A Slice Of Heaven
Shut the world away, wait on your Lord. Let the Holy Spirit of God reveal Christ to you. You’ll come out with your face shining and your heart filled with His joy.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, that corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook, and that I am so grateful for the privilege of being with you once again, to open the Word of God, share some good things with you. We’re just winding up our thought on Psalm 23 and I think I’ll begin in the Gospel of Mark for the next few weeks, as we look at God’s Word. Would that be Alright with you?
Psalm 23 finishes with the words, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Now, what does he mean by that? Well, obviously, “All the days of my life”, that means while you’re alive and then you could say after that, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord”
The prospect of being in God’s Presence after this physical life has ceased is the great hope that is taught in both Old and New Testament for those who put their faith in God. The believer’s hope, of course, is very well spelled out for us in, for example, in First Corinthians, (you’re familiar with that passage, are you not?) He says there is one, a terrestrial body, there is a celestial body, and he teaches the resurrection very, very clearly. He said, “If the dead rise not, then it’s not Christ raised, and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, you are yet in your sins, then they also which have fallen asleep”, (people who’ve died in other words,) “in Christ are perished”. If in this life only, we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable, but now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits”.
What is the first fruits? You plant a garden: you go out and pick the first radish, let us say, and you bring it in and wash it off, and take a paring knife and cut the top and the little root off the bottom of it, and then you pop it in your mouth. That’s the first fruits, you know there are more coming, He’s the first fruits. More coming, more of us, you and I and all the other millions of believers will be raised.
Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept, for since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead, for as in Adam all die even so in Christ, shall all be made alive”. There you have the idea of the bodily resurrection. Oh, how wonderful that will be.
He said, “I’m going to show you a mystery”, this is still First Corinthians 15, “We shall not all sleep”, that means not everybody’s going to die finally, because some people will be alive when Jesus comes again at His Second Coming, you see that. “But we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible”.
Now see incorruptible means after you’re dead, while you’re alive, you’re mortal. That means capable of dying. After you die you’re corruptible, your body decays. “He says the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed, for this corruption must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality”. You’ll never die again.
So, when this corruptible, shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh, death where is thy sting, oh grave, where is thy victory?” The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain, in the Lord.
Resurrection: the fact of the resurrection is taught in both Old and New Testament, and you know it would be a pretty bleak world, if you didn’t know that, wouldn’t it? You can’t blame the unbeliever for saying you only go around once so live it up. That’s all they have. But you and I can say with the apostle Paul, he said, “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better”.
Oh, yes to know His Presence, His smile, His touch and to hear His Words of love and peace and joy, to be with Him throughout eternity and in the process to be given a body which is no longer going to die and decay, but will throughout the ages of eternity, be real- that is wonderful. And so Paul says in Philippians 3, “Our citizenship is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change this”. King James says, “Our vile body”, you can read that, “This body of our humiliation”, you can read it that way, “who shall change this body of our humiliation, that it might be fashioned like unto His body of glory”.
See, your body now is adapted to living on this earth. Where the atmospheric pressure is maintained rather constantly, varying only a few degrees on your barometer. If it was more than that you would perish, and you and I live in bodies that inevitably are going to die–it’s the body of our humiliation. And were we to be catapulted out into the stellar spaces, would we’d simply be gone, we’d be dead, but He’s going to give us a different body. You’ll still be recognizable, you’ll still be you and I shall still be I, but it’ll be a body adapted to Glory. You can flip from star to star on the business of the King, without any problem with atmospheric pressure. Believe me. He’ll change this body of our humiliation that it might be fashioned like unto His body of glory.
Jesus was recognizable after His resurrection, but He had a body of glory. It was a human body, was recognizably human, and the wounds in His hands and feet and side were still there. Remember, it was a human body, recognizably human, and He was recognizably He. They knew Him, but it was a body of glory. It was a kind of a body that could walk through the door even when it was shut. It says, “Jesus came to them, the doors being shut”, that’s an interesting expression there, isn’t it? Everything was locked up tight and the Lord Jesus appeared in the midst of them.
It’s a body of glory and so you’ll still be recognizably human, but it’ll be a body of glory. Adapted to life forever and ever and ever in His Presence, doing His will, enjoying His Presence and joy, and fulfilling the eternal will of God, and being in the process beloved, God’s exhibit A of what His mercy and grace can do.
Oh that’s great isn’t it? He says in, Paul says in first Thessalonians, speaking of the second coming of Christ, “The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall be caught up together with them in the clouds”, Dr. Pettengill used to say that isn’t “clouds” clouds, that’s clouds of believers, “caught up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we ever be with the Lord”.
What is the essence, do you think, of the joy that Heaven will provide? Well, if you want my opinion it’s found right there in first Thessalonians 4. In first Thessalonians 4 he says, “Caught up together to be with Him, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. In Thy Presence is fullness of joy, in Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore”, said the psalmist Jesus our Lord said to His disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have joy and peace. I have spoken unto you that My joy”, He said, “might remain in you, and that your joy might be full”.
The real essence of the enjoyment of Heaven is going to be being with Jesus. Now, you believe that and so do I, but you will not really appreciate it until we’re there. The nearest thing to it is when you get down on your face before God and wait on Him and the Holy Spirit of God makes the Lord real to you, His Presence and His touch, real to you here on earth. You want a little foretaste of Heaven beloved? Spend some time alone with your Lord, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy”.
Shut the world away, do what Jesus said to do; enter into thy closet and shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret. Shut the world away and just wait on your Lord and let the Holy Spirit of God reveal Christ to you. You’ll come out with your face shining, your heart filled with His joy. It’s a little foretaste of Heaven. The essence of the joy of Heaven will be the presence of Jesus Christ, “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord”, we read of them in that post resurrection appearance of Christ. “Dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. I’m so thankful for the hope there is for the believer, that we’re going to be in His presence, that we’ll have a body adapted to Glory, and that for evermore our hearts will be satisfied with His Presence.
Now, the secondary application of that is that the House of the Lord can be here and now. I’ve just touched on it when I mentioned your own daily devotions. Psalm 25 verse 14 says, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him and He will show them His Covenant”. The psalmist said, “That he was very angry and that he was just about to give up, he said, that until I went into the sanctuary, then I understood”. And there is a secret place that’s spoken of in the 91st Psalm, “He that dwelleth within the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”.
This whole business of getting alone with God, of living in His Presence, of yielding to His will, of being aware of His touch on your life, that is a secondary application of this expression, “Dwell in the House of the Lord.”
Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. He dwells within you and you are part of His perfect plan, and you are part of His eternal great family, so that sense of belonging, that sense of His nearness, that awareness of His touch on your life, that yielding consciously to His will for you every step, that’s part of what this says. We’re on our way to Heaven and in the process we can know His blessed Presence.
Dear Father today, may we walk in the presence of the Lord as a little foretaste of Heaven, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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