Scriptures Proving That Inheriting the Earth Is As Important As Heaven (first 2.12.14)
1. "Zion shall be redeemed by justice and her returning people by righteousness." Isaiah 1,27.
2. "Behold the righteous shall be repaid on the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner! Proverbs 11,31.
3. "But the meek shall inherit the earth..." Psalm 37,11.
4. "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." Psalm 37,29.
5. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled." (KJ) Matthew 5,5-6.
6. "Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6,10 and Luke 11,2.
7. "Blessed and Holy are those who share in this first resurrection! Over them the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him for a thousand years." Revelation 20,6. [shared judgment and reign from Jerusalem by martyrs in heaven]
8. "Month after month at the new moon, week after week on the Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow [in Jerusalem] before me, says the Lord. 24 as they go out they will see the corpses of those who rebelled against me, where the devouring worm never dies and the fire is not quenched. All mankind [assembled in Jerusalem] will view them with horror. Isaiah 66,23-24.
9. "I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him were a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads." Revelation 14,1.
10. "I saw the Holy City, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21,2
(See also Revelation 14,20- evil judged outside Jerusalem; Joel 3,12-14- judgment on all nations in Valley of Jehosephat; and Zechariah 14,1-4- Armageddon on the outskirts of Jerusalem.)
I'm going to get to the biblical point that inheriting the earth as Jesus promised (Matthew 5,5) is equally as important as our inheriting heaven-they go together- but please bear with an apparently circuitous way of making it.
There are very few prejudices allowed any airing in public nowadays- praise God for this.
Our age of hyper knowledge doesn't allow for many cultural and religious prejudices, without them soon being subjected to biblical and Holy Ghost discernment.
But certainly two of the prejudices that linger is against political Israel (come to life again in 1948 after 1814 years of desolation), and any flavor of faithful Zionism (Zionism being the biblical centrality of physical, political and faithful Israel and Jerusalem in God's universal salvation plan).
After realizing I'm a born again type, sometimes I then hear the incredulous question "are you a Zionist too?"
Yes, if by that you mean I'm a follower of a bible that says that secular, earthly history is going to culminate with the reign of God and God's people from Zion, and then a new heaven and earth coming down.
That said, among us Christians, what do we make of our almost exclusive focus on heaven?
How could we as co-heirs of our brother Yeshua, as branches grafted into the tree of Israel (Romans 9-11), have taken our focus off the redemption of the earth too, especially after having in our possession the complete texts, for at least 400 years anyway, scriptures almost exclusively written by Jews (all but Luke-Acts in the New Testament), and largely for Jews?
Well the short answer is that historic Christianity, until this 20th century anyway, has been demonstrably weak in the area of knowing, understanding and expounding upon our Jewish roots.
We'll call this benign neglect.
To wit, historic Christianity, in varying degrees and ways has minimized the Jewishness of Jesus, and the unfulfilled prophetic promises to Israel, as well as the ultimate biblical based judgment and vindication of physical Israel, and the very particular biblical Judeocentric God who repeatedly comes down to earth to encounter his people and plans to do so one more time.
This has had a cumulative effect among much of Christianity of mininimizing the importance of our inheritance of the earth, namely Zion, and physical Jerusalem, and put our emphasis somewhat askew, on the goal of heaven, as if this goal is singular and not part of the larger redemption and vindication of all God's earthly people and His earthly Zion.
How did this happen?
By way of explanation, here's just a smattering of the reasons:
1. Marcion rejected the Hebrew Scriptures and the God of Israel in 140AD- a rightly and quickly condemned heresy, but his teaching reflected early Christianity's rapid distancing from it's Jewish biblical roots and the church as the qahal (hebrew- the called out ones);
2. The replacement of the highly important and powerful personal revelation of the NAME of God to Israel. Jacob pleads to know God's Name after wrestling with Him Genesis 32,22-32. Then at Acts 9,5-6, at Saul's conversion, Israel received it: "I am Jesus.." This revelation was largely replaced by Jesus' role as "the Christ."
