1, Sermon 22
Paul and Jesus teach of 'heavenly things' -
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some
among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have
not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
15:35, 36 But (among
some man ("man"
is not in the original text) will say (further
regarding 'heavenly things'), How are the dead
raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool (Paul says to these), that which thou
sowest is not quickened, except it die:
To whom is Paul
speaking? Answer, "1:1,2
Paul, called (i.e. 'invited') to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through
of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church (i.e. 'called out gathering') of God which is at
Corinth, to them that are sanctified (i.e. 'separated out') in Christ Jesus, called (i.e. 'invited') to be
saints, with all that in every place call upon the name (i.e. 'received, surnamed') of Jesus Christ
our Lord, both theirs and ours:"
These are 'sanctified
leaders, already 'called to be saints
thus on a par with other such leaders in other 'called out gatherings
' even as the
Spirit of Christ Jesus was working among the nations.
In a large city, the 'gatherings' meet in varied parts of the city and
suburbs usually in large homes and so there are leaders that have taken
responsibility for these 'gatherings'. However, some leaders at
Corinth, well knowing and teaching fundamental things of
salvation and church life, could not get it into their heads about some things,
and so they fulfilled
their responsibilities teaching what made sense to them.
But what makes sense to men is not necessarily the sense of God
; or 'heavenly
was lacking in the teachings to some of the brethren. Why? These
leaders were more responsive to their own understanding than to Paul's
clear teaching. Yet, this subject was (is) of utmost importance to each
Christian ... in that a person 'walks
according to the integrity or
reputation of the home
to which they are going.
Below we shall compare this to Jesus similarly
chastising a Teacher of Israel who understood enough to know 'thou art a teacher come from God'
but little else of 'heavenly things'
because the Teacher's life and responsibility was on earth, thus
by earthly 'church' things
that had but little to do with 'heavenly
necessary as are the fundamental
salvation-things that affect humans on earth
... much more important are 'heavenly
things' affecting us through Christ our Lord ... that is, for
the Father unto us ... for the 'heavenly
things' are functioning in
heaven and not on earth.
Being taught by our Lord and his Apostles, some
aspects of 'heavenly things'
give us 'little understanding'
of the 'Son
of God' who regarding earth is the 'Son of man'. But let us continue
with Paul teaching the Corinthians.
These Christians knew of salvation's victory over earthly death, but
little of the ways, means, and methods of 'heavenly things'. Indeed,
such things are essential ... and are the essence of Christ Jesus'
fulfillment of God's Plan of
the Ages ... unto each child
But God giveth it (each
and every thing) a body as it hath
pleased him, and (even) to every seed his
own body. (Moreover,)
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.
In the Greek, 'flesh'
is that between skin and bone, full of blood, of both animals and
humans. Now, the KJV misses some meanings here because Paul is speaking
not just to any humans, but to those destined for incorruptibility. He may consider
some in the church to be 'fools',
but saved 'fools'. Therefore,
he uses the word 'anthropos'
which means more than 'man'; it means 'face of man, or husband, or
sir' (i.e. 'looks like man or husband or sir').
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory
of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
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
As Paul proceeds we will see why he uses 'anthropos' instead
of using simply 'man' (i.e. male human): I repeat, these are not simply
"men of the world", but 'sanctified in
Christ Jesus'. At this point you may think me to be going
overboard, but I am sticking very close to what Paul is teaching here.
Note that Paul now adds the term 'body'
which includes all that is within
the 'body'; also note that bodies can have 'glory'; and 'differing' glories.
15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead (in God). It is sown (i.e. placed in the ground) in corruption (i.e. 'a state of perishing, since its
state of aliveness has died'); it is raised in
incorruption (i.e. 'no longer corruption'):
is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it
is raised in power:
is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural
body, and there is a spiritual body.
We are somewhat familiar with all
that is in the human body. Paul teaches there is a spiritual 'body' (of which we are told little
in scripture because such things are worked in heaven and not on
And so it is written, The first man (i.e. 'anthropos') Adam was made a
living soul (i.e. 'having been blown upon ... i.e. quickened by God's Breath); the last (i.e. 'final') Adam was made a
quickening (i.e. 'the production of something to life') spirit.
