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The Blessed Hope

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:1–6)

But as the Scriptures say, “No one has ever seen, no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)

Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Cor. 13:12)

For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)

Very, very soon.  Perhaps this year.  Maybe even within months, the most noteworthy event since the resurrection of Jesus Christ will take place.  The normalcy bias of the mundane and routine will melt away like wax in a fire.  And what will be revealed is the truth that reality—true reality—is a story far greater than anything you can possibly imagine.  Bigger than Marvel or D.C. superheroes.  Bigger than Star Wars.  Bigger than anything any other religion or philosophy has ever proposed.  Bigger than anything that has ever entered into the mind of man.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Rom. 8:19–21)

Very, very soon, those who have wisely placed their faith in the Creator and Master of the stars and who have set their eyes and hearts on heavenly things and not on earth, will be born again physically into spiritual bodies, just as they had been born again inwardly through faith in the Son—“children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God” (John 1:12–13).  Jesus wasn't just passing time or reciting poetry when we told Nicodemus that he would need to be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  For far too long Christians have believed John 3 was nothing but allegory.  I say to the contrary, John 3 is absolute, literal truth.  We have all been born of the water of our mothers, but to enter Heaven we must be born again—this time born into spiritual bodies.

When the Apostle Paul revealed the mystery of the rapture, he prefaced the revelation with a connection directly to John 3:

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.  It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Cor. 15:42–44, 50)

Compare to John 3:3–7:

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' ”

There is a hidden treasure in verse 8 that I think few have noticed:

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Compare to John 8:13–14, 21–24:

The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”

This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?”

But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

This leads us back to the subsequent mystery that Paul revealed:

Behold!  I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:51–53)

As this spiritual birth occurs and the bodies of the children of God are changed from natural to spiritual, God's children will disappear from the earth.  Just as Christ, the Head, disappeared into the clouds, so to the Church, the Body, will disappear into the clouds:

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:16–17)

Jesus is going to keep His promise to take us to His Father's house and man oh man what a house that will be.  The Old Testament backs up this promise, as well:

But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.

Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. (Isaiah 26:19–20)

Notice that the resurrection of those who belong to the Lord is called a birth.  Specifically a birth from the earth.  Isaiah 66:8 echoes this event:

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Again—a birth from the earth.  Going back to Isaiah 26, notice that the resurrected saints are called to “wake up and SHOUT for joy.”  Few may know this, but the Feast of Trumpets was originally called the Day or Memorial of Shouting in Leviticus 23:24.  Perhaps then we can see a direct connection between the resurrection of the saints and the Feast of Trumpets, for the saints will wake up and SHOUT on a Day of Shouting.  Trumpets has always been one of a number of key high-watch festivals.

What can Believers expect to happen on this great day?

First, in an instant those who have a saving faith in the Messiah will be changed into perfect, incorruptible beings like the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek words used in 1 Corinthians for incorruptible are aphtharsia and aphthartos.  The meaning is this: indestructibility, incorruptibility, immortality, unable to experience deterioration, and lacking the very capacity to decay or constitutionally break down.

In other words, we will be like Superman or Supergirl without the weakness to kryptonite, except that doesn't even fully describe the change taking place.  We will be beyond any ability to undergo any sort of decay for all of eternity.  Even Kryptonians aged.  We will not.  Are you grasping what I'm saying here?  The power and glory to be given us by the grace of God is superior to any superhero you can imagine.  The only weakness we will ever have will be our greatest strength: eternal reliance on God for our strength—a Being of limitless glory, power, and love.

Whatever imperfections we had, both internal and external, will be erased.  All of our genetic malformities, physical and spiritual maladies, and diseases will be gone.  We will look at least somewhat like our old selves, though perfected, as can be seen in the “resurrection preview” called the Transfiguration when Jesus appeared with Moses and Elijah in glory.  The disciples also recognized Jesus after His resurrection, however, His change was not yet complete.

Jesus' own resurrection and rapture took place in stages, while ours happens all at once.  After Jesus rose from the dead He looked much like His old self complete with nail-scarred hands and a spear wound in His side.  However, after His ascension He took on a fully glorified and perfected form and He was not so easily recognizable:

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning 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.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:12–18)

A word of warning: don't expect a meek, weather-worn Galilean to greet you.  Jesus is now in His full glory.  The Bible says we will be like Christ (1 John 3:2) and it also says we will be like the angels (Matthew 22:30).  There appear to be different kinds of angels, some with six wings and some with four, and some perhaps with no wings at all, however they are frequently described in similar ways.  For example, they have “burnished bronze” skin like Christ (Daniel 10:6, Ezekiel 1:7).  I recently saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and there was a race of creatures that reminded me of this description called “Sovereigns”:

Perhaps Satan is mocking God's angels (and us).  I find it interesting that if you took the skin color of every race on earth you might get a medium skin tone kind of like bronze or brass.

