THE CITY OF THE LIVING GOD AND OUR CITY
Monday – July 23, 2018, Av 11, 5778
Greetings and welcome back to The Three Minute Word and the ongoing Bible teachings from the wonderful Book of Hebrews. I have been away from writing the last two weeks for a time of refreshing with family and friends in San Antonio. Thankfully, I can report that it was truly good medicine for me. God is so good! Before I dive into our Bible Study from Hebrews I want to address a really serious issue in the body of Christ and that is fear. Fear is the open door through which the enemy waltzing basically by invitation. Fear is rampant in the Church and in the world. We, believers are commanded repeatedly to not fear. When fear is present, love and faith are absent. Since coming to Maine I have noticed an inordinate fear of ticks and Lyme disease and guess what ticks and Lyme Disease is rampant in and out of the Church. Church, wakey, wakey!! The featured picture today was taken following ministry at HIS Church of Reconciliation in Yoakum Texas on the 24th of June. Now, let’s review our Bible text from the Book of Hebrews reading it aloud.
Hebrews 12:22-24 (KJV)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Last week I left off with the discussion that we, the Church, are citizens of Heaven and our spirit man is currently seated at the right hand of the Father in Christ Jesus. Many believe that we are headed to Heaven not that we are on assignment from Heaven. However, this text as well as Ephesians 2:6 make it abundantly clear that we are already seated in the Heavenly place in Christ Jesus. It seems that many do not believe in this duality. Duality is present in the physical realm and Scripture tells us that we can understand the spiritual by better understanding the natural. Consider the following Scripture which has been a very big help to me over many years.
Romans 1:19-20 (HCSB)
19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.
20 For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
Looking back at our Book of Hebrews text we see that we have already come to Mount Sion (Zion) which is the Heavenly Jerusalem, the habitation of the Church, and the habitation of God. In addition, we are told there are innumerable angels present in the Heavenly Jerusalem. These angels are doing the biding of God and of the saints who have preceded us being wholly present (not in earth and Heaven) in Mount Sion. Next, we come to Hebrews 12:23 which is a very interesting verse. Let us think for a moment about the following. Who are the “general assembly”, the “church of the firstborn”, and “the spirits of just men made perfect”? The conjunctive “and” is between “general assembly” and “church of the firstborn”. This tells us there is an association between these groups and perhaps both references are referring to the same group. As we examine this we should be reminded that Christ Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren, He is the first begotten of the Father.
Romans 8:29 (KJV)
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Colossians 1:18 (KJV)
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
The Church of the firstborn are those who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment that there has been one wave of the first resurrection but the resurrection of the Church is yet to come. The second wave of the first resurrection is that which occurs at the time of the Rapture or Catching Away of the Church, and there is a third and final wave of the first resurrection at the end of the Tribulation period. Most translations of this Scripture group the “general assembly” and “church of the firstborn” as the same group of people and I believe that is the proper way to evaluate this. As we end for today let us consider who is in Heaven even as we read this teaching. All of the Old Testament saints were kept in Abraham’s Bosom pending the payment of the price of sin. Jesus then preached to them and led those captives there into Heaven. We see in Scripture that some of the Old Testament saints actually wandered about Jerusalem for a time following the resurrection of Christ. These saints received the gospel of Christ Jesus, and His redeeming Blood and are now in Heaven as whole persons. As whole persons they have received the glorified body like unto that of the Lord Jesus. The second group of persons in Heaven and likely a much larger group are all of those who died in faith since the resurrection of our Savior. These people have not yet received the new glorified body but are able to fully enjoy Heaven as spirit beings. At the Rapture (Catching Away) they and we who remain will receive that glorified body.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (KJV)
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 John 3:2 (KJV)
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Until our next publication, I speak this Scriptural prayer for your life right now, receive it in the name of Jesus, confess it, and walk it out with thanksgiving.
2 Peter 1:2-4 (KJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
By: Dr. David Wood, Author, Bible Teacher, and Prophetic Voice
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