Indeed, the 'human
body', whether alive or dead, by God had been given a spiritual 'aspect' (much like the seed of a
plant). Then this 'aspect' of the human body in
resurrectiones regenerates into a new-living body no longer of earth ... where in
heaven it is judged and either kept in heaven or sent elsewhere.
Please note how glorious are Paul's descriptions. The soul of each
living natural thing was
quickened into life by God's Breath; yet, each
shall be sown into the earthly ground admidst death ... ... and if and
it is resurrected it will be 'raised a
Howbeit that (made) was not first which
is spiritual, but that which is
natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
first man (i.e. 'anthropos') is of the earth,
earthy: the second man (i.e.
'anthropos') is the Lord from (i.e. 'of') heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy (i.e. 'made of earth or dirt'): and as is the
heavenly (i.e. Greek word
means 'in heaven'), such are they also
that are heavenly (i.e. 'in heaven').
Plants for instance when alive produce seed as it is
death/life-seed when fallen to earthly ground is in a state of death;
yet, it can be raised to life as a new plant 'of its own kind'.
Here we see the Miracle of Life in God's earth-creation which is
continually receiving God's Breath as the things of earth
Likewise, each will die in its time because all that
are of earth are
under the sentence of death in this fallen earthy world.
The exception is the 'corruptible' child of God destined
for 'incorruptibility'. Also an
exception is the 'corruptible'
sinner already destined for 'corruptible'
punishment ... not having accepted the Christ who died for him or her.
The 'last Adam'
of course was Christ descended to earth to walk about in the form of the 'first Adam'. The first one lived
until he died; yet, the last one 'a
quickening spirit'. Christ Jesus walked the earth in the form of an 'anthropos'; yet he was (is) 'spirit' from heaven ... a 'quickening' spirit ... able to grant
life both earthly and heavenly.
In the Gospels we see him doing both.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the
image of the heavenly.
Dear reader, here is where Paul's teaching, in using the Greek word 'anthropos
', is made clear. As the
child of God is a 'man-faced
person (and no longer the normal typical 'earthy man') ... so also is
the 'second man-faced
' one who 'is the Lord of heaven
For 'As is the
earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly,
such are they also that are heavenly.
Paul tells foolish ones among God's children that they are no longer 'of earth
', thus 'not earthy
and though they are yet corruptible
even so they are destined for
Far too much church teaching is that though we are
(like all men), yet somehow we are "saved".
Ah, but all that are 'earthy
under condemnation; while the child of God, not under condemnation, is
This is why Paul tells us in our earthy-woes to stop
acting like our earthy-woes
are "signs of earthiness
For indeed, we belong to Him through the Blood of His Son and we will
be redeemed from these earthy-environs in due time.
3:20,21 For our conversation
is in heaven; from
whence also we look
for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body,
that it may be fashioned like unto (i.e. an image of) his glorious body, according to the
working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
The Greek word 'conversation' means 'the ongoing work of citizenship
within a government and its laws'.
Indeed, the 'image of the earthy'
is what Paul means in using 'anthropos'
to describe us.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
You and I, though 'man-faced',
are not earthy even
as Christ Jesus was (and remains) 'man-faced'
and not earthy ... as
in verse 47, he 'is the Lord of heaven'.
You and I dear Christian reader, though having upon us the image of
corruption, have not within us the corruption of that image ... else we
could not 'inherit the kingdom of God
Your and my flesh and blood cannot inherit; yet, in the raised
condition we shall.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all
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. For this corruptible (image) must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this
mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the
saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin (unto us) is the law.
Therefore, you and I
shall have raised bodies incorruptible even as Christ Jesus'
incorruptible body returned
incorruptible back into heaven from which It
4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we
which are alive and (might)
remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the
trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which
are (i.e. might be) alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the
Lord (i.e. amid 'the coming of
Righteous Law of Moses condemns the sin of and in our fallen condition
so often sin (i.e. 'miss the mark'
set out for us in the spirit of the
Moses' Law). Albeit, the animal blood within the Law has been
superseded by the
better Blood of
15:57,58 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your
labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Ah, but sadly we Christians have been convinced that we must "be about
doing the work of the Lord ... or should be doing".
work of the Lord' is the Lord's
work and is not ours.
