This world is not your home!
By Buel Hallpike
(Note: All Scripture quotations are shown in blue italics. Unless otherwise indicated, they are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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In the previous parts of this series we had shown how by ignoring the commands of Yahweh many persons have been deceived and have wandered farther from Him. If you delved deeper to find the fundamental reasons why man chooses the wrong paths perhaps you would agree that ignorance and obsession with self are the two main contenders. In this part we shall consider that man’s overriding desire to satisfy his needs and wants when combined with his attachment to and fascination with things pertaining to this transitory life, obscures the true purposes of life and can deprive him of his heritage.
Any decision to disobey Yahweh is always preceded by an irresistible craving to satisfy or pander to self. This intense desire to indulge self is perhaps the greatest single cause of errors of judgement that have ever been made. One will always be deluded when the fixation with the glitter, glamour or even the necessity of the moment veils the underlying pitfalls.
Examples of Egocentric Delusion
Eve made this mistake when she was tempted in the Garden of Eden and ate of the forbidden fruit. She was thinking only of satisfying her senses. The here and now rather than the hereafter was what really mattered to her. She had made this decision even though she knew she would have displeased Yahweh by violating His commandment, and was aware of the consequences Yahweh had said would follow such disobedience. As she gazed upon that enticing fruit before her, and listened to the seductive words of the serpent egging her on, the words of Yahweh faded almost to the point of peaceful oblivion. There was only one compelling thought: “If I could just touch it, and taste it…now!” Her fingers responded to the irresistible wave of temptation that had captivated her mind and body and shut down any contrary consideration. She touched and tasted that which she had thought was unobtainable. Her curiosity was appeased, and her desire satisfied, but she did not know the unending price all future generations would pay for her one moment of folly.
Esau did the same thing, when overcome by intense hunger he sacrificed his birthright that promised a secure future, just for a bowl of stew. He said to Jacob, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?" Gen 25:32. Judas did likewise when he betrayed the Saviour. He surrendered the highest and unique privilege of being in Yahshua’s inner circle of twelve disciples and of spending eternity with Him, for the sake of the paltry and incomparable sum of thirty pieces of silver. The prodigal son made the same choice when he collected his inheritance from his father and walked away from the security and privileges of his father’s house, for the freedom to be a man on his own, and to ‘do his own thing’ with lots of money jangling in his pocket, but ended up eating the left-overs of pigs.
Like Eve, Esau, Judas and the prodigal son, many persons today are so preoccupied with the dazzling things of this present world and the immediate satisfaction of their fleshy appetites that they have no time or inclination to please Yahweh or to prepare for their future eternal home. For ages Satan has continually led people astray from their everlasting Father, by causing them to focus their minds upon and to form close bonds with transient things of this world as though this present life were all that mattered. He has always presented the objects of his distractions as possessing such surpassing benefits that they demand instant selection. Like the proverbial dog dropping its bone to snap at its shadow, so too this world has dropped what really matters for the delusion of instant gratification.
Where are we today?
In spite of his many attempts, man is no nearer to making this world an idyllic home for present and future generations. Contrary to what politicians at election times would try to make us believe, neither they nor anyone else have all the answers. There are far too many intricate and sometimes conflicting factors beyond man’s control that affect the conditions in which we live. It is humanly impossible to address and resolve any issue satisfactorily in the best interest of the majority, without jeopardising the concerns of others. Man has proved over and over again that he does not have the wherewithal to bring about long lasting and effective improvements, which are guaranteed to make the world a safer, morally better and happier place. Instead of our circumstances improving, they have been deteriorating rapidly.
In addition to man's inability to deal effectively with worldwide issues, there is also a moral decline, which has distorted his vision of right and wrong. Satan takes advantage of both of these weaknesses. As the ruler of this world John 12:31, Satan is filled with great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time Rev 12:12, and that the day is fast approaching when in accordance with Yahweh’s time clock he will no longer have the freedom to deceive people.
