"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".
Many teach after the Catholic idea that the final goal of our natural state is to eventually leave this earth and eternally dwell in a place called ‘Heaven’. Part of this teaching concludes that this ‘Heaven’ is the place where we all go after we die or shortly after, unless we go to the 'other place'. Many also report having had dreams about being in this ‘Heaven’ or even encountered loved ones living in it. I’d like to suggest that no-one goes to ‘Heaven’, but rather that ‘Heaven’ comes to us.
When Moses entered the cloud God instructed him to tell the Children of Israel, Let them make me a sanctuary… Exactly as I show you …, so you shall make it (Exodus 25:8-9). Jewish sages teach that when Moses disappeared into the cloud, he actually entered the heavenly realm. There he saw the ‘pattern’ after which he was to build the Tabernacle and all its elements. God had brought His realm on earth to show Moses.
The idea of the Tabernacle was to establish the necessary protocol so that the Holy One may be able to dwell among us on the earth (Exodus 25:8). We often speak of the restoration of all things. This implies the return to something that was and the original model of God’s creation, of God’s ‘Heaven', was, that He fellowshipped with us on the earth (Genesis 3:8). The Garden of Eden is the ideal we all desire to return to: living in complete unobstructed fellowship with God within the realm of His marvelous unadulterated creation. That is ‘Heaven’.
“But what about these people who claim to have had dreams of a wonderful place, or to even have sojourned there?” you may ask. Well, maybe they are just reacting to their experience with the only information that they have (we often do). I personally suggest that they have gone to the place where the soul sleeps or rests, awaiting the final resurrection (1 Samuel 28:15; Daniel 12:2; Revelations 6:9-11). Yeshua spoke of resurrection as a time long preceding death (Matthew 22:31). The Master also spoke of that place where people awaits the resurrection, a place corresponding to our works on the earth (Luke 16:19-24). He told the thief at His side that he would be in paradise with Him that very night but three days later Yeshua hadn’t yet gone to the Father (Luke 23:43; John 20:17). Paul also speaks of several levels of heavenly dimensions.
From the beginning, God’s work has been to restore the original conditions of the Garden of Eden. The way Josephus describes the first 1,000 years on earth under Seth sounds heavenly (Ant. 2.3.68-69). Later God chooses for Himself a people through which He makes a covenant to be able to dwell among them. The Tabernacle and the Temple housed the Shekinah, the very Presence of God. Yeshua came to earth to show how godliness is experienced and lived. He prayed, Your kingdom come, … on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10), and the whole thing ends with Yeshua spending 1,000 years restoring all things on earth to prepare it for the arrival of New Jerusalem, again, on the earth (Revelation 20-22).
May it be soon Abba, even in our days!