Were not all the children of God in the church at
Corinth in some way or other also 'laboring'?
Ah, but their 'labor' was
supposed to be toward 'stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in'
and not to be confused by the enemy into thinking that it is "our work to
abound to do the Lord's work"
and thereby to struggle
within our earthy-condition-woes. In fact, there
is so very much in the church for members to do ... to do ... to do.
The Lord does not need (even 'stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in') striving to accomplish his work for
him. Take note that 'abounding in'
is not 'working to do'.
Instead, Paul's emphasis is that God the Father and
the Son have been and are continuing to do Their work in the world ...
and also in 'the heavenlies'
for us ... which we best
receive while 'stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding'
amid 'a rest' for us.
... for as much as ye know that your labour
is not in vain in the Lord.
Revelation 3:15,16 I know thy works,
that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need
of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked:
counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be
rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the
shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke
and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
3:20,21 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear
my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with
him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even
as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
3:22 He that hath an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly (said to each of
God's children); and my reward is with
me, to give every man (i.e. 'each
one afar') according as his
work (i.e. 'occupied by, business, employment') shall be.
In all below this line we shall compare with all above this line.
I suggest that you do much of the comparing of
verses yourself; for if I did all
of it, this would grow quite long. When you see (15:...) below it
to go above and reread that verse. Indeed, our conversation here on
earth as God's children (also in this sermon) continues
things' that are accomplished in heaven.
Above: Paul deals with leaders of churches, the
church at Corinth being such a church. If some church leaders, having
up to their leadership
positions in the Lord
within spiritual growth, knew and
understood but little of higher
spiritual heavenly things then Paul
would not have needed to teach and preach to them.
In other words, in-the-Lord spiritual
growth while walking this sod (as had the chosen twelve) is a unique
and required goal for any type of leadership in the church, the Lord
intending it for much benefit for all members and the community at
Yet, to be drawn in to a mind-and-heart-set that is
as much aware of 'heavenly things'
as 'earthy things'
is a process between the Shepherd and individual sheep, having little
to do with church things and other brethren. Yes indeed, it will affect
the relationship to these and to all else; yet, it is essentially and necessarily lonely.
Moreover, if leadership of an assembly is right with
God, then God's Spirit will be working in ways less discernible,
meaning "less understandable" that can cause at least some discord in
the assembly because we go so much with what we understand. Sooooooo
... with God 'first things are first'
and for the assembly and individually we should be seeking those 'first things' from Him.
Even so, the 'heavenly
things' are really and truly only of and from Him where He is.
... who in a few years will have fulfilled
his mission for the Father ... has just begun his
Spirit-filled ministry and now as
Israel's Messiah he is in his first visit to Jerusalem where walking
the streets he had said many forceful words in the city and performed
miracles and drawn much attention unto himself ... such that a renown
Teacher of both God's
Word and Moses' Law respectfully has approached him in the privacy of
the night ... catching him alone without his disciples -
Gospel of John -
was (John implies he is no
a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The
same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know (i.e. 'perceive') that thou art a
teacher come from God: for no man (i.e. 'none') can do these
miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man ('man' is
incorrect, the Greek is 'a certain
one') be born again (i.e. 'from above'), he cannot see (i.e. not 'know, perceive') the kingdom of God.
that Jesus had come 'from' God and that God is with him.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man (i.e. 'anthropos') be born when he is
old? can he
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Responding to Nicodemus' thought and words Jesus
"Except a 'certain' one (i.e. 'special, important, notable') is
above ... such a 'certain' one
cannot (even) 'know or perceive'
of God, much less have 'God be with him'.
Dear reader, Jesus was speaking of himself.
