is there when we minister and care for the sick – when we weep with the grieving – when we laugh and celebrate with those who are rejoicing.
But out of all of that – love is the greatest expression of heaven out of it all.
I don’t know if you remember much of what the Bishop said at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. He spoke about the power of love.
He said: “The late Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. once said and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”
That’s heaven coming to earth – love changing the world.
He then said: “Ultimately the source of love is God himself: the source of all of our lives.
There’s an old medieval poem that says, “Where true love is found, God himself is there.”
He goes on: “Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world – and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself! I’m talking about power. Real power. Power to change the world.”
And the last quote from the Bishop: “My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.”
He might as well have said: God is love, love changes the world, and that is heaven coming to earth.
Who knows? – it’s pretty plain and easy to see hell on earth. The prospect of a brand new summer without any rain on the horizon, must be like hell on earth for our farmers out west.
The suffering – the pain of separation that comes with death – the injustice and greed of those who are just trying to line their own pockets at the expense of others… there are multiple examples of how some people are experiencing hell right here.
Why not start believing for heaven to come and push hell back to where it belongs.
We can do it. We are light carriers for heaven. We carry the light of Christ.
Philippians 3:20 says “…our citizenship is in heaven…”
Again – The Passion says: “But we are a colony of heaven on earth as we cling tightly to our life-giver, the Lord Jesus Christ,”
In other places it says that we are ambassadors of Christ. That means we come from another place – or dimension – where Christ rules and reigns – but we have been sent to represent Him and His kingdom on this earth.
Ambassadors of other nations don’t rely upon the nation they are temporarily living in. They are not sustained by the host nation. They often don’t have the same culture and values. But as ambassadors of heaven, we can bring the values and culture of the kingdom we belong to into the place where we represent, as Ambassadors, our true home.
It all sounds like a blockbuster movie plot… but it’s real. Hollywood produces counterfeit movies of the real heaven and earth dimensions.
Could those handing out the communion elements please do that now.
I wanted us to finish with communion this morning – because this is where it really all began for us. Heaven was opened up because Jesus shed His blood for our sin. The veil was torn not only on earth, but in heaven – and we are now anchored in God’s mercy and love.
As we share in the wine and bread of communion – let this be not only remembering what Christ has done to save us – but remembering and celebrating also who He has established us to be – ambassadors – heavens representatives…
We carry heaven into the earth. We have been equipped to reveal the heavenly dimension. We are blessed with many gifts to do that – but the greatest of these is love.
Heaven is defined by love. Because God is Love!
Let’s pray – you might have to watch out for the people serving… but let’s agree in faith together…