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Welcome to Hope of the Glory

Historically Calvinists have traditionally opposed the Dispensational approach of literal interpretation in prophecy not yet fulfilled. Yet as to soteriology, they share a common bond in their literal interpretation. We here at hope of the glory believe that all scripture must be interpreted by the grammatical historical (sometimes called literal) approach. This forces us to be five point Calvinists with reference to salvation and mid-Acts Dispensationalists with regards to end times. Because we are dealing with the Word of God, these two literal interpretations harmoniously fit together.

Consistency in regards to a literal form leads one naturally to a blending instead of an opposing contingency. For example, to start the church in Acts chapter two and then ignore the signs of those who practiced them in Acts 2 is inconsistent with a literal approach. But to recognize that the day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast day and that a Gentile convert does not appear in the Acts account until Acts 10 demands attention.

Col 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, The Hope Of Glory:”

The Greek text has two definite articles detailing this hope, it appears like this; “the Hope Of The Glory”. This distinguishes our hope from all others, especially the earthly one as Israel’s promise in the O.T.

We will be keying in on just exactly what this hope is all about. Today there is a void as to a clear understanding concerning what this statement means. Most envision streets of gold and the glory of Israel’s promise. While Paul speaks of a heavenly realm in Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

The definite article again is present in Eph. 1:3 “the heavenly places” making it distinct from earthly places.

Also as to payment of sin, if a lost soul is sent to Hell for payment of his sins then either his sin was not dealt with at Calvary or that payment did not accomplish it’s intent. Clearly only the elect are spoken of in such passages as Romans 5.

Similarly this definite article appears in Romans 5 concerning “the many”. Romans 5:9 “for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.

“The many” of course, are only the elect that are called for to be redeemed and not all who ever lived. Then again “the many” are all the redeemed throughout human history but their hope is different according to the dispensation the Lord dealt with them.

These are just some of the similarities both schools of thought present to us in many areas of contemporary debate. When we combine these similarities consistently we trust you as well will be persuaded as to how they complement each other.

Colossians 1:27 "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"








Bridging Calvinism scripturally with Dispensationalism
 
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How Many Heavens

2 Corinthians 12:2 “I know a man in Christ, who, fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not, God, knoweth, such a one as this, caught away, as far as the third heaven;”

In the King James English version of 1611, there are about 691 references to the term heaven used in all its variety. Such as, heavenly, heavens, or heaven. These references are described using various verbs, nouns, and pronouns to prefix a different designation accordingly. For example: the first reference in the Old Testament in the American Standard version and most other widely accepted versions, including the New International Version and the New King James is found in Genesis 1: 1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

 Notice here from the beginning the term is plural. Heaven in the passage is dual. Heaven in the OT is mostly dual. The ending Hebrew is 'ayim' and is the dual ending. The ending 'im' as in Elohim is plural which normally is 3 or more.

 The last reference is in Revelation 21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” again this one is in the singular.

 The Apostle Paul is the only Bible writer to specify a number when mentioning heaven as an eternal destiny, in our reference above. Specifically he speaks of the third heaven. The definite article is used in the Greek giving it a more specific designation thus, “the third heaven”. 

 Most of the redeemed world refers to heaven as a general place. The final resting place of all saved by Gods grace through out human history. Yet by my count there are at least four distinct Hopes or Heavens where each saved soul in their respective dispensation will spend their eternal hope. This makes our verse in 2 Corinthians 12:2 very unique being the only numbered Heaven in the entire Bible.

 The first heaven is most widely defined as the atmospheric heaven. Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air : [Greek word ouranos found 74 times in Matthew, translated in the AV heaven 68 times, air 3 times and sky 3 times] for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

 The second heaven encompasses the stellar domain. Many people are fascinated by star gazing, desiring a clear night to look at the stars and their patterns. The stars are prominent in the second dispensation of the Kingdom on earth. Most O.T. verses designate a northward direction for God’s throne. Ps 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

 Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

 Various future signs for Israel are marked by stars and their reference. Mark 13:25 “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.”

This second heaven is thought to be the habitation of the angels. Job 38:7 “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

 Rev 1:20 “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”

 Stars were always associated with Angels in the O.T. Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of Angels,

 The third heaven is of course where Paul was raptured to. The Greek word that Paul uses to describe his transport in 2 Corinthians 12:2 is harpazo. It is the same Greek word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 for “caught up”. It means 1) to seize, carry off by force 2) to seize on, 3) to snatch out or away.

 The location of this third heaven is also referred to by Paul the apostle in several latter epistles. Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” The expression “heavenly” is epouranios in the Greek. It means upon the heavens or super heavens. Paul is again the only N.T. writer to use this term super heavens [epouranios] as a hope for the body of Christ.

 This third heaven is the eternal destiny for the body of Christ today. It is our hope. It is above and beyond all heavens. The third heaven is where all rule in the future will come from including Angels, 1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge Angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

 Some say, “What will we be doing in heaven besides worshipping God?” We [the body of Christ] will be judging Angels. Sounds like a full time job to me considering all the Angelic activity during the end times of Israel. The ministry of Angels and their ruling role is prominent during the Kingdom dispensation.

 Paul was taken up to the third heaven where we will some day defeat Satan via the rapture and God will crush Satan under our feet quickly. Ro 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

 The fourth heaven is heaven on earth and is not the eternal resting place for the body of Christ for today. Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” A heavenly kingdom on earth.

 The celestial city, the New Jerusalem, will descend from heaven to be set up on earth fulfilling this hope of heaven on earth. Rev. 21:2 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

 This earthy kingdom, which is to be established on earth [i.e. Jerusalem], is the eternal hope of saved Jews since the time of Abraham through Acts 28. It is distinct and only for ruling Jews.

 Here are four different and distinct heavens the scripture mentions. Each has it’s own unique population gathered from their own age. They need to be distinguished and viewed as different in their capacity for each people or dispensation.

Good News - Saved and Secure

Contemporary newspapers are full of information. They are designed to bring us the latest breaking information on most subjects pertinent to society’s needs. However, most of these reports are concerning bad news. But whether good or bad news it remains an item for most city newspapers across our country today.

Men say they like to be informed on current events. Some people actually like bad news, or so it seems. The fact is we need both good news and bad news to be aware of current affairs.

Strictly speaking, the gospel is a term that represents good news for sinners. “For everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God” [Rom. 3:23] this is bad news for men who think they are ok. The bible informs man that we are all sinners and have transgressed the law, 1John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The payment for sin is death, Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The bad news must come first. This is what repentance is, realizing the facts concerning us. Believing the diagnosis that the bible presents us. Coming to the understanding that within us there is no good thing, Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

The cure for this biblical diagnosis is none other than the scriptural one presented in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Also verse eight, “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

We must come to know a resurrected Savior as Paul did. For many today claim to believe the gospel, but know nothing of the resurrected Lord. For many he is still on the cross. To not know Christ Jesus the resurrected Lord of the universe in a personal way is to remain dead in your sins.      

Death is separation not only from the body [1st death] but also eternal separation from God. This is called the “Second death” referred to in Rev. 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”  

Most people know about the 1st death, but few have heard or believe in the 2nd death or lake of fire.

The ultimate good news the bible has for a convicted sinner is that “The Lord Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” 1 Timothy 1:15.

  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

 

  This action of believing and confessing demonstrates that you have been saved from sin and you will be saved from wrath.  You have been regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit.  You are now a part of a new creation – the Body of Christ.  You are a brand new person spiritually and your life will be transformed.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

The call still goes out today, Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”. 

 
 
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