Furthermore, Jesus was not speaking regarding men of
earth "being saved". Jesus was informing Nicodemus that he is the
Messiah 'born from above' ...
of heaven and not a
man of earth. (See above 15:35)
Sadly ... I have thought and so much of Christianity
thinks ... exactly what Nicodemus has been thinking:
Jesus was speaking of him and of other elder-spiritual-leadership men
Here both are speaking of Jesus. Both are speaking of what Jesus had
just said; yet,
Nicodemus still considered Jesus to be an earth-bound 'man-face' ... in that, Nicodemus
himself was a 'man-face' and
knew he could not again enter into his mother's womb ... so what was
this one 'come from God'
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
of water (i.e. natural) and of the Spirit, he
cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh
is flesh (15:39); and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit.
When descending to earth from heaven, Christ had
arrived in the womb of Mary ... betrothed to Joseph ... son of David
... and had emerged from Mary's womb in the form of
a 'man-face'. In very fact,
Jesus at this time is
speaking about 'quickening'
(15:36), something he did and still does for the Father.
Therefore, the subject of 'water' (in the next verse) is 'water of the womb' (of which now
Jesus will speak).
Christ himself had experienced emergence from the water of Mary's womb
even as Nicodemus had experienced emergence
from the water of his mother's womb. Yet, Jesus is speaking of
the 'quickening' of a new and second life that can follow
after the new and first life.
Remember at the time that a great many Israelites both in Israel and
scattered among the
nations were longing for the Messiah to come; even as John the Baptist
had arrived to
inspire that very longing. Nicodemus is mystified, but he is hanging in
there trying with his mind to understand Jesus because he acknowledges
that 'God is with him'.
Here, dear reader, is the delemma of every sincere child of God. We go
so much by our minds; and so is Nicodemus, for he wants to so much to
minister to his people in a higher way as he has observed of Jesus.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (i.e. 'from
or of above'). The
wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but
canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one
that is born of the Spirit. ... Nicodemus answered and said unto him,
How can these things be?
Moreover know this: Jesus refers to himself in
saying, '... and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God' (15:44) because in just a few years the Son of
God will again '... enter into the
kingdom of God'. Nicodemus is told as a Teacher he should have
recognized the very Messiah who is speaking to him because the
Scriptures he had so long studied, which were apart of him, should have
prepared him. Indeed, the Spiritual Scriptures had prepared him for
this very visit.
Nicodemus is not yet 'of the Spirit' and he must become so
if also he wants 'God with him' in the manner that 'God is with' Jesus ... which is why
he is here.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and
knowest not these things?
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We ('We' is not in the original text) speak(ing) that (i.e. 'which') we (not 'we', but 'that or for or because') do know, and
that (i.e. 'which') we (no 'we') have seen; and ye
receive not our ('our' is
in the original text) witness (or testimony, record) ...
... If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Dear reader, like every child of God who is hungry
for God, Nicodemus wants to understand
Nevertheless, Christ standing before him in the form
of an ('anthropos
simply states to him that Nicodemus also must be born of above to even
have a chance of understanding
all that he is so hungry to know. Actually, this teacher of Scripture
wants to know of the 'heavenly things
behind, above, and beyond Scripture ... where God is ... and the Spirit
is hinting in the very being of Nicodemus that this Jesus knows much
Christ Jesus is the 'quickening
(15:45). Nicodemus wants to comprehend and the Spirit
must lift him from simply 'a child of
' to 'a man of God
Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus and Jesus is meeting with
Nicodemus. Dear reader, this is a Shepherd-and-little-sheep
thing; but most little ones of the flock are content with the Shepherd
providing their needs as He leads them from green pasture to green
pasture. Yet, having witnessed Jesus in action
Nicodemus wants some of IT.
I (you?) knew but
did not know until the Lord began
convincing me (you?) that I (you?) knew very little ... and still know
very little ... but
also that I am (you?) slowly being changed as I am (you are?) willing.
"Being willing" has to do with staying as close to Shepherd as a little
sheep and get in his or her everyday 'earthy'
walk ... which has to do with 'conversion
in the heavenlies'.
Dear reader, far too many born-again believers in
our churches think of Jesus as
a 'man' and thus like Nicodemus, educated
in the scriptures, they (we) miss the
Gospels about the Very Son of God.
