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JoeMo

Entering the Kingdom vs. Inheriting the Kingdom

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JoeMo

Is there a difference between "entering" the Kingdom of Heaven" vs. "inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven"? In an earthly sense, when I think of "entering" a Kingdom, I think of going into another country - like going to Great Britain or Spain.  When I think of "inheriting" a Kingdom, I think of being given a portion of a Kingdom; or assuming some position of leadership in that Kingdom.  Could it be the same in heaven?  Could those of us who merely accept Christ as our Redeemer "enter" His Kingdom as devoted subjects, but have no part in His government or the wedding ceremony (like the 5 foolish virgins)? Could those people simply be the guests at the feast after the wedding of Christ and His Church?

On the other hand; could those who "inherit" the Kingdom be those who - upon accepting Christ - gave their lives to Him as missionaries, evangelists, volunteers for the poor and imprisoned, etc"?  People like the Apostles, Dwight Moody, Billy Graham, Ellen White, and other less famous people who nonetheless devoted their lives to the spreading of the Gospel?

I believe there will be different classes of saints in heaven, just as there are different classes of angels.  One scenario I have considered is that the 144,000 actually "inherit" the Kingdom of heaven (e.g., they will be part of the ruling class in the Kingdom); while the innumerable masses are the subjects of the Kingdom; carrying out the work of the Kingdom under the direction of the ruling class.

I haven't though this all the way through yet.  The idea just came to me as my wife and I were discussing the parable of the 10 virgins.  The 5 foolish virgins obviously didn't perish, because they were weeping and gnashing their teeth.  Could they be grieving because - even though they have received eternal life in the Kingdom, they have no part in the rewards giving to those who overcome?  Could it be that - although they had accepted Christ and were anxiously awaiting the  arrival of the groom, they had not "prepared" adequately for the groom's delay; and hence ran out of oil (Holy Spirit) to persevere until the Groom's arrival?

What thinkest thou?

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8thdaypriest
On 8/24/2019 at 10:22 AM, JoeMo said:

The 5 foolish virgins obviously didn't perish, because they were weeping and gnashing their teeth

First thought:  Where do you get "gnashing of teeth" in the parable of the virgins without enough oil.

Second thought:  Gnashing of teeth was a sign of anger or rage - not something done in mourning/sorrow.

Psalm 112:10 "The wicked will be angry when they see this; they will gnash their teeth and waste away, the desires of the wicked will come to nothing."

So who might be angry - in the context of the glorious return of Christ

Answer:  Those who believe themselves saved, but find they are lacking the connection with HIM. 

Answer:  the hypocrites - who think they are righteous because they go through all the right motions (church wise).  But they have "lost their first love" and are now lukewarm, because they have pushed away the Holy Spirit, partly through neglect, and partly because they don't want the full commitment.  They are painted sepulchers - looking good on the outside (avoiding uncleanness), but rotting on the inside. 

I personally believe the "foolish virgins" symbolize a class of religious people (waiting for the bridegroom), who are left "outside".  I do not believe they will be part of the saved who receive eternal life. 

The "bridegroom" says to them "I know you not."  (Jesus said, "I know My sheep.") 

Matthew 8:12  "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 13:42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
 

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JoeMo
6 minutes ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Where do you get "gnashing of teeth" in the parable of the virgins without enough oil.

Sorry; wrong parable.  However, they were shut out of the wedding.

“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matt. 25:11-13).

Regardless of how you feel about my reference to the 10 virgins, Do you think there is a difference between entering and inheriting the Kingdom? In other words, will some humans be part of heaven's ruling class, while others of us will simply be subjects of the Kingdom supporting God's work at the direction of the ruling class and God?

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8thdaypriest

Those who are made immortal, will "receive" a kingdom, "inherit" a kingdom, "possess" a kingdom. 

Luke 22:29 "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me," (NKJ)

Hebrews 12:28 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (NKJ)

We do not just "enter" His kingdom.  We will receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom.  We will "reign" over that kingdom as "kings and priests". 

"Then to Him (the Son of Man) was given dominion and glory and a kingdom." (Daniel 7:14)  "But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever." (verse 18).  "A judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. (verse 22)  "Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.  His (Christ's) kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him (Christ)." 

  Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years."

2 Timothy 2:12 "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us." (NKJ)

Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth."

 Galatians 5:21  "I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Matthew 25:34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'"

Psalm 37:22 "For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off."

James 2:5 "Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

We will realize this "inheritance" only if we are "in Christ".  We will inherit with Him. 

QUESTION IS:  Who will we reign over?   Answer:  The "rest of the dead", who will be nations in the four corners of the earth.  And because "the rest" do "not live again" until the 8th millennium, (IMO) we will not begin to "reign with Him" until the 8th millennium.

