Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Isaiah has to say about the Celestial Kingdom -part 1

For since the beginning of the world
men have not heard,
nor perceived by the ear,
neither hath the eye seen,
O God, beside thee,
what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
(Isaiah 64:4)
According to this scripture it seems that nobody has a clue of what heaven or the celestial kingdom will be like, without Heavenly Father’s help. It is a good thing we have section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants to describe the three degrees of glory a little bit and the requirements for each one, otherwise we would terribly ignorant.

I once tried really hard to imagine what heaven would be like, and I couldn’t quite picture it. I got this very fuzzy picture of bliss, but what little I could imagine made me excited enough that I wanted very badly to prepare for it.

Scriptures about heaven or the Millennium or the Celestial kingdom are scattered all over Isaiah, so I scoured through and collected them all and sorted them to try and get a more definite picture of just what it is that we are working toward, as Isaiah prophesied, “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off” (Isaiah 33:14-15). This is so that you’ll also want to prepare yourself for it, even though it seems like it is forever away.

A warning—you may not like some of what Isaiah says. Why? What’s not to like? C. S. Lewis sums it up nicely:
Each of us would like some bits of it, but I am afraid very few of us would like the whole thing. That is just what one would expect if Christianity is the total plan for the human machine. We have all departed from that total plan in different ways, and each of us wants to make out that his own modification of the original plan is the plan itself. You will find this again and again about anything that is really Christian: every one is attracted by bits of it and wants to pick out those bits and leave the rest. That is why we do not get much further: and that is why people who are fighting for quite opposite things can both say they are fighting for Christianity.
(C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p80)
I can't say that in my study I caught everything, but I tried to gather a number of different aspects together, which I plan to post. Also, sometimes it was hard to tell what things could be talking about the Celestial Kingdom and what things were talking about the Millennium. I did the best I could, and if you have scriptures that clear anything up, feel free to add in a comment.