That is, we read of Jesus as a wonderful man doing
marvelous things for the Father. Ah, but wonderfully, even down to
earth-walking among men, the glory of the Son of man oozes out as observed in
to those who hunger more for Christ the Son.
I suspect this is why the Lord wants us to be more
aware of The Whole Christ as we spend time in The Whole Scriptures.
I and my precious wife are little sheep staying as
close to the feet of the Shepherd as we can ... with the Shepherd's
permission and his help. We love all the other sheep, knowing we are
ones with them, but there is just
something about our Shepherd.
The we's are not in the original text; I suspect
that the translators thought they also spoke and wrote to people about 'heavenly things' as had Nicodemus,
and so they added
the we(s). Yet, the original text is only about Jesus and his words.
And no man (i.e. 'no other') hath ascended up to
heaven, but he that came down from (i.e. 'of')
heaven, even the Son of man which is (i.e. 'being,
which is of') in (i.e. 'fixed
So let me simplify the verse: 'Jesus
answered, Art thou a master of Israel and knowest not these things?
Verily, verily I say unto thee, speaking that which (I) do know and
testifying that which (I) have seen, ... and ye receive (or
absorb) not our
Who is the 'our'
in this verse? I suggest that it is God's
Holy Sanctifying Spirit which has always been within the
Scriptures to inspire Its readers.
Jesus implied that Nicodemus as a 'master
teacher' should have had at least some concept of such
'higher things'. Nicodemus did have a 'high concept'; yet, he
had constrained it downward to exist along with the trappings of his
office of 'Teacher of Israel'.
This means that his 'conversation'
with God has been limited to the 'earthy'
kind of relationship, existing with his walk among his duties of 'Teach of Israel'. How do you and I
and our teachers miss such things?
I suggest that we are
too much into our churches with our doctrines and works in trying to
others to Jesus and/or to win other brethren toward our doctrines and
our code of life. Therefore, the
Truths within such doctrines are so buried beneath our works that such works
inspire us more than do the Truths of God?
The Truths of God: are they really mine or yours? Do the Truths of God
to God's people? Are they not God's Truths? Should not the Truths of
God humble you and me before Him?
The very reason Nicodemus is questioning
Jesus is that the Holy Sanctifying Spirit of Truth had gotten hold of
him as he had observed 'these miracles
that thou doest, except God be with him'
when Jesus had been walking the streets of Jerusalem doing the Father's
work. Jesus, then, made it plain that he himself was the Messiah 'came down of heaven' to do such
things and that someday he would reenter heaven to be with the Father.
We see the same with the lowly woman at the well.
Let me simplify the verse, 'And
no other hath ascended to heaven but he that came down of heaven, even
the Son of man, which (is) fixed in position of heaven.'
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son
of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life. For God so loved the (whole) world (and His people of Israel scattered
among the nations), that he gave his
only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. (see 15:48 /
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through him might be saved. (15:49)
that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that
light is come into the world, and (yet)
men loved darkness rather
than light, because their deeds were evil. (15:50 / 1Corthians 13:43)
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh
to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made
manifest, that they are wrought in God. (15:57,58 / Revelation 3:15-22)
The Writer of the Book
of Hebrews mentions 'heaven'
15 times because he was writing to 'holy
brethren, partakers of the heavenly
calling' in verse 3:1 and in Philippians
3:20 For our conversation (with God the Father and God
the Son) is in heaven; from whence
also we look
for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ'.
Nicodemus' prayers and conversation with his
was couched in the Mosaic Law ... being a master teacher of it
... which Law is by God but of earth for God's people living on earth.
Therefore, the time
had arrived for Nicodemus' conversation with God the Son to become
centered in Christ of the heavenlies.
Moreover, Jesus informed Nicodemus that the One
standing before him is the Messiah ... and that the Messiah shall be
lifted up for the sins of the people ... even as the serpent was lifted
by Moses in the wilderness (which Nicodemus fully understood).