In his remaining time, Satan is employing the same self-indulgent appeal that he used so effectively in the Garden of Eden to lead people away from Yahweh and eternal life, to death and destruction. He has launched an all-out assault that targets man’s strongest negative emotions and arouses the most passionate responses. Feelings such as lust, pride, fear, hatred, selfishness and greed are being sumptuously fed and encouraged to grow in a favourable environment. In this massive final thrust to wreak havoc, Satan is playing an active role in destabilising the world and causing many to focus even more on their self-interests.
Worldwide terrorism is spreading the wildfire of hatred and fear. Evil deeds like an active volcanic chain are erupting, causing disruption, suffering and grief with unceasing regularity, and expanding in scope and age-range to surpass anything the world has ever known. Through the influence of media and Internet communication subtle and explicit suggestions that pander to the elevation and obsession of self are being manufactured globally and thrown at us in total violation of our right to control the gateways of our mind. Sensuality in all of its many devious forms is being promoted. Depravity is rampant.
The appealing trap of greed and selfishness that has wooed the whole world is now inflicting its deadliest wound on all. The world’s strongest and largest economies have begun to recede, trapping and crushing the poorest countries that lie helplessly beneath this monstrous debacle. The hopes of many are being shattered with the disintegration of the financial safety nets they had so carefully devised. They have properties that have depreciated in value and which they cannot sell, debts that cannot be repaid, investments that have crumbled, jobs that were deemed to be secure are now either lost or are like fragile props that are inadequate to sustain them. Dreams and ambitions are daily being wrecked. Government debts are spiralling further and further out of control. In their bid to balance the books, they squeeze more and more money out of those who are least able to bear it, and in the process inflict great hardship on the most vulnerable.
Now at last we can fully understand the potential for the fulfilment of the prophecies in the book of Revelation:
Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication Rev 14:8.
Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come. For in one hour such great riches came to nothing. Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance. They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, "Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate" Rev 18:10, 17, 19
In spite of the shrinking global economies and the futility of man's best endeavours to rebuild it, people continue to be deceived and are not yet willing to turn to the only One who offers unending security. Instead of awaking to the folly of an attachment to perishable things, people are allowing their emotions and health to suffer a downturn that is far greater than the economic one. They cannot bear the thought of the threat that lies ahead, yet they will not turn from their idolatrous ways to Yahweh who can calm the storms, make a way where there is no way, and give to them eternal life where no moth and rust can corrupt.
They are still obsessed with the here and now even though it offers little or no hope.
Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to [Yahweh] a ransom for him-- Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish Ps 49:6-7, 10-12.
In this age of materialism and self-centredness, man does not need help or encouragement to be egocentric. Nevertheless, amidst and in spite of the global collapse, many religious denominations are fostering materialism and the aggrandizement of self, by their over-emphasis on the natural benefits of serving Yahweh in what is now known as the 'prosperity gospel'. In a fashion comparable with the Sale of Indulgences, they try to extort money from their followers by promising Yahweh’s blessings in return for some payment to their organisation. It is not only the irreligious population that is deluded and dishonest. Deception and greed are rife in many churches and ministries that claim to be followers of Yahshua. Many of those who should be freely sharing the good news they had freely received from Yahweh's word to dispel fear and selfishness, are twisting and using their limited knowledge to satisfy their own ends.
The emphasis on financial and economic difficulties conceals other serious maladies that like cancers are eating away at the core of our society. There is little or no appetite or tolerance for what is Biblically correct. What matters nowadays is to be seen to be ‘politically correct’ – whatever that means. In its application, equal rights for all is given higher priority than morality based on Biblical principles. The foundations on which stable societies had been built are being demolished. Lines of demarcation have been removed so as to create a seamless society, where in theory all are supposed to have equal rights, but in fact the rights of many others are being ignored. Thus, respect for the religious and moral values and rights of others are often disregarded in order to achieve this perceived and inexplicable but elusive ideology of freedom for all.