"THEN COMES THE END"

The saints will only "reign" for 1000 years.  After that, there will be no one to "reign over" - all those of "the rest" having been won to the kingdom or lost to Gog/Magog. 

1 Corinthians 15:24 "Then comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power." (NKJ)

 

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8thdaypriest

How do we inherit?

Romans 4:13-16  "For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  . . . Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."   

Galatians 3:16 "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ." (NIV)

 Galatians 3:29 "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Jesus Christ was descended from Abraham, through Jacob.  He fulfilled the conditions of the covenants made with Abraham, Jacob, and Israel. 

If we "belong to Christ" and "abide in Him", then we are "grafted in" to Israel.  We become "Abraham's seed" and will inherit the kingdom promised. 

The land area promised to Abraham, is the same land area that will be covered by the New Jerusalem.  Hence we - if we "inherit" that land area as "seed of Abraham" will enter that City.  (NOTE:  Flesh and blood cannot enter there.)

Christ will marry the New Jerusalem  (Rev 21:9-10).  "In Romans 7:4, Paul says that believers are married/betrothed to the one who rose from the dead.  He says it against in 2Cor 11:2.  "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

It would appear that the New Jerusalem (the City) and her citizens (Christ's church of immortals) IS "the bride". 

That leaves only "the rest of the dead" as the wedding "guests".  Some will be invited and will receive the "wedding garment" of Christ's righteousness. 

The ones who try to crash that wedding without "a wedding garment" will be cast out into "outer darkness", where they will be consumed by the lake of fire. 

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8thdaypriest

My quick answer to your question is - yes. 

Those who "inherit" and "receive" and "possess" will be those "who reign with Him" for 1000 years.

Those who simply "enter" will be "the rest of the dead", who live again at the 8th millennium.

Those who have inherited will "rule the nations" under Christ - but only for 1000 years.

By the end of the millennium, there will be no further need for ruling or reigning.  Everyone will know the LORD. 

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JoeMo
5 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

By the end of the millennium, there will be no further need for ruling or reigning.  Everyone will know the LORD. 

So does that mean, in your opinion, that after the millennium and the Great White Throne Judgement, there will be no distinction between the 144,000 and the "great multitude that no one could number"? I think the 144,000 will always hold a distinction above everyone else in the Kingdom.  I think that even in eternity, there will have to be a system of governance; especially if the governance of the universe is to be run from earth.

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8thdaypriest
11 hours ago, JoeMo said:

So does that mean, in your opinion, that after the millennium and the Great White Throne Judgement, there will be no distinction between the 144,000 and the "great multitude that no one could number"? I think the 144,000 will always hold a distinction above everyone else in the Kingdom.  I think that even in eternity, there will have to be a system of governance; especially if the governance of the universe is to be run from earth.

The 144,000 "will follow the Lamb where ever He goes".  That does suggest they will have a special role.  I have not come to a strong sense of just who they will be. 

There are things that make me think the 144,000 represent ALL of the saved from this age (6000 years), who spend the 7th millennium with Christ in "the Father's house".  The "great multitude" would then be those from "the rest of the dead". 

The 144,000 are called "virgins" and a High Priest could only marry a virgin of Israel.  That makes it appear the 144,000 is destined to be "the bride" of the Lamb. 

The 144,000 will stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, with the Father's name written on their foreheads (Rev 14:1).    Hebrews 12:22, written to first century believers, "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, . . . to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven . .. to the spirits of just men made perfect (without fault - pure virgins - bride of Christ)."  The verse in Hebrews makes every believer (Israel redeemed) one of those who stand with Christ on Mount Zion. 

The 144,000 are called "the firstfruits" from among men (Rev. 14:4).  But  "firstfruits" of which harvest?  Spring harvest: Those resurrected by Christ just after His own resurrection, who now serve as the 24 elders in Heaven?   Fall harvest: Those from the gathering at the SC?  OR are the redeemed from this age - 6000 years, counted as the Spring Harvest?  And those redeemed from "the rest of the dead" would then be the Fall/final harvest.  It's not clear enough to say.  James 1:18 suggests every believer becomes one of "the firstfruits". 

The angels request the winds be held "until we have sealed the servants of our God".  Are they sealing a special group, or are they working to complete the sealing of God's servants (all of them).   

Are the 144,000 "sealed" just before the trumpet judgments begin?  This suggests they will be the ones to go through the final days of great trial and persecution.   They may be the 2 witnesses (Smyrna and Philadelphia), with the Moses/Elijah message.  Zephaniah wrote down "the words of the LORD" describing the "great day of the LORD".  The LORD describes "the remnant of Israel" whom the LORD "will leave in your midst", who "will do no unrighteousness, and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;".  Sounds a lot like the description of the 144,000. 

