The Empire of the Skies

The Star Child
"Why should star-struck magi (wise men, sages, scientists) be among the first to welcome the Son of God from the Heavens?
Matthew 2:1-3 and Matthew 2:7 and Matthew 2:9-11
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him." …
7 Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. …
9 And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. 10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Revelation 22:16
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.
 I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."
"Surrender!  The Empire of the Skies is about to arrive!"
Luke 14:31-33
 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace [surrender]. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up [surrender] everything he has cannot be my disciple."  NIV

John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Disciples preached "Repent, for 'The Kingdom of Heaven' is at hand!"  Actually, more faithful to the underlying Greek is, "The Kingdom of the Heavens", (also, "The Kingdom from the Heavens").  Why would God choose such a name for His rule? And why should Jesus' dramatic exit into the Heavens be of Him floating up into the sky, out of sight like a loosed balloon, like a graceful, slow-motion space shuttle? Could God be dropping hints to stimulate, (among other things), an eventual exploration of the Heavens?  Why does God make these overt associations between "sky" and "heaven" by using the same word for them?

Matthew 3:1-2
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Consider again phrase, "The Kingdom of Heaven." John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Disciples preached about the arriving "Kingdom of Heaven." (Language grammer allows us to also render this as, "Heavens' Kingdom"). A study of the underlying Greek shows that the word-for-word translation would be "The Kingdom of the Heavens (plural with definite article "the")." Traditional Spanish Bible translations render it this way, too, as do every translation that clings to the original texts.

Mateo 3:1-2
1 En aquellos días vino Juan el Bautista predicando en el desierto de Judea,
2 y diciendo: Arrepentíos, porque el reino de los cielos se ha acercado.

Mateo 4:17
17 Desde entonces comenzó Jesús a predicar, y a decir: Arrepentíos, porque el reino de los cielos se ha acercado.
[Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960) Copyright © 1960 by American Bible Society] 

Matthew 3:1-2
1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea,
2 and saying, 'Reform, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens,'
Matthew 4:17
17 From that time began Jesus to proclaim and to say, 'Reform ye, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens.'
(Young’s Literal Translation)
And just like Spanish and King James-era English, the Greek word "heavens" is also the same exact Greek word for "skies." Thus, the phrase may also be translated "The Kingdom of the Skies.”  And finally, since Bible references to "kingdoms" are equated with various historical "empires" by major Bible scholars throughout history, we arrive at "The Empire of the Skies.” Other legitimate variations include: “The Empire of the Heavens,” “Heaven’s Empire,” "The Sky Empire," “The Sky Kingdom.”  These are all valid translations of what traditional translations render, "The Kingdom of Heaven." Irregardless of one’s reaction to these word studies and use of synonyms here, there is no refuting that the underlying Greek plainly reads, The Kingdom of the Heavens.” Such studies and use of synonyms help us to break out of our religious preconditioning and look again at what the message of John the Baptist and Jesus actually sounded like to those first ears who heard them.
Here it is in brief:
kingdom” = empire
heaven” = the heavens = the skies
The Kingdom of Heaven” = The Kingdom of the Heavens = The Empire of the Heavens = The Empire of the Skies = The Sky Kingdom = The Sky Empire, etc.,  
The Freedom & the Glory of the Sons of God
Why would God choose such a name for His rule? Why not stick with the simply elegant, "The Kingdom of God" or "God's Empire"?  Why does the opening chapter of Ezekiel 1 depict something so dramatically "out-of-this-world"?  "In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth..." What do you think has been going on in the Heavens all these millenia since the Beginning, nothing? What do you think God's plans might have been for Mankind prior to his Fall? If The Fall was rectified by The Cross & The Return, then everything's ready for Mankind to get back on track with the original plan, right? I think so, and history shows how little changed in day-to-day human affairs between The Fall and The Return, but a lot has changed since, and it seems to be picking up speed. If it took about 5-6 thousand years (MT-LXX) to fix The Fall, and that Fix was roughly 2 thousand years ago, then we are really still at the beginning of this whole thing. We are still just getting started!  Do you really think that God went through all that to create the Universe (kosmos), watch it break and finally get around to fixing it just to let it wind down shortly afterward? Should the bulk of history show God's Creation suffering from downtime? Did God create the Universe for the sole purpose of letting it break just so He could fix it then quit? Or is there something more that we are now prepared to take on? I think so.
Consider some Scripture:
Romans 1:19-20
What may be known about God is plain, because God has made it plain. For since the creation (ktisis #2937) of the world (kosmos #2889) God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."
Genesis 3:17
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 
Romans 8:18-24
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the Creation (ktisis #2937) waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the Creation (ktisis #2937) was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the Creation (ktisis #2937) itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole Creation (ktisis #2937)  groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (soma #4983).
Now I know there are many who already have their minds made up as to what exactly the above passage means. But what if there is a little more to it than just what you think? Do you know everything? Do you know half of everything? What if there is something here is that from the half that you don't know? There is one truth being conveyed here but, as with all Scripture as with the laws that govern Creation (the laws of science), there are many applications. When I apply the message of the above verses to the Creation (ktisis #2937),  I arrive at an interesting conclusion: I think ALL of Creation (ktisis #2937), is out there just waiting for the Sons of God to show up and bring life to it.  Part of our future is ultimately to explore the Creator through His Creation (ktisis #2937), not just here on Earth, but throughout the whole Cosmos (kosmos, #2889):  Spiritual-christian men bringing spiritual-christian life to natural-biological men as they bring natural-biological life to dead rocks out there in Creation (ktisis #2937), all of it being set free from lifeless uselessness into “the glorious liberty of the sons of God,” Rom 8:21 KJV.  As spiritual men, Christians, we minister to the rest of humanity in ways that guide them individually to God through Christ (Salvation, special grace), but we also guide Mankind generally in ways that give them hope & wisdom that keeps them progressing forward (general grace) rather than being left to destroying themselves.
1 Corinthians 8:2
And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
1 Corinthians 7:40
And I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