In almost every sphere of our society, the Bible is squeezed out to make way for doctrines of demons. This is one result of focussing on this present life and not on our future life. The blind is leading the blind. They do not know or care to know where they are going, as long as they keep going – FAST!
Ours is an age of intense spiritual darkness, in which many are still groping and hoping to find a way out of this world's dilemma without accepting the formula and doctrines that the Bible provides. But it will not be found. The moral, social and economic global deterioration is a rude but necessary reminder and stimulus to those who believe that this world is not our home or the reason for our hope. Paul wrote: If in this life only we have hope in [the Messiah], we are of all men the most pitiable 1 Cor 15:19.
The demise of the foundations upon which man had built his hopes, is an essential prelude to the day when the elements will melt with fervent heat and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up 2 Pet 3:10. Like rotten food that cannot be revitalised, so is our world today - rotten to the core and fit only for the scrap heap and destruction. Yet many persons are so deluded, that they think something can be salvaged out of this degeneration, which will provide a basis for an unprecedented restoration. That is not the hope offered by the Bible.
The rapidly increasing series of bewildering events suggest that the curtain is closing to end this transitory Scene in order that the final Act will begin in which the true and faithful will enter their long awaited eternal home and the unrighteous will be punished. There is light beyond the tunnel that will usher in a brand new day for those whose hope is not in this life, for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come Heb 13:14.
The Eternal Home
Yahshua in comforting His disciples before His death said to them in John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in [Yahweh], believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also".
Yahshua made three distinct promises:
1. He would be going to prepare the future abode of His followers
2. Afterwards He would return to collect those who were His own, so that
3. They would always be with Him, wherever He was.
It must be pointed out that there are two important erroneous doctrines held by large numbers in Christendom, which the Master Teacher has not supported.
Firstly He did not say that before His return His followers would have been already with Him in heaven. In fact He made it quite clear that those who had died before His return were not already in Heaven for He said in John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven"
If you still have any doubts, Paul wrote in 1 Thess 4:16 [Yahshua] Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of [Yahweh]. And the dead in [the Messiah] will rise first. Observe that the dead would be ‘raised’ not ‘descend from heaven’.
The second point we should note is that Yahshua did not say that He and His followers would return to heaven as their permanent residence. Indeed there are numerous verses, which state the saints will reign with Him in His Millennial kingdom. They shall be priests of [Yahweh] and of [the Messiah], and shall reign with Him a thousand years Rev 20:6. The thousand-year reign will be on earth - not in heaven. This is confirmed in Rev 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our [Eloah]; And we shall reign on the earth. Following this period the saints would enter their eternal home.
It is very often assumed that the final destination of the righteous will be heaven, because Yahshua said He would be returning to heaven, where He would prepare our home. We will try to clarify this by a simple analogy, which is consistent with the basic facts given in the Scriptures. Let us suppose you asked a manufacturer to construct, deliver and install a mobile home. The home could be built in a certain geographical area, say, Scotland and delivered to a distant location, let us say Wales. The manufacturer’s location is quite different from the final destination of the home. In the same way, your eternal home is being prepared in heaven, and then it will come down from heaven to a new earth. That is where you will reside for eternity.
Continuing our analogy, you could regard Yahshua’s Millennial reign and the interval shortly after that, as site-clearing time, when He will get rid of all the debris in the earth, including Satan. He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire Matt 3:12. Yahshua’s Millennial reign will end after He has defeated all of His foes. He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet 1 Cor 15:25. Bear in mind that the ground-clearing aspect is an analogy, which is deliberately being kept very simple in our illustration. There are many things that will be done during that reign, for example the reunification of both houses of Israel, which we will not consider at this moment.
After the clearing has been completed and all those who despised Yahweh’s ways have been vanquished, then [Yahshua will deliver] the kingdom to [Yahweh] the Father, [having put] an end to all rule and all authority and power 1 Cor 15:24. It is at this time that the saints will enter their final abode.
