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Heaven On Earth
by Wayne Blank
"He will dwell with them"
Humans do not go to "heaven" (see the Fact Finder question below) when they die. According to the Word of God, the dead really are dead (see What Happens When You Die?) while they await a future resurrection on earth (see When Will You Be Judged? to understand the times and purposes of the different resurrections).
The apostle John was given to write the book of Revelation, or Apocalypse (see Apocalypse to understand the true Biblical meaning of that word). Included in that very extensive revealing of Prophecy was a detailed portrayal of the new earth that will be made at the time that the Kingdom of God, "heaven," is brought to earth.
"And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:10-14 RSV)
The reason that the Kingdom of God is called that is because God is coming to earth, after Christ has prepared the Way (see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth). Notice that even the famous "pearly gates" will be on earth:
"And he who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its breadth; and he measured the city with his rod, twelve thousand stadia; its length and breadth and height are equal. He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man's measure, that is, an angel's. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass." (Revelation 21:15-21 RSV)
The spiritual Temple that Christ is building will be assembled (see The Gatherings To Come) on earth.
"And I saw no Temple in the city, for its Temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day - and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:22-27 RSV)
Fact Finder: What is actually meant in the Word of God by "heaven"?