The Greek word describing Jesus' skin tone, chalkolibanon, actually carries more meaning.  It is a unique word used only once combining both chalkos (a fine yellow metal like bronze, brass, or copper):

And libanos (frankincense, which is a fine yellow spice):

The body of the angel in Daniel 10:6 looks like both bronze and beryl.  While beryl can come in different colors, biblical beryl was a light, translucent, yellow gem:

Glorified beings also appear to radiate light as is seen in the various descriptions of Christ in Heaven and the angels.  This radiance is extended to the saints, as well (Daniel 12:3, Matthew 13:43).  Maybe our radiance will be similar to Ramandu's daughter in C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

We will also be beyond any ability to sin, which is a given for incorruptible beings.  In these natural bodies of death we are continually pulled towards temptation and sin.  It is our natural affinity.  Bad habits and addictions are formed with ease.  Yet as incorruptible beings we will be so perfected and completed in Christ that the very desire to sin will be gone from our new bodies.  Love and righteousness will continually flow from our lives and obeying God will be a pleasure far beyond anything the world has to offer:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
 (Ps. 16:9–11)

Psalm 16:9–10 was a prophecy of Christ's resurrection, yet the prophecy was written by King David who will also experience a resurrection into incorruptibility.  Just as Christ was raised, we will be raised, too, and in the resurrection there is joy and pleasure forevermore.

Second, after this instantaneous change and disappearance, we will pass out of the natural realm and enter the supernatural realm of YHWH: the Kingdom of God.  Considering the magnitude of this physical universe we can see, with its two trillion galaxies and two trillion times 100 million stars, we dare not even speculate on the vastness and glory of His realm.  The Kingdom of God is coming to earth, as well, and perhaps the physical universe is a big part of His entire creation, but we do know there are some higher dimensional realm(s) or else Christ and the angels could not appear and disappear at whim in our world.

We know from God's Word that Christ has been preparing a place for us: the largest and most glorious city in all of creation described in Revelation 21–22, which is called New Jerusalem, heavenly Jerusalem, and at times Zion.  It is a single city larger than Pluto and nearly as big as the moon.  We will see this glorious abode:

And enter through its glorious gates:

We will be surrounded by innumerable angels who have been preparing for this very day:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Heb. 12:22–24)

Third, we will see the LORD just as He is.  There are many pictures and paintings of what people think He might look like based on different descriptions in the Bible, but all of these pictures seem so dreary and paltry to me that it almost feels irreverent.  If you consider every beautiful thing you've ever seen or contemplated, every painting, every thought, every glorious thing in all of creation, all of it combined is still on the lower end of an infinite gulf between creature and Creator.

It is still a great mystery how finite beings, glorified as they may be, will be able to look upon an infinite Being.  Perhaps this is why the Incarnation didn't end after Jesus' ascension, so that finite beings will have some way to relate to an infinite, omnipresent, all-powerful God.  All I can tell you is what the Bible says about Him.  For starters, He dwells in a light far brighter than anything in the universe:

Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:16)

You can approach a star, quasar, or supernova with the right spacecraft, probe, or satellite, yet nothing in all of creation can approach the light of God:

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. (Ps. 97:5)

We will only be able to stand before Him by His own sovereign power and will.  Our change into incorruptibility is what allows us to come before Him.  In the observable universe we see a combination of light and darkness, the blackness of space and the brightness of the stars—the light of the sun and the shadow its light creates.  Yet in God's unveiled presence there is neither darkness nor shadow:

This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 Jn. 1:5)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (Jas. 1:17)

Revelation 4 contains a description of God the Father, though as glorious as the description is, I believe it is describing the Father taming and humbling His appearance so as to become approachable to the saints.  His appearance is described like this:

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.  And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian...

Iaspis, biblical “jasper,” is the most debated of the precious stones described in Revelation.  Jasper can come in a variety of colors, most commonly a variegated red, but scholars tend to think a different gem is being envisioned here because later in Revelation 21, jasper is described as being “clear as crystal.”  Jasper is opaque, so iaspis may indicate some other precious stone like diamond or another translucent gem.  In any case, this is what common jasper looks like:

Carnelian is a semi-transparent red stone:

. . . and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.

Emeralds are ornate, translucent green gems:

Rainbows are of course bands of multiple colors:

Perhaps in this manifestation the LORD is emanating something that looks akin to the Northern Lights:

From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder . . .

. . . and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

Revelation 15:2 gives one more detail about this sea of glass.  It is said to be glowing with fire:

Brothers and sisters, soon and very soon we are going to meet the King.

We're going home:

A place for the meek and humble, those who are poor in spirit, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness:

The Golden City awaits those who have believed in the Name above all names, but those who are prideful and seek to justify themselves through their religiosity rather than submitting themselves to the grace and righteousness of God will not be able to enter (Romans 10:1–4, Hebrews 3:12–19).  These are those like the people of Capernaum.  Likewise, those who sin wantonly and say they have no need for forgiveness or for God will not be able to enter either (like those of Sodom and Gomorrah).  There is no cost to enter, except your pride.  Jesus paid the price, so I plead with you not to reject so great a gift.