Rev 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from [Yahweh], prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of [Yahweh] is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. [Yahweh] Himself will be with them and be their [Elohim].
4 And [Yahweh] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
This is the grandest finale ever. It is the time when we will hear the Master say, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" Matt 25:34. The previous world with all its pretence, drudgery, disappointments, broken dreams, heartaches and sufferings would be a thing of the past. You, as an immortal being would have at last entered your brand new exquisite eternal home. The former things [would] have passed away for behold, ALL things would have been made new. This would be the long-awaited everlasting Kingdom, which is the heritage of all those who keep the commandments of [Yahweh] and the faith of [Yahshua] Rev 14:12. This is the city for which Abraham looked, for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is [Yahweh] Heb 11:10. It is the promise that all the heroes and indeed all the believers who have ever lived could not receive in their time. Heb 11:39-40 confirms all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, [Yahweh] having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
This is Mount Zion … the city of the living [Elohim], the heavenly Jerusalem Heb 12:22. It [will have] no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of [Yahweh] [will illuminate] it. The Lamb is its light Rev 21:23.
Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there) verse 25.
But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life verse 27.
Paul tells us in Gal 5:19-21 that anyone who practises adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like ... will not inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh].
The New Jerusalem will be the antithesis of all that had existed in the world before: instead of war there will be peace; instead of sin, holiness; instead of hate, love; instead of confusion, order; instead of darkness, light; and instead of corruption, honesty; for Satan that deceiver will be eternally imprisoned and tormented in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10), and all immortal beings will worship and obey Yahweh implicitly.
Can you begin to imagine a place of such pristine purity where unlike the present world there would be no more tears, death, sorrow, crying, crimes, criminals, and any sort of evil? Can you comprehend what it would be like when all inhabitants are immortal without being in any way restricted by the thousands of impediments that are natural to the human body? Are you capable of visualising spending eternity (time without end) in blissful peace in the presence of Yahweh, Yahshua, and the Bible heroes of old? Can you fathom exploring the infinite and perfect universe throughout eternity? No, you cannot. The half has not been told. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which [Yahweh] has prepared for those who love Him 1 Cor 2:9. The psalmist wrote, Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You Ps 31:19. Can anything in this sin-sick world that is filled with ‘toil and care’ and is on the verge of collapse begin to compare with the idyllic perfection of our eternal residence, which [Yahweh] has prepared for those who love Him?
Get Your Priorities Right
We have had less than a bird’s eye view of the eternal home. Even so, it is beyond comprehension that anyone would choose this unstable world that exists today in preference to the everlasting Kingdom; yet many persons are doing exactly that!
Yahshua said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal" Matt 6:19.
In Luke 12:15 He warned, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." In spite of such clear directives from the Master, mankind is still craving after the vanishing husks of his crumbling world.
Paul advised us, Do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal 2 Cor 4:18.
John wrote, the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of [Yahweh] abides forever 1 John 2:17.
Man is choosing to remain duped and in ignorance of Biblical truth. As though heavily sedated, he is not even being awakened by the shock waves that are shaking the earth. It is as though he is content to wait and see. One day the waiting will be over and his eyes will be opened, when it will be too late. Now is the time to choose life and not death and real hope instead of despair.
Eve, Esau, Judas and the prodigal son selected the instant perishable commodities. Their record would have been quite different if instead of giving in to their impulses, they had been determined to satisfy their long-term interest rather than a fleeting attraction. The reality is that when for whatever reasons a self-centred alternative dominates, there is hardly a choice. The tendency then is for one to yield to self rather than struggle against one’s will. The root cause of our preferences is much deeper than the momentary selection. The underlying reason for the choice we make is dependent on who or what has priority in our lives.
Yahshua said, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other" Matt 6:24. If ‘self’ is predominant, it will be your master.
Few persons make a conscious effort to choose Satan and not Yahweh. In fact the majority would deny that such alternatives are considered in the decisions they make. Nevertheless, whether deliberately or not, by seeking mostly to gratify self, they leave a widely opened door for the enemy to enter.