3. While faith in Yeshua began as a radical personal experience of conversion whereby our human bodies became Temples of the Holy Ghost (the place for Jesus and His NAME), in 325 AD the Roman Empire married the church at the Council of Nicaea, and this personal mode was changed to an externalized, top down bureaucratic mode that issued creeds, dogmas, and clerical rules, backed up by the force of Roman state against "heretics";
4. This non biblical, non Jewish, Roman system of supreme foreign governance clearly won out over the collegial-local pastor supremacy of Christianity in Jerusalem, of Acts 15, the supremacy of James, the local pastor, so to speak.
5. Moreover, Rome's pre Christian and poetic claim as the "eternal city" (Ovid and Virgil) took root in the church at the expense of unfinished biblical prophecies regarding Israel and Jerusalem;
6. The forced baptisms of the Jewish "conversos" in the 14th and 15th century Spain (within the midst of 600 years of various Inquisition against "heresy"), as if God had no further plans for Israel and her people (but see Zechariah 12,9; Isaiah 66 etcetera);
7. The national physical vacancy of Israel between 134 CE and 1948 suggested (wrongly) that the "new covenant" replaced the unfinished Abrahamic and Davidic covenantal promises to Israel (Genesis 12,1-7 and 2Samuel7,8-17);
8. The non biblical idea that the Christian church itself constituted the reign of God- even absent the transforming judgment of Jesus! Thus, there was and is no need for an earthly millenial reign from Jerusalem. Not until the 20th century with Alfred Loisy, and other scholars, was this "church as the reign of God" idea put aside;
Excuse the breath and dispatch of the above scriptures and the brief historic synopsis, but it begins to plumb the depths of historic Christinity's distance from its full scriptural and Jewish roots, and also helps us rediscover how our promised inheritance of the earth got lost for so long.
A Renewed and Complementary Earthly Focus Opens Our Faith Horizons
This "inherit the earth" focus opens the way we look at our faith by expanding our horizons.
It also tempers some of our modern focus on the "me me me" of an isolated heavenly focus, cut off from the reign of God, and puts us as individuals rightfully back into Jesus' little flock, his eternal qahal, still hoping for our millenial and then eternal reign with the righteous Prophet-Messiah that Moses prophesied (Deuteronomy 18,15; John 6,14; Acts 3,22).
Moreover, a renewed focus of God's will for the earth and Jerusalem in particular restores full justice to Jesus (who died in the flesh for his people) and fully vindicates him as the messiah ingatherer of Israel and all the elect, soon to come again (Matthew 24,30).
It also reminds us faithful that the whole Christian biblical system, in the end, focusses us back on the biblical claim that every person, whether still quick or dead, will be judged by Jesus on two things: how he or she lived in the flesh on earth (1Peter 3,19, and 1Peter 4,6) and his or her response to Jesus' merciful shed blood while He was in the flesh.
Finally, a rightful and complementary focus on Jesus' coming earthly kingdom explains why the martyrs- already enjoying heaven (Revelation 6,9)- still long for the full earthly vindication of Jesus, and their earthly faith witness too.
This longing in heaven clearly suggests that Jesus' judgment and vindication of the earth includes the joy of the entire faithful coming back to Jerusalem and forever reigning (for the millenial and or the new earth reign) with our Jewish Lord and Messiah (Revelation 20,6; 14,1ff and 21,2.
This explains some of what Jesus meant when he exhorted "the meek shall inherit the earth" and "those who hunger for righteousness shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5,5-6)
And we can pray
"may a renewed earthly focus on our biblical faith, and our deep and common faith roots in Israel, raise our faith over to the heights of Mount Zion, now open to one and all, Jew and gentile, by faith in Jesus, soon to come again."
In Jesus Name we pray.
Here's an expanded two part video on this same topic:
PREACHING HOUR TV
TUESDAY EVENINGS - 8PM EST
Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...