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The following chapters of the Heavenly Signs section of The Book Of Signs are well done and basically Scriptural. They contain information and exposition that most Christians would agree with. I wish I could say the same about the rest of the book.
This chapter of The Book of Signs is solidly Scriptural, except that the author is thinking of his version of The Rapture instead of the one-time final event of the Coming of Jesus.
I did find this statement amusing:
I don’t want to become speculative, but…. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 173). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
What I found amusing is that it is referring to one of his conclusions about our new bodies, and yet these few chapters are the least speculative in the entire book. If you have been reading through my review in chronological order, you will know that I think most of the chapters in The Book Of Signs are wild speculation on Scriptures twisted from context.
Dr. David Jeremiah explains very well what our new bodies will be like by breaking them into four sections.
1. Our New Bodies Will Be Indestructible
No more pain or destruction, no more sickness or dysfunction. They will be perfect bodies designed to last forever.
2. Our New Bodies Will Be Identifiable
People will be able to recognize us, and we will recognize our saved friends.
3. Our New Bodies Will Be Incredible
We will be full of energy and power and will not get tired.
4. Our New Bodies Will Be Infinite
Our bodies will be governed by the Holy Spirit, even though they are still physical.
This chapter ends with an appeal to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. He is the only way of salvation.
Dr. Jeremiah correctly identifies three heavens mentioned in Scripture. The first heaven is our atmosphere. The second heaven is often referred to as outer space. The third heaven is what we think of as heaven - the place where God dwells, and Christians go when they die. He also points out that the third heaven is a specific, literal place. While some Christians may disagree with that assessment, I would tend to agree with it.
The Book of Signs breaks its discussion of heaven into the following categories.
1. Heaven Is Precious
2. Our Redeemer Is In Heaven
3. Our Relationships Are In Heaven
4. Our Resources Are In Heaven
5. Our Residence Is In Heaven
6. Our Reward Is In Heaven
7. Our Riches Are In Heaven
8. Our Reservation Is In Heaven
This is a good summary of the Biblical teaching on heaven. [He did a good job of finding all those ‘R’ words.]
God created us for heaven. That’s our true home. That’s our country. That’s our destination…At the rapture of the church, Jesus will escort believers to heaven to live with Him there forever. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 182). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Many Christians of various end-time views may disagree with me, but I do not think we will be living in heaven after the Second Coming. I do believe that we are there between the time we die and Jesus returns.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s;
But the earth He has given to the children of men. Ps. 115:16, NKJV
I believe that at the Second Coming when we meet Jesus in the air, we will be welcoming Him and the believers that have gone before back to earth. This will be an earth where the Holy Spirit, working through believers, has implemented the victory of Christ worldwide. This does not mean that everyone will be saved, but the majority will, and the influence of the Kingdom of God will be the major force worldwide. When Jesus returns, the last rags of sin will be forever swept away, and death itself will be destroyed [1 Cor. 15:20-28].
Of course, Dr. David Jeremiah believes that happens at the Rapture - which I believe is non-existent in the way he presents it - not at the one-time Second Coming of Jesus.
Overall this is a very good chapter on the judgment that Christians will face. We are not judged for our sins since Christ has already been judged for our sins. We will be judged according to our works to see what [or if] we will receive rewards. I agree that the things we have allowed God to do through us will be rewarded, and the things we have done on our own - even if we thought we had good motives - will end up in the waste basket.
The first judgment—the judgment seat of Christ—occurs more than one thousand years before the Great White Throne Judgment. This first judgment occurs immediately after the Rapture of the church to heaven. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 194). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
One of two major problems comes when The Book Of Signs conjures up two judgments in the same way that it has two Second Comings. There is no Scripture in this Chapter [or that I can find in the Bible] that teaches two different judgments separated by 1,000 years. Different Scriptures speak of different aspects of a single judgment at the single return of Christ. We cannot reasonably expect every reference to the judgement [or any subject] to include every aspect of the subject.
