Site update: Words cannot express how much your comments here and on Facebook, and your emails have meant to me this past week. From the beginning, the Lord has brought us the most amazing and supportive readers. And I am so very grateful for you all.
We began this ministry by modeling it after George Muller. He opened and ran orphanages, and supported missionaries by mentioning his needs to the Lord only. The main purpose was not in giving, though that was extreme and generous, it was in proving that the God we serve is real, that He cares for us, and that He answers our prayers.
We celebrated our tenth anniversary as missionaries in Mexico this past September. And in these ten years we have seen the Lord do amazing things through this ministry, while staying true to our goal to show that it is the Lord only who provides all these things. We never advertised, or fundraised. We never asked for donations, so we knew that everything we received was what and how the Lord desired. And it has been an absolute joy to be the channel through which the blessings of the Lord have flowed. From the Lord, through you, through this ministry, to bless the lives of countless others. Consistently, we would pray about a need we would see, and the Lord would respond, “you do it.” And new donations would arrive, in just the right amounts. It is a privilege and an honor to serve the living God, and to partner with you, the Body of Christ.
Jack had a special gifting to help all of us know and experience the grace and mercy and love of our Creator. To simplify what seemed complicated, and clarify what seemed confusing. I am so grateful for this site, not just for you who have supported and prayed and cried with us, but for this place to come and read Jack’s words anew and feel encouraged and a little less alone.
I don’t know what the Lord has in mind for me, our missionary work, or for this website. I do know that He has always been faithful. And I know that I will keep Jack’s words up indefinitely. As a dear friend told me, the Lord gave us this ministry and we won’t allow the devil to take it away. We’ve never done anything without seeking the Lord, and waiting for His provision. I will continue to live by the faith that it is our job to seek the Lord first and His righteousness, and it’s His job to provide all of our needs, even when we don’t know what that looks like.
While I wait on the Lord and seek His face, I ask for your prayers for clarity and an open heart, not clouded by grief but in celebrating both what was and what is to come… which can’t be far off. I’ll post the Prophecy in the Headlines each day. And I’ll be going through the huge body of work on this site and through Jack’s unpublished writings at home and putting them up fresh on the site for those, like me, who would like to remember. (He was writing some amazing Christmas devotional posts that I’m particularly excited about.) I’m reposting this article below so we can all focus on what is to come. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor 2:9).
The Greek word translated new in Rev 21:5 can also mean renewed or restored, and includes circumstances and conditions along with appearance. It’s the same word used in Rev 21:1 referring to a new heaven and a new earth. And Rev. 21:1 is a reference to Isaiah 65:17 where new heavens and a new earth are also mentioned, along with one of the better descriptions of life in Israel during the Millennium. The Hebrew word for new in Isaiah 65:17 comes from a root meaning to rebuild, renew, or repair.
Since Jesus described His 2nd Coming as the renewal of all things (Matt. 19:28), it’s reasonable to interpret Rev. 21 as describing Heaven and Earth being restored to the condition they were in before the fall; refreshed, renewed, repaired and rebuilt for Messiah’s Kingdom. It will be like God hit the reset button to put everything back the way it was at the beginning, giving the Creation a fresh start for the Millennium.
The context of Rev. 20 also supports this interpretation since Rev. 20:7-15 is actually a parenthetical explanation of the ultimate destinies of Satan and the unbelieving world. John was simply bringing his subject to its conclusion before returning to the beginning of the Millennium to describe the New Jerusalem. We know this because John skipped forward to the end of the Millennium in Rev. 20:7 and then returned to open both Rev. 21 (Isaiah 65:17) and Rev. 22 (Ezekiel 47:12) with millennial quotes from the Old Testament.
Israel And The Church In The Millennium
Have you noticed that there’s a lot more information about the nature of the coming Kingdom in the Old Testament than in the New? That’s because even though Christians talk more about the Millennium than Jews do, the fact is that the 1000 year Kingdom of the Messiah is intended for Israel not the Church, and for Earth not Heaven.
