Good vs Evil – Paul Reveals

People bring Old Testament verses in to New Testament living and can’t figure out why their life does not match up with the scriptures. Or people will look at the four gospels and put those verses in to the church age and then they get all confused.

The way believers have tried to explain how God works with man is by teaching dispensations. Another words, God dispenses understanding and revelation to man at different times throughout history. Scripture does support the teaching of dispensations as this scripture makes clear.

John 20:9 says, ” For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

When we look at the differences of the Old Testament teachings coupled with the four gospels when Messiah came to fulfill the Old Testament, and compare Paul’s teachings – there is a huge difference. The gospels and the Old Testament focus on Israel and leave out Gentiles who believe. The gospels and the Old Testament are rooted in man keeping lists of rules and regulations to obtain favor with God and stay saved. We see examples in the Old Testament of people who tried to keep these rules and every one of them failed.

Even many believers struggle with some of Paul’s teachings. I started by posting The Disciples, Paul & Divisions and the Lord showed me, I need to retitle this series. So I am going to do as God said.
So to try to help explain this I am going to post a series titled Good vs Evil and try to lay out how God’s word is just perfect in explaining everything. Man has been looking at things with his earthly eyes trying to understand the  spiritual. So here we go.

Scripture makes it very clear, there are three heavens:

1 – Earth’s Atmosphere – that is what we see when we look up towards heaven.

2 – The Firmament – this is above the first heaven and there is water up there. Genesis 1:7-8 KJV  “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
[8] And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

3 – God’s Dwelling – 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 KJV  “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
[2] I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
[3] And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
[4] How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

Where are you? On earth and you can look up and see the first heaven but you can not see the second or third heaven, right? We would call the second heaven, space. That is where the planets, stars and solar system is located. Then above that is the third heaven, God’s abode.

Remember in Daniel chapter 10 when Daniel sees something, a vision? We know Gabriel, an arch angel of God’s, comes to Daniel and explains things. And in Daniel 10: 12,13 we see the arch angel Michael is fighting with someone. Could the people on earth see this? No. Where was this battle taking place? In the second heaven called The Firmament.

There is a battle going on between good verses evil, God verses Satan, God’s angels verses Satan’s demons. Old Testament people knew this and it is recorded in scripture with Jacob’s ladder, Ezekiel’s visions, Job and many others. This battle happens in the firmament, or 2nd heaven. What are they fighting for? The souls of man and  kingdoms. Remember, your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions.

God has his kingdom and Satan, for now, has a kingdom, the prince and power of “the air”. So God calls out Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, establishes Israel as a nation set aside for God. Satan prods and pushes and nips at Israel trying to get them to turn away from God. God sets up Moses and a bunch of laws and ordinances (about 6000 of them) to show them the path to take, with the promise of a coming Messiah who will straighten everything out.

So the Old Testament is a record of those laws and ordinances and much more to include prophecy, mistakes people made, sin, and victories. The Old Testament points to the coming Messiah, a time when God would set up his kingdom on earth. During these hundreds and thousands of years, battles in the firmament are still going on. Then Jesus / Yeshua comes and presents himself to Israel as their Messiah and the religious leaders reject him. Yeshua is crucified, buried and rises from the dead and seen by many, many people, alive.

Then notice Luke 24:50-53 KJV  “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
[51] And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
[52] And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
[53] And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”

The people watched Yeshua / Jesus go up into heaven. What heaven? #1, #2 or #3? They could only see him going up into number one. But when Jesus said on the cross, ” It is finished”, Jesus settled everything – EVERYTHING. That means, the conflict is not about me. The conflict is not about me winning because Jesus won, he beat the devil. Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave. The enemy is defeated. Jesus defeated him.

Our job is not to defeat the enemy, Jesus already defeated him. Our job is to occupy until the Lord comes. This is about kingdoms and all those parables liking the kingdom of heaven to, is because the kingdom of heaven is a literal area where heaven rules. And the kingdom of God is within believers.

The apostles and Old Testament saints were looking for this kingdom of heaven, on earth. But Jesus was crucified instead. They didn’t understand. Then Paul comes along, gets saved  and starts teaching something deeper, things we can not see, 2nd and 3rd heaven “stuff”. The Old Testament and gospels were teaching 1st heaven “stuff”.

The Bible is not a book of commandments and rules I have to keep and if I am good enough or do good deeds, then I can be saved or stay saved. If you wanted to go to a foreign country, you check the laws, rules, the lifestyle, the weather, crime, cleanliness and so forth. You decide if you want to go to that country or not. Just like you get to choose if you want Jesus and God’s kingdom or not.

True believers have chosen to believe on and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  We use God’s word not to keep laws and rules to stay in God’s kingdom, Jesus paid our way in to the kingdom of God. God’s word is our instruction manual. And God chose Paul to explain how to use his instruction manual. Paul’s teachings teach us what is going on and what we are suppose to do until Jesus comes back to get us. That is the meaning of the parable in Luke.

Luke 19:12-27 KJV  “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
[13] And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
[14] But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
[15] And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
[16] Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
[17] And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
[18] And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
[19] And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
[20] And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
[21] For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
[22] And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
[23] Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
[24] And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
[25] (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
[26] For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
[27] But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

And our instruction manual tells us there is a battle going on in the second heaven, the firmament.

Our instruction manual tells us God has angels, not to minister to us but God’s angels minister FOR us , those who are “heirs” of salvation. Hebrews 1:13-14 KJV  “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
[14] Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Paul’s message is quite different from the Old Testament and the four gospels. Paul is teaching believers they are in this world but not a part of this world. Paul shows us the battle in the second heaven and how believers are to fight. We will look at this more next time, Lord willing. Until next time.

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