Jesus and the land promise

+ Larger Font | - Smaller Font

The Creation Concept

Single file

Abraham was promised a land

The land of promise in the OT

Israel's restoration-which Israel?

Can Zionism deliver?

Did Walvoord sell out the church?

A heavenly city, or literal land?

What does Jesus promise his saints?

What did God teach Jacob at Bethel?

Why was Jacob's name changed?

Is heaven open, or shut?

The ladder to heaven

Holy ground

In the wilderness

What are Israel's borders?

What do landforms represent?

A land of milk and honey

Connection with Eden

An inheritance unseen

Zion's foundations

Enter into the rock

New heaven and new earth

Israel's return to the land

How the land swallows up the serpent's flood

Did God abandon his promise of the land?

Is the promised land a symbol of paradise?

The knowledge of God, a better promised land

Isaiah 6:11, 'How long, Lord?'

Is the promised land a symbol of the earth?

Threshing the mountains

The mountains of Isaiah 40 & 41

Barry E. Horner and the land promise

The desert will blossom as the rose

Links related to the land promise

Is heaven open, or shut?

When Jesus met Nathanael, he said, "Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." [John 1:51]

What is meant by heaven being opened?

Jesus referred to Jacob's dream at Bethel, in which he saw a ladder set up on the earth, that reached up to heaven, and God above it. Angels were ascending and descending on it. God promised to give him the land. [Genesis 28:12-14]

In Psalm 78, the manna that the Israelites ate in the wilderness was associated with the doors of heaven being opened.

Psalm 78:22-25
23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

Jesus referred to himself as "living bread." He said to the Jews,

John 6:49-51
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Paul said the Israelites ate "spiritual meat." The manna was symbolic of Christ. [1 Corinthians 10:1-4]

Ezekiel said heaven was opened, when he saw a vision of God.

Ezekiel 1:1
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Malachi spoke of the windows of heaven being opened, as a figure of an abundant harvest and blessing. [Malachi 3:10]

When Jesus was baptized, he saw heaven opened.

Mark 1:9-11
9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Steven, before he was killed by the Jews for his testimony, saw heaven opened.

Acts 7:55-58
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

The apostle Peter, when he was fasting, had a vision, and saw heaven opened; "he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:" [Acts 10:11]

In Revelation, John saw heaven opened. He described Jesus on a white horse, prepared to wage war against his enemies.

Revelation 19:11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

These are all examples of heaven being opened. In scripture there are also examples of heaven being shut. Jesus said heaven was shut, in the days of Elijah.

Luke 4:24-26
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

In John's prophecy of the two witnesses, they have power to "shut heaven," so that there would be no "rain." Rain and snow are symbolic of the word of God in Isaiah 55:10-11.

Revelation 11:6
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

The two witnesses can be identified from scripture as symbols representing the scriptures, and the spirit of God, which are referred to as two things that "testify" of Jesus in the gospel of John. One who testifies is a witness. Like the rain that ceased for three years and a half in the days of Elijah, many of the spiritual gifts the early church had, seem to have ceased; no scripture has been written, for example, since the days of the apostles.

But when heaven is opened, in Revelation 19:11, Jesus is about to wage war with his enemies, which certainly includes the false prophets. The Pharisees, for example, were people who "shut up the kingdom of heaven" to others. Jesus said:

Matthew 23:13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

John said about the two witnesses:

Revelation 11:6
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Their power to shut heaven is evidently one of the reasons for the great diversity of opinion that exists about the interpretation of prophecy.

Jesus said, in the message to the angel of the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3, that he is the one who shuts, and no man opens, and he opens, and no man shuts. What is this referring to? Does is refer to the heavens being shut? The two witnesses have power to that. As shown in my earlier post, the heavens being opened was associated with wonderful revelations of God, and abundance of rain, and on the other hand the heavens being shut represents the rain being held back, and the period in which revelations apparently ceased, that spanned the whole history of the church since the time of the apostles.

Revelation 3:7-8
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

This alludes to a prophecy in Isaiah, apparently about a governor of Judah, but applied to Christ in Revelation.

Isaiah 22:22
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

When heaven is shut, and the prophecies are obscure, no man can figure it out, as illustrated by the great confusion about the interpretation of prophecy. This is probably one of the reasons for the development of tens of thousands of sects and denominations, where the saints are scattered.

When heaven is opened by Jesus, and the meaning of prophecy becomes known, no man can reverse it. Just as the breaking of dawn dispels the darkness of night, there is no way to stop it!

Copyright © 2010, 2012, 2013 by Douglas E. Cox
All Rights Reserved.