The "great multitude" have "come out of the great tribulation", which could simply be life in this dark world under Satan's domination.  They "are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple", in their white robes.  That suggests they will serve as priests.  Only priests entered the Tabernacle/Temple.    This suggests the great multitude will be those from "the first resurrection". Only those from the "first resurrection" will become "priests of God and of Christ".

Two possibilities.  The 144,000 could represent (so the number is not literal):

1.  All of the redeemed from this age of 6000 years (with the GM as those saved during the 8th millennium).  12 x 12 suggests OT times NT Israel.  Also 12 foundations x 12 gates, suggests the City - which suggests everyone who enters there.

2.   "The remnant" - those who are sealed just prior to the start of the trumpet judgments (with the GM being everyone else saved at the SC).

 

 

 

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JoeMo

You raise some interesting questions that I still wrestle with:

4 minutes ago, 8thdaypriest said:

The 144,000 are called "the firstfruits" from among men (Rev. 14:4).  But  "firstfruits" of which harvest?  Spring harvest: Those resurrected by Christ just after His own resurrection, who now serve as the 24 elders in Heaven?   Fall harvest: Those from the gathering at the SC?  OR are the redeemed from this age - 6000 years, counted as the Spring Harvest?  And those redeemed from "the rest of the dead" would then be the Fall/final harvest.  It's not clear enough to say.  James 1:18 suggests every believer becomes one of "the firstfruits". ... Are the 144,000 "sealed" just before the trumpet judgments begin?  This suggests they will be the ones to go through the final days of great trial and persecution.

They are all interesting for discussion.  Thanks for expanding the topic.  I think the Great Tribulation is a specific 1,260-day period immediately prior to the Second Coming.  This world has been under satan's dark domination for most of the past 6,000 years.  The Great Tribulation will be like the time of Noah - evil, fallen angels and demons from the abyss in consort with wicked humans wreaking  havoc among humanity - torturing and killing all those who do not give allegiance to their kings - satan and the antichrist.

I have difficulty in some cases determining from scripture which events happen in the millennium vs. after the millennium.  It isn't always clear.

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JoeMo

I was reading in Matthew 8 today and came across this verse:

"I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:11-12)

Is it fair to infer from the above verses that there are those who are subjects of the Kingdom (people who are in the Kingdom) who "made it"; but are not of the same class as those at the feast? People who are merely subjects rather than priests and kings?

Or could the people from the "many that come from east and the west" be Gentiles; whereas Jews (the originally intended recipients of the Kingdom) who never accepted the Messiah are left outside the Kingdom ?  Given the context of this part of Matthew (the healing of the Roman centurion's servant), I believe this to be the better answer.

I couldn't help but think of the parable of the 10 virgins when I read this.

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8thdaypriest
On 9/21/2019 at 7:10 PM, JoeMo said:

Or could the people from the "many that come from east and the west" be Gentiles; whereas Jews (the originally intended recipients of the Kingdom) who never accepted the Messiah are left outside the Kingdom ?  Given the context of this part of Matthew (the healing of the Roman centurion's servant), I believe this to be the better answer.

Yes.  The originally "chosen" "subjects of the kingdom", will be thrown out, because of their unbelief. 

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JoeMo

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," (Heb.12:1)

What is Paul - the apostle of "saved by grace" - striving for here?  Is his Pharisaical heritage rearing its ugly head?  I think not.  At this point in his life, Paul has to know he's saved - secure in the free gift of eternal life.  He's looking for more - not for self-glorification but that he can be of more service to his Master.  He's looking for even greater responsibility and authority in this world and the next.  Jesus gave Paul a task; and he wants to complete it with an "exceeded expectations" performance appraisal.  He does not want to be a castaway (cast into outer darkness) - just a subject in the Kingdom who is excluded from the rewards of those who follow the Spirit wherever it leads them.  He's not a legalist.  He just sincerely wants to be an imager of his Messiah - a worthy goal for all of us. 

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8thdaypriest
1 hour ago, JoeMo said:

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," (Heb.12:1)

What is Paul - the apostle of "saved by grace" - striving for here?  Is his Pharisaical heritage rearing its ugly head?  I think not.  At this point in his life, Paul has to know he's saved - secure in the free gift of eternal life.  He's looking for more - not for self-glorification but that he can be of more service to his Master.  He's looking for even greater responsibility and authority in this world and the next.  Jesus gave Paul a task; and he wants to complete it with an "exceeded expectations" performance appraisal.  He does not want to be a castaway (cast into outer darkness) - just a subject in the Kingdom who is excluded from the rewards of those who follow the Spirit wherever it leads them.  He's not a legalist.  He just sincerely wants to be an imager of his Messiah - a worthy goal for all of us. 

Joe,

I don't think "outer darkness" means the one thrown there could possible remain a citizen of "the kingdom".  "Outer darkness" was a euphemism for the darkness "outside" the camp of Israel, away from the "pillar of light.