Dr. David Jeremiah calls what he sees as the first judgment the Judgment Seat Of Christ and what he sees as the later judgment as the Great White Throne Judgment. He has an entire chapter later in the book on the Great White Judgment, but since he mentioned it here, I would like to point something out.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15, NKJV
Notice that the dead are standing before God. The passage is very specific that no matter how or where a person died, they will stand before God the Judge. Yet it does not say the ungodly or unchristian dead. It simply says the dead. This seems to indicate Christians and non-Christians will be there, although they will receive different types of judgment [rewards vs. Hell]. Reread verse 15. Those not found in the Book of Life go into the lake of fire, which indicates that some will be found in the Book of Life and not go into the lake of fire.
The judgment seat of Christ is for believers only. At this tribunal everyone who has accepted Christ as their personal Savior, from the time of Pentecost until the Rapture, will give an account of themselves before the Lord. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 197). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Part of this statement we have dealt with above, but the part that deeply concerns me is: from the time of Pentecost until the Rapture. What about the true believers in the Old Testament? Are they not saved? Is there a second way of salvation - making the Cross unnecessary? Do they not get rewards? What exactly is being taught here? The Book Of Signs does not explain.
The Bible is very plain. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way of salvation. IF there was any other way of salvation at any time in history [or in the future] other than the Cross, then the Cross was unnecessary. If that was the case, the Father could have answered Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and said, “Yes, there is another way. Let’s do it that way.”
The Father would be a sadist if He asked Jesus to suffer the agonies of the cross needlessly. As far as salvation goes, the only difference between believers in the Old Testament and believers now is that they looked forward in faith to what Christ would do, and we look back in faith to what He did do. To even hint at another way of salvation is to despise the cross and the gospel. I have no idea if this was the intention of the author or not. There is no clear statement in this chapter on this issue.
This chapter is well done and presents a good picture of the rewards believers may receive when Jesus returns. The anticipation of rewards can be a good motivator to run a solid race, especially when things get tough. It is not our primary goal, but it is an incentive.
This is an excellent chapter on worship. The Book Of Signs states that chapters 4 - 5 of Revelation are perhaps the best worship chapters in the Bible. They are certainly among the best, although we must see that a major theme of the entire Book of Revelation is worship. If we miss that, we will miss what is happening in Revelation.
I especially appreciated a couple of points Dr. David Jeremiah made on worship.
I want to tell you humbly and sincerely that if we focus more on the Object of our worship, we’ll be less agitated by the style of worship. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 227). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Jesus is the Object of our worship. We all have preferences in styles and songs, but they should be secondary to worshipping our beautiful Lord. If we allow things we don’t like and petty annoyances to distract our worship, then we are focusing on the wrong person.
The worship John saw in heaven was united, corporate worship. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 229). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
The humanistic society in which we live is very individualistic - every man is his own god. If we think we don’t need the body of Christ, we are deluded. God has put us together as He sees fit. He doesn't want to see a hand trying to float around all by itself. It needs to be connected to the body. Part of that connection is attending corporate worship services when possible - I realize that work and illness may prevent some from partaking. If the church is not a high priority in our lives, if we abandon it regularly for picnics, sports or other activities, then, at best, we have wrong priorities and, at worst, our Christianity is a comforting self-deception as we pursue other gods.
See our course on The Power Of Praise And Worship.
Most of the chapters in the section give me hope that Dr. David Jeremiah has much of value to say on spiritual topics other than end times. Some men and women of God, such as Tim LaHaye, have good books on other topics, but when they come to the end times, they get Biblically de-railed. It is a tragedy that they seem to focus on end times so much, distracting their followers from living the life God wants them to live and diluting the message God has given them to deliver on other subjects. Other men and women of God, who are dispensationalists, have kept it low-key and focused on what God has called them to do…and have been and are very successful at it. The late Rev. Billy Graham is, I believe, an example of a Godly man who focused on God’s calling to evangelism and did not allow himself to spend great amounts of time and energy in other areas. Anne Graham Lotz also has a great book on Revelation, The Vision Of His Glory, which focuses on Jesus and not the common end-times interpretations.
One final note:
On one hand, he was isolated on Patmos, separated from friends, and worried about the persecution of the church by the Roman emperor, Domitian. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 226). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
The Book Of Signs takes the common idea, which people of various end times views accept, that John was exiled under Domitian. Personally, I believe there is good evidence that he was exiled under Nero.
Return To The Book Of Signs.
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