If This Isn't Heaven, I Don't Know What Is
Biblical Reasons Why We Should
And Practical Suggestions on How We Can
Create Heaven on Earth
You're in a very old and very dark warehouse. There are no windows. Suddenly you feel an earthquake. You instinctively look for a door as the shaking continues, but can't see anything. When a beam drops down a few feet from you, you realize this old warehouse was built before earthquake standards, and you must find a door.
In the corner of your eye you sense light, and turn to see a door opening to the outside.
This book is that door.
You hesitate to go through this door because you had been told that the old and dark warehouse that is now crumbling around you was a luxury resort hotel. The hotel and adjoining vacation park were created by a famous theologian, and you invested your life savings in a "business venture" you were assured would not only pay unheard of dividends, but would also help send the Gospel to millions.
You'd like to think this is just a temporary set back for your investment, but everything inside you is saying "Admit you were wrong and get out fast!" Going through this door means "getting out" -- abandoning hope. It means admitting you got in a bad investment, one that will be a pile of rubble when the shaking stops, and you'll have to start all over. You'll have nothing to show for all the work you've done up to now.
Psychologically, this will be the toughest door you've ever gone through. But the light outside this dark and crumbling warehouse is a world of life and opportunities. I'm not saying you'll never be able to retire, but outside that door are some exciting things for you and your fellow investors.
This book is about the religion in which you've invested your whole life up until now. It argues that you made a bad investment. Millions of other investors have made the same bad decision. It is hoped that this book will encourage you all to take your life's savings out of this bad investment before it's too late and put yourself in a new position.
You were told that you were investing in "heaven," but you were misled. I'm not saying you can't invest in heaven, far from it. But you've invested in a sham version of heaven.
You were told that you were investing in "the Second Coming," but you were misled. I'm not saying that Jesus and the Apostles lied or were mistaken when they said "Jesus is coming soon," far from it. But you've invested in a fraudulent version of "the Second Coming."
This book is designed to serve as an introduction to a number of projected volumes on the "Vine & Fig Tree" vision of the Prophet Micah. By exposing your investment in heaven and the Second Coming as the bubble it is, it is hoped you'll see the risk and dangers of your portfolio, and read the rest of this series, investing more prudently.
And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their
swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
- It is our conviction that we ought to be working to bring this prophecy to fulfillment.
- Many Christians do not agree.
- America's Founding Fathers were motivated to fulfill this prophecy.
- The ACLU does not believe this.
- Micah's prophecy has been fulfilled to a degree the Apostles could not have imagined.
- Most Americans don't appreciate this.
- It is our conviction that Micah's prophecy foretells a day of self-government under God.
- Many Christians look for a day of imposed government under a glorified police state.
- We believe that all prophecies which must be fulfilled before Micah's prophecy can be fulfilled have already been fulfilled.
- Most Christians believe most of these prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, thus postponing the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy to the distant future, or at least until after an unbridgeable discontinuity like death or the Second Coming.
- We believe the church should be working to make the world better and better.
- Many Christians believe the world is predestined to get worse and worse.
- We believe the church should be working to create heaven on earth.
- Many Christians believe such a goal can only be achieved after the rapture; by their silence and inaction these Christians are helping create hell on earth.
- We believe the Bible says very little about life after death or after the Rapture.
- Most sermons today say more about heaven than they do about our social duties during this life.
- We believe the Bible says more about our social duties than about our personal duties.
- Most sermons today say more about feeling good about ourselves than about healing our culture and society ("social action," or "political activism").
- We believe Christians should be thinking more about their community than about going to heaven.
- Most Christians think more about going to heaven than serving their community.
- We believe that most Christians have never thought much about why God created human beings and what we're supposed to be doing on earth.
- If more Christians thought about it, they wouldn't find heaven to be so attractive.
- We believe most Christians who spend most of their time longing for heaven have not seriously considered the requirements for getting there in the first place.
- Most Christians believe in justification by mere belief alone.
- We believe most Christians who spend most of their time longing for heaven would not want to go there if they really thought about it.
- Heaven is a place where all of our sins and rationalizations are exposed, and we cannot escape our duty to obey God completely.
- The things most people think we'll be doing for all eternity in heaven are things we should be doing now, in this life.
- We should be loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and praying "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
- Why should people who aren't devoting their lives -- heart, mind, soul, and strength -- to creating heaven on earth be interested in going to heaven when they leave this earth?
- There are many deceived people who are in for a rude awakening.
There are thus two very controversial things about our approach to this prophecy: timing and content.
- Timing: Most Christians believe Micah is speaking about a day that will not come to pass until after the Second Coming of Christ. We disagree.
- Micah says the days when we will "beat swords into plowshares" and live safely under our Vine & Fig Tree will begin in "the last days." We believe this speaks of the last days of the Old Covenant. A substantial number of Bible-believing Christians don't believe their Bibles on this point. Although the writers of the New Testament continuously and repeatedly said they were in
"the last days" of the Old Covenant, many Christians believe that we are in the last days today, 2,000 years after the Apostles said that they were in "the last days." Investments have been made based on the forecast that we are in the last days of the entire planet earth. Micah's vision of a "Vine & Fig Tree" world has also been called "the
millennium" or "the New Heavens and the New Earth." We believe the New Heavens and New Earth were inaugurated by Jesus at His First Advent. We are not waiting for a Second Coming for wonderful things to happen. Wonderful things have already happened, and there's more in store.
- Content: This same huge group of Christians who believe we must wait for a Second Coming to see the promises of Micah and other Old Testament prophets, also believe that God, speaking through those prophets, was teaching us to wait for a Kingdom rather work for a Kingdom.
We disagree. Rather than work for a Kingdom that grows out of a Christ-like response to evil and suffering, they want us to wait for a Kingdom that will be imposed by a kind of military force, top-down, held in place by the physical coercion of a glorified police state. We completely disagree.
|When enthusiastic followers of Christ tried to make Him a king, He fled (John 6:15). From cover to cover, the Bible teaches that we can only enter the Kingdom through:
| Most Christians are looking for an entirely different kind of Kingdom:
||one handed to them on a silver platter;
||one which has no requirements, only entitlements;
||one which promises self-gratification, not service of others;
||one which conquers evil with physical coercion rather than spiritual conversion;
||an eternally static Kingdom, not one that grows.
This book hopes to convince you that you don't really believe in the "heaven" and "the second coming" that you've invested in over the years. You'll be forced to answer some questions you've never asked before. This book -- and the books that follow in this series -- is a prospectus for a new investment. A program called "Vine & Fig Tree."
Brokers for the old investment program have been hyping their crumbling faηade of "heaven" and "the second coming" for well over 100 years. They hold investment seminars ("crusades") across the nation. Every time they speak they push their program: in church, before the media, whenever they have a chance. They tell those who invest in the program to do the same, talking about the program with everyone they meet.
This investment pyramid now dominates the culture. It sets the standard. When people think of the Bible and Christianity they think of this version of "heaven" and "the second coming." If these people mention "heaven" and "the Second Coming" in 99% of everything they say, mentioning other subjects only 1% of the time, students of the Bible are perplexed by the fact that the Bible talks about heaven only 1% of the time and
all other subjects 99% of the time. But the brokers still have credibility, and still push their program.
It's a fraud.
Not that most of them are insincere. It's a kind of mass hypnosis. But the balloon is going to burst. This book explains why, and encourages the reader to look deeper at the Bible and its "Vine & Fig Tree" vision. It affects more than just what you believe as an individual; it affects the church -- the Body of Christ -- before a watching world, and it affects the entire world.