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Atlanta, 5 April 2017

Good morning! I sent last week's newsletter from Houston (BioLogos conference). On Friday I flew direct from Houston to Calgary, a major city in the province of Alberta, right by the stunning Canadian Rockies. I hadn't seen them since 1971 -- they still take my breath away!

The time of fellowship, hospitality, and teaching in Calgary was excellent, and I'm already looking forward to a return visit (with my wife). All five lessons came from my 2017 releases, Exodus and Answering Skeptics. The Canadian Christians were eager to learn -- a great example for us all. In the photo above I'm with Mike Luzine, church leader in Calgary.

It was also nice to see snow again, as Atlanta usually misses out on the winter fun. (But not all meteorological fun -- at this moment, we're being pounded by a thunderstorm -- while under a tornado watch.)

Before returning to our series, here are the latest Q&As:

Surprise 5: The New Jerusalem isn't Heaven?

It is commonly assumed that the New Jerusalem -- "that holy city" -- is heaven, replete with pearly gates and golden streets. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev 21:1-2).

Yet the passage doesn't say the New Jerusalem is heaven, only that it comes out of heaven. Now if I'm reading the highly figurative book of Revelation correctly, the holy city is on earth!

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations (Rev 21:24-26).

There's another problem with the traditional view that the Holy City is heaven: the presence of non-covenant people outside. (What are they doing? Did they bypass Judgment Day?) 

Rev 21-22 expounds on the glorious vision of Isaiah 60-66, which you should read if you want to understand how these awesome images are being re-visioned in the Apocalypse. At my website you'll find relevant lessons in the Last things series, and even more in my book Heaven & Hell, which is now on sale at IPI books.

Next week: Are our Bibles missing a few books? If not, why does Jude quote from the apocryphal 1 Enoch (Jude 14-15)?

Unboxed

In two weeks I head to Orlando for the Unboxed Conference. In the meantime, it's really nice to be home with my wife, Vicki. (And with all the quadrupeds, too.)

Your brother,
Douglas
IBTM, T&R, AIM
www.douglasjacoby.com

               
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