Satan gratefully complies. He enters and then bombards and poisons the minds of people causing them to focus on things that will not last. In good times they are preoccupied with gaining more of this world’s goods. In hard times they worry about losing it all.
The ‘world, the flesh and the devil’ thus form a triple force, which is irresistible except we are fully yielded to the over-riding power of Yahweh’s Spirit.
Without Yahweh’s help we are defenceless and can be blinded and deluded when tempted by tangible and temporary rewards that for a moment may seem more desirable than the inestimable glory that is to be revealed by following Yahshua. As Satan beguiled Eve by a fruit, so he is busy deceiving people with the glittering or even fading things of this world.
If as Yahshua said we should seek first the kingdom of Yahweh, then this world with all of its attractions would not have any strong hold on us. Wherever and whenever Yahweh is not uppermost in our thoughts, we are vulnerable to Satan’s duplicity. Our kingdom is not of this world John 18:36. By contrast to the expected demise of this world’s kingdoms, the Kingdom of Yahweh is an everlasting kingdom, and [His] dominion endures throughout all generations Ps 145:13.
The present time is too serious for us to be focussed on things of no eternal value. While Satanic forces are intensifying their efforts to lead the world astray, those whose hearts are in tune with Yahweh should desire now more than ever to put Yahweh first and to always do those things that please Him John 8:29. The Bridegroom is almost here. It is time to awake from deluded slumber, throw off the cosy coverings of self-interest and go forth blazing our torches of truth to shine the path that leads to Him.
The greatest splendour in this world cannot in any way be compared with the glory that awaits us.
Our eternal heritage is too important to sacrifice it for the temporary appeasement of fleshly appetites.
The time referred to in Revelation chapters 14 and 18, is surely coming. Nothing and no one will prevent it. The big calamity is on its way. Now is not the time to spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy. Instead it is the time to Listen carefully to [Yahweh], and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in [His] abundance Isa 55:2.
Worldly goods and pleasures have lured many from the narrow and straight paths of righteousness into the broad road that leads to destruction. John wrote in his first epistle: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him 1 John 2:15. When self-centredness and the pursuits and cares of this life are one’s first priority, other more important things are squeezed out.
True believers do not have to be deceived by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things Mark 4:19. This tottering world is not our final destination. We are travellers and not residents. Hebrews 11:13,14,16 show that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth … [seeking] a homeland and … desire a better, that is, a heavenly country … where Yahweh has prepared a city for [us]. Our deepest longing must be for our eternal home. We are commanded to seek first the kingdom of [Yahweh] and His righteousness Matt 6:33.
The end of all things is at hand 1 Peter 4:7. Now is the time for us to practise what the Bible teaches while we wait expectantly to enter our eternal inheritance. It is not time to be deceived, and weighed down with the cares of this world. Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven Prov 23:5. The world will continue to reap the full harvest of the seeds of disobedience to Yahweh that they had sown and nurtured for countless generations. Although those of us, who have resolved to put Yahweh first, may go through this night of darkest gloom, there is no need or room for pessimism. Our day will dawn when we will enter the city of the great King Ps 48:2. While we wait, if we are faithful to Him and put our trust in Him, He will never leave [us] nor forsake [us] Heb 13:5.
There is no hope in man, who does not have the answer and cannot help; or in your crumbling possessions; or in some egocentric deluded doctrine that promises much in this life without the authority and ability to deliver. Our safest hope is not in a change in our circumstances. Our hope is in Yahweh alone who can make all things new. We do not look for a new city from the pile of this world’s rubble. We look for the new heaven and a new earth, … and … the holy city, New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from [Yahweh], prepared as a bride adorned for her husband Rev 21:1-2.
Be not deceived! This world is not your home!
"Our beliefs must fit in with the Scriptures especially when the Scriptures do not support our beliefs". Buel Hallpike
©Buel Hallpike January 2009 Revised September 2012