Major glimpses of life in the Millennium are found throughout Isaiah (2, 4, 35, 54, 55, 60, 61, 65, 66) Ezekiel (40-48) Joel (3) Amos (9) Micah (4) and Zechariah (14) with other smatterings through out the Old Testament. All we know from the New Testament is found in Rev. 20-22, and even there, portions referring to New Jerusalem describe only our physical surroundings, not our life style.
In the rest of the New Testament, we find only a couple of hints, such as Matthew 19:28 and Acts 3:21, because the New Testament concerns Christian life in phase one of the Kingdom of Heaven (before the rapture), not phase two (after it). So we can read much more about life on Earth during the Millennium, than we can about life in New Jerusalem. Those passages are important because they describe the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel, a promise that includes peace (finally) prosperity, land of their own and long happy life with God in their midst, but they’re not written for us.
So What About Us?
Descriptions of life in New Jerusalem are limited; no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain (Rev 21:4). Sounds great, but what do we do all day? On Earth folks will be building houses, bearing children, planting vineyards, tending sheep and otherwise enjoying the works of their hands (Isa 65:17-25). Do we just spend our time in some endless worship service? Though it’s not likely, no one knows for sure what we’ll be doing. But even though the Bible doesn’t answer our questions about our everyday activities, it does speak of our state of mind.
Become As Little Children
Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom, we would have to change and become like little children (Matt. 18:3). What does that mean? Behavioral Scientists have determined that the average child is much happier than the average adult, partly because children spend most of their time learning and doing new things, and partly because they haven’t yet acquired the fears and worries of adult life. By the way, Science has also discovered that while for all practical purposes the creative potential of the human brain is limitless, the average adult uses a mere fraction of that potential working toward and achieving life goals.
A reasonably successful life in the US has always been beyond the wildest dream of most non-Americans, but even that can be reduced to such a predictable routine that once learned it’s quite possible to “live the good life” without much mental effort at all. Most people invest more of their creativity in hobbies and leisure activities than in career goals.
In short, our Creator has endowed us with limitless creative potential (Deut 8:18), but since very little of that potential is needed to live successfully, we become bored and unhappy, searching for something to stimulate our creativity and get us excited again. Such is life, at least on Earth.
What’s The Alternative?
But suppose we were suddenly thrust into an environment filled with endless opportunities for exploration and the acquisition of new experience and knowledge without any fears or worries, just like being kids again. Suppose each of us would see this environment as if it was created especially for us, to stimulate our unique blend of talent and creative ability, even to the extent of being designed around our favorite shapes and colors. Suppose it was a dynamic environment, growing as we grow, to provide endless opportunity for discovery without any possibility of defeat, disappointment or failure.
And suppose we were gifted with boundless energy, always feeling better than our best day on Earth, without a hint of fatigue, sickness, accident or injury. Ever.
Ever notice how curious kids are, asking all kinds of questions about what we’re doing and why? Suppose we were given full use of the dimension of time, able to observe all of history first hand and understand how everything came to be and why it happened the way it did.
Suppose we had been divested of all fear, hatred, jealousy, envy, greed and worry, our minds filled instead with happiness, gratitude, joy and satisfaction for self and others. Suppose there were no more misunderstandings, arguments, or betrayals, and that everyone around us was just as concerned for our well being as we were for theirs. Perhaps this is what the Lord meant by becoming as little children.
Billy Graham was once asked if there would be golf courses in heaven. “If they’re necessary for our happiness,” he replied “they’ll be there.” I believe everything necessary for our happiness has been created and installed in the New Jerusalem, and that even with our supernatural abilities we’ll live endless lives of exploration and realization, joy and happiness. This is what the Millennium will be like for us.
So why doesn’t the Bible go into more detail about it? Well, the Bible was written to and for Earth bound humankind in our natural state. Even if there was a detailed description of what awaits us, it would be so different from what we’re used to that our limited minds couldn’t comprehend very much of it. And what little we could understand would make us so miserable here that we’d do anything possible to hasten our departure. In short it would make our lives here intolerable.
As it is written “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9). I think we’re supposed to read that literally. 10-16-10