Good vs Evil – Paul Explains Flesh

A quick review from our post Good vs Evil – Paul Reveals

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. Paul also explains the bodies of different “beings”.

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 / inside 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”. See our post Good vs Evil – Paul Reveals.

The Old Testament and the four gospels were pointing to the Kingdom of Heaven coming. The literal, physical reign on earth, of the Messiah. But because Jesus is God manifest or made known in the flesh (1 John 5:7 and 1 Timothy 3:16) and explained, he would be killed and raise from the dead, and he did, the disciples and other believers did not understand. Where would Jesus be killed? On earth. Did angels witness this? Yes. Where were the angels? In the firmament aka 2nd heaven. Paul is telling Timothy this in 1 Timothy 3:16.

1 Timothy 3:16 KJV  “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

What is the word testament? It is a covenant but also think about someone’s Last Will And Testament. Just like people change their will, God changed his will / testament. Why? Because Jesus came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill Matthew 5:17 KJV
  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

So when Paul gets saved, Jesus was gone. Jesus went back to the Father in the third heaven. But the Father sends the Holy Spirit to all believers, Jews and Gentiles. Unlike all the people before Paul who were focused on the Messiah coming and ruling and reigning physically on earth, Paul’s message was different.

Paul’s message focused on the Kingdom of God. It was no longer about trying to keep a bunch of laws, rules and regulations to be able to get into God’s kingdom or to be able to stay in God’s kingdom. Now, to get into God’s kingdom,  it is by grace through faith, not if you are good or bad.  The Old will and testament judged on works to get into God’s kingdom. The New Will and Testament says I can get into God’s kingdom by believing on Jesus Christ and his shedding of his blood to pay for all my sin. And by believing and receiving Jesus Christ  into my heart and confessing him with my mouth, I am saved. I am in God’s kingdom. I am in God’s kingdom on my good days and my bad days. And because I am in God’s kingdom now, I have certain rights. I am an “heir” of salvation.

I changed kingdoms. Kingdoms have laws, rules and methods of operation. So does God’s kingdom. And as a believer I am an heir and joint-heir with Christ Romans 8:17,18.  So even though my body is on earth, earth is not my home. I am an ambassador for Christ  and his kingdom and, I have an inheritance. And part of my inheritance is the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1. But we are going to look at the importance of the kingdom change right now.

When Jesus told Peter Jesus was giving him the keys to the kingdom, what kingdom? Jesus was giving Peter the keys to what kingdom? What do keys do? Keys unlock things. So Jesus said he was giving Peter keys to the kingdom of heaven meaning these keys would unlock the kingdom of heaven. And what ever thou bind on earth will be bound in heaven.

Matthew 16:17-20 KJV  “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
[19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
[20] Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

But Paul never mentions the kingdom of heaven. Paul mentions the kingdom of God. And, Paul mentions the kingdom of Christ. Ephesians 5:5 KJV  “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Clearly the kingdom Jesus gave the keys to is different than the kingdom of God Paul preaches. And who can get into the kingdom of God? All those who believe on and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour in their heart,  Jews and Gentiles, good or bad, rich or poor.

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 with his own blood.  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. As we said last time, That is the meaning of the parable in Luke when we are told to occupy until the the come.  Luke 19:12-27.

Believers are here on earth occupying until the Lord comes to get us. Paul describes how believers are to occupy. But Paul’s letters go deeper. Paul explains the battle in the firmament. And Paul tells us how to fight. But sadly, many sermons review over and over again Old Testament “stories” and examples and rarely, if ever, teach or explain the kingdom of God within believers. Where is the instruction to the believers on the battle and spiritual warfare going on and how to fight back, how to occupy until Jesus comes to take us home to our new home?

Not only do we have Paul’s letters telling us how to fight, we have Jesus as an example when Satan came against him. Jesus was physically, in the flesh, on earth. And someone we could not see with our physical eyes,  attacks Jesus. Where was Satan? In the firmament and he came to Jesus.

Sadly, many “churches” are more concerned with attendance numbers and how to increase numbers. Churches are turning into social clubs, coffee shops, entertainment venues and teachers focused on Old Testament and the four gospels which point to the coming Messiah. HELLO – the Messiah came. And he sent us the Holy Spirit and saved Saul, changed his name to Paul and sent Paul to teach believers how to occupy until the Lord comes back.

And many believers have focused on the “gifts” of the Spirit and not occupying until Jesus comes back. And many have twisted the “gifts” of the Spirit to line up with what their denomination teaches. Friends, these things ought not to be so.

Now that the ground work is laid, we are ready to look at Paul’s message to believers. When believers are going through divorce, abandonment, kids on drugs, loss of jobs, sickness and the same issues as unbelievers and all the church can say is come to our church, we have a great music program or we have a coffee shop, there is a problem.

Look at your own life. If an unbeliever  looked at your life, would they want to be saved? 1 Corinthians chapter 15 is Paul presenting the gospel of salvation. Paul explains –

1 Corinthians 15:39-49 KJV  “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
[40] There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
[41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
[42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
[43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
[44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
[45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
[46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
[47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
[48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
[49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

Paul is explaining spirit “things” and second and third heaven “stuff”. When was the last time you heard this taught in your local church? And sadly, many believers are more interested in getting a better job, buying things and the cares of this world and not who they are in Christ and how they should occupy until the Lord comes.

So we are going to try to shed some light on the real life as a believer in Christ and how we are to occupy until Jesus comes to get us. How the second and third heaven play a role in our life. Until next time.

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