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (NKJ)

To turn away from "the faith" is to stop short of the finish line and quit "the race".  

While I can agree that those who serve others (who are "least" in this world) will be "greatest" in the Kingdom,  we should not strive for that - to be greatest in the Kingdom. 

First citizens and those who follow next. 

I believe those delivered at the Second Coming (along with those resurrected just after Christ Himself was raised) will be the first to share in the "inheritance".  "The rest of the dead" (resurrected at the 8th millennium) will live in the Kingdom, but will not be legal inheritors, at least until they have sided with Christ rather than Gog of Magog.   I believe they will then also receive an inheritance "in Him".   Strangers who sojourned with Israel, were to receive an inheritance "as if they are native born". 

I'm not willing to divide the Kingdom into first tier and second tier citizens, except for that period during the 8th millennium, when the "priests of God and of Christ" are teaching and governing those raised "second".  

Obviously, I totally reject the SDA version of the "second resurrection" of "the rest of the dead". 

 

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JoeMo
14 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

While I can agree that those who serve others (who are "least" in this world) will be "greatest" in the Kingdom,  we should not strive for that - to be greatest in the Kingdom.

I agree that if one's motivation for imaging Christ should not be to be the greatest in the Kingdom.  But if we are true imagers of Christ, we will be servants - now and in the Kingdom.

Look at the parable of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30.  The servants who did something profitable with the resources provided by the Master were rewarded with increased authority and responsibility.

"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matt. 25:21 and 23).  While the Master was away (i.e., when Jesus was back in heaven), the faithful servants took what God gave them to fulfill the destiny God had for them.  When the master returned (i.e., at the second coming), he rewarded the servants who had faithfully utilized the given resources to further the estate/kingdom of the Master. To the servant who hid his resources (did not use them for the furtherance of the Kingdom) had his talent taken away from him.

I don't think the outer darkness means they perished.  If they perished, they would not weeping and gnashing their teeth.  In all three instances where the term outer darkness is used, the ones cast there are still children of the Kingdom who acknowledge their Master.  However, they are excluded from intimacy with their Master until they complete their "training".  This may involve some kind of discipline (not to be confused with punishment - God does not punish His children).

A big part of the basis of our disagreement here is that you believe the 7th millennium will be in heaven because the entire earth is uninhabitable.  I believe the millennium will be here on earth because there will be a remnant of the nations left here on earth whom the saints will be ruling with an iron rod (discipling).  It is difficult for me to separate the events of the 7th Millennium and the 8th Millennium.

 

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BlessedMan
On 8/24/2019 at 9:22 AM, JoeMo said:

Is there a difference between "entering" the Kingdom of Heaven" vs. "inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven"? In an earthly sense, when I think of "entering" a Kingdom, I think of going into another country - like going to Great Britain or Spain.  When I think of "inheriting" a Kingdom, I think of being given a portion of a Kingdom; or assuming some position of leadership in that Kingdom.  Could it be the same in heaven?  Could those of us who merely accept Christ as our Redeemer "enter" His Kingdom as devoted subjects, but have no part in His government or the wedding ceremony (like the 5 foolish virgins)? Could those people simply be the guests at the feast after the wedding of Christ and His Church?

There could be a difference if one were to just go by standardized English Grammar rules. But scripture is not written under said rules at all. Jesus puts it like this:
 

Quote

 

For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (Mat 5:20)

Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Mat  25:34)

 

It would seem, read in correct context, that it would be impossible for one to "enter" something they did not inherit. That is the only "difference" given in scripture.

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JoeMo
2 hours ago, BlessedMan said:

It would seem, read in correct context, that it would be impossible for one to "enter" something they did not inherit. That is the only "difference" given in scripture.

Maybe.  If that is what you believe, do you believe the 5 foolish virgins perish in the lake of fire?

"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 8:12)

"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 22:13)

"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 25:30)

Do you believe the "outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth to be the lake of fire?  I don't. I think it would say to "cast them into the outer darkness where they will perish" If that were the case. I believe those who are in the outer darkness are those who were not part of the bride or the wedding party; but who still entered the kingdom; but as mere subjects wither than kings and priests.  Why? Because they never finished their "sanctification" training on earth.  Those who have been faithful in small things here were be given authority over much more in the Kingdom; and those who have not been faithful, yet still believe and trust in Christ, will receive the gift of eternal life, but their rewards for a job well done may be limited. For example, I have no doubt that guys like Paul and Peter will hold a MUCH higher position in the Kingdom than I.  I'm totally okay with that.

I would like to be part of the bride or a wedding guest, but I would be okay with being a mere subject, as long as I was in the Kingdom.  I'm sure even subjects will have it better than they ever had it here on earth.

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BlessedMan

well, I find the above reply very convoluted. I will have to do some contemplation about if there is even a way to reply.

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