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  1. Amen! Here's my favorite song by Chris Tomlin: Home
    I think he knows something!


    1. Awesome song! Gave me chills at the end as he was walking up to that house. I've added this near the end of the article.

    2. For those of us who look forward to going to our true home, it's incredibly moving! It was just released in March. The timing is perfect!

  2. Thanks Gary, looking forward to that Day! Like the folks here, my hope is in Jesus Christ! But fyi RH is in 120 days https://countingdownto.com/countdown/feast-of-trumpets-countdown-clock-8bbc70c1-47af-4339-92c9-23b1cc3dbdce

    Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered - how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

  3. This was very encouraging! Thanks for reminding us of our glorious future with the Lord God Almighty! Can't wait to go home...

    1. I'm glad this was encouraging. My heart is prone to wander and I have to set my mind above, so that I remember what I'm waiting for.

  4. Shalom Gary and brethren - I kid you not, I was working on a book about the Revelation 12 sign, (in french) and right before going to bed, came here to "see what's on unsealed.com".

    I had just been working on Romans 8... and rejoiced over this:

    19 For the earnest expectation of the creature [earth] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God [our heavenly birth].

    20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

    21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain [in labor pains] together until now.

    The whole creation is in labor for the 2nd glorious birth of history (after Jesus's): The celestial birth of the Church of Jesus-Christ.

    I had been using this concept to witness about the Revelation 12 sign:
    "What is the second most important birth in history, worthy of a special sign in the sky to announce it, just as Christ birth was announced in the sky!!?

    The celestial birth of Christ's posterity (Isaiah 53: 10 ...he shall see is seed)

    Glory to YHWH and: John 15:20b If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    Glory to YHWH and love unto the brethren. Daniel

    1. Many times lately I've had a Scriptural question or was thinking about something in particular and I'll hear from another Believer and they will have the answer for me or were thinking the same thing. I think that's the Holy Spirit.

    2. To anonymous in France; I've always thought of His appearing in terms of Him. His return. Snatching us out of harms,way. Unleashing the Day of Jacob's trouole. Your comment about the upcoming great sign, being to announce the birth of God's children (the church), just as the star of Bethlehem announced the birth of the Son, hadn't occurred to me in such a poignant way. Stunning that God loves us so much He would celebrate, but so it is.

  5. Awesome thoughts to ponder, thank you Gary! I have myself thought about a possible difference between the physical change of "resurrected" and "glorified" bodies dependant on the realm we will be staying in from EZECHIEL 44,17-19. Just some note for you. Much love, awaiting the day...

  6. Great article Gary...the colors of God radiance in the Heavens will overwhelm our sensory overload. I am really looking forward to so many things when we are caught up with the our Lord!

    Right now we only know a little about the tip of the iceberg...

    1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    However, in the realm of Almighty God our faith is going end in sight....

    Mark 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

    Even so come Lord Jesus!

    1. You reminded me of 1 Cor. 13:12... I had to go back and add that one in (:

  7. right as my earthly home is set to go into foreclosure and send me on my way, my Lord brings me on home to a place prepared! \o/ shalom* blessings people, beautiful post, awesome Gary thank you

  8. From Daniel:

    Dear brother Gary, many thanks for your reply to my comment (Romans 8:19-22 & Isaiah 53: 10) blessed be YHWH. Would you please transmit this afore-mentioned comment to Scottie? I really think it is important, having gotten this concept from watching his videos; and now we have a clear-as-day passage of the Word of YHWH. AMEN, thank you.

    Dear brother Greg, thank you so much; I believe it is a key way to START witnessing:

    "Just as the Magi saw written in the sky that the king of the jews would be born from heaven to earth...

    We all can see written in the sky this fall that the children of the king of jews will be born from earth to heaven."

    (We know for sure it will be written in the sky this fall, but we don't know for sure it will happen this fall)

    And then discuss salvation, the feasts, the rapture...

    Trying to encourage to witnessing. Tying the Revelation 12 sign to the star of bethlehem gives normal people a known point of contact (AWAY from the recent polemics); and showing them the prophecied awaited birth of Christ's seed should make THEM interpret the sign naturally.

    All believers are in this together: let us pray for boldness in witnessing. (Acts 4:29-30; Ephesians 6:19) YHWH's Shalom on you all. Daniel

  9. Great article that I found from Adam at the Parable of the Vineyard. After having the Holy Spirit inside me for 12 years, I started having Rapture dreams this year. I had not much thought given to end times until this. God had me start a channel to communicate His messages. I am so grateful to be going home soon. Love the songs that you put up. I recently discovered the Home song. Interesting how God communicates to us in songs too. He has given me Even So Come (kristian stanfill) and Carry My Soul (phil wickam) and Stand up, Stand up for Jesus recently. Anonymous, yes we are in this together and need to be bold witnesses. Time is running out, and we are so excited!

  10. Si torna a Casa... W GESU..

  11. This Blood bought child is looking forward to going Home! 🥰 Thank you for the read and scripture, it is encouragement



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