Matthew 22:37-38
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  38 This is the first and great commandment. 

So Shall Thy Seed Be
Since I hold that the Great Tribulation is long past, a memoir of ancient history, there remains no Bible-mandated end or cataclysm to interfere with Mankind's acheiving any of his yearnings that do not transgress the Word of God. One such yearning that is almost continually expressed in the fiction and even the government budgets of our day is for the manned exploration of outer space: exploration that preludes colonization, just as men have done from their dawn. (And why are so many Christians such Sci-Fi junkies?).  Men as far back as Abraham have looked at the stars, contemplating their future offspring.
Genesis 15:3-5
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but He that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine Heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Galatians 3:29 and Galatians 4:1
3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.
God’s Home is with Mankind !
I have desire to stir up your holy imagination, certainly a part of living God with "all thy mind." I'm still also exploring the possibility that it was the Lord who spoke to my heart -just before I saw the Lord's 70ad Return in the Scriptures- something like: "If you'll sanctify your imagination for My use, setting it apart from manmade fictions, I'll show you some things"). These thoughts began a few years ago, as NASA's first skateboard-probes were beginning to find the first hints of possible evidence of water on the planet Mars. They called a meeting of religious leaders to come together and begin to brainstorm about how religion should be ready for the possibility that scientists may find life outside of Earth sometime in the approaching 21st century.  Their request was: “Can religious leaders find room in their varied traditions to teach people to be emotionally, theologically, etc. ready for that possible announcement, ‘We have found water and we have found accompanying extra-terrestrial found life out there!’ ?" This was about the same time I came to realize the Jesus had already Returned long ago.
John 14:1-4
"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "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. NASB
Revelation 21:1-3
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men!”

Hebrews 12:22-25
You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

John 14:21-24
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."  23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
This New & Heavenly Jerusalem is NOT Heaven, because it “comes down out of Heaven,” Rev 21:2. It is God’s Home, the Tent of Meeting where Heaven and Earth meet together. It is the family reunion of the Saints, the Church, both natural and spiritual, visible and invisible. Since I hold that Jesus has already Returned, (albeit, in a time and manner not presently popular), I must hold that the New & Heavenly Jerusalem (Kingdom of God) is also here - lasting forever and ever.  This being so, there remains no end or cataclysm to interfere with Mankind's "going up and taking the land," as seems eventually necessary.
The Final Frontier ...
I foresee a never-ending exploration of Nature's Universe by natural men, even as spiritual men (Christians) accompany them, extending Eternal Life to them: following in the footsteps of “Buzz” Aldrin who celebrated the Lord’s Supper alongside Neil Armstrong that day those first men landed on the moon, Link; biological men extending biological life through the material Universe even as Spiritual men extend to them spiritual, everlasting life through faith in Christ, the Creator. We will forever be studying "The Unsearchable Riches of God" by exploring His glories as revealed by Creation (Rom 1:19-20) as well as those revealed by His Word.  I think God is working through Christ and His People to guide Mankind to explore the Creation and thereby the glories of the Creator. And God is Love.
Romans 1:19-20
What may be known about God is plain, because God has made it plain. For since the Creation (ktisis #2937) of the world (kosmos #2889), God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."
Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out, investigate, and discover a matter.
Revelation 1:6
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
What are your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes here?
How do you envision all the Church's future generations, forever and ever?
Numbers 13:30
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once, and possess the Land; for we are well able to overcome it!"
*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same with it*
(Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures from the New International Version)
And this is love, that we keep Christ's commandments ~ 2 John 6