Please note that it was some time later that Jesus
openly declaring that he was the Son of God, the promised Messiah; yet,
had clearly told it to Nicodemus a Teacher to God's people Israel.
not somewhat similar to informing the chosen Twelve of Jesus'
Messiah-ship? Nicodemus would go on to defend
(thus represent) Jesus before the Sanhedrin and he was one of the two
who entombed Jesus' body ... knowing that he would surely be banned
high position and perhaps from the temple. Extremely important was
Nicodemus to God's Plan regarding
Jesus was not trying to "save" Nicodemus. He was
elevating Nicodemus as chosen of the
Father for this very visit and
for the famous passage of John chapter 3 and for God's purpose in years
Nicodemus had 'cometh to the light'.
The Book of Hebrews
What kind of Shepherd do we have?
And from where does He lead us?
Now the God of peace, that brought again (i.e. 'led
forth') from the dead our Lord
Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through (i.e. 'fixed in') the blood of the
everlasting covenant ...
Let me rewrite this, 'Now the God of peace, (having)
led forth from the dead our Lord Jesus (the) great Shepherd of the sheep,
fixed (or set within) the
blood of the everlasting covenant ...'
... 13:21 (May the God of peace) Make you perfect (i.e. 'rendered
to be fit') in every good work
to do his will, (and Him) working (i.e. 'doing,
continual action') in (i.e. 'fixed
in') you that which is
wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for
ever and ever. Amen.
I see here a)
that the God of peace had led forth
Jesus from the dead, and also b)
that Christ Jesus had been fixed or set within the
blood of the everlasting covenant ... that is, 'from the foundation of the world'.
Even so ... Jesus himself had said in John 10:14-18,
'I am the good shepherd, and know my
sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so (i.e.
in the same manner) know I the Father:
and I lay down my life for the sheep. And
other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one
shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life,
that I might take it again ...
... No man
taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it
down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I
received of my Father.
In other words, from before the
foundation of the world (see Hebrews 13:20 and John 10:14-18) the
Father had commanded Christ the Messiah ... when descended to earth ...
to be ready to lay down his life and
to raise it again ... according to the 'the
blood of the everlasting (i.e. always before and always after) covenant'.
the Writer concluded Hebrews (in verse 13:20, in much fewer
words) he said all this ... knowing that his initial readers fully
understood the early doctrine of 'the
principles of the doctrine of Christ'.
Indeed, may God the Father through the Shepherd Son
of heaven be continually doing in you the things needed to be
wellpleasing in His
As is mentioned in Hebrews 6:1,2 ... Christians of
the churches had thought (and do think) that the important things for
us are the following: '... the principles
of the doctrine of Christ (and) the foundation of
repentance from dead works, and faith toward God (and) the doctrine of
baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead,
and of eternal judgment.'
also and furthermore the Writer of Hebrews tells us -
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go
on unto perfection (i.e. 'completion');
... not laying again the foundation of repentance from
dead works, and of faith toward God, ...
... Of the
doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of
the dead, and of eternal judgment. ...
... And this
will we do, if God permit.
then, what does the Writer mean? and what should 'we do'?
Encapsulated within the Mosaic Law was (and is)
'Love the Lord your God with all your
heart, mind, and soul, and your
neighbors as yourself'.
Encapsulated within the New Covenant was (and is)
'Love the Lord your God with all your
heart, mind, and soul, and your
neighbors as yourself'.
dear Reader, we think that we do this. But we on earth think that we do
this by understanding and then
teaching 'the principles of
the doctrine of Christ' ...
meanwhile the Writer tells us 'let us go on' to be 'rendered so as to
become fit' for what lies before us.
'Becoming fit for heaven' is not
accomplished on earth (as we so often think of it). Instead it is
accomplished in 'the heavenlies'
where the individual Christian ... consistently
seeking God ... communes with Him where He is.
Let me say it otherwise, "On earth our walk with the
Lord should mature ... even as our walk (conversation) should grow with
the Lord ... in 'the
heavenlies' ... even more than on the earth."
As Jesus told Nicodemus, "You must be born from
above; yet, to know
of 'heavenly things' you must be taught of 'heavenly
things' by the Lord himself from
where he is."
Therefore, I am not speaking of "Coming before the
Throne of God in fervent prayer". Instead I speak of a consistent
chatting upward in one's earthly walk day by day such that
earthy things bring to mind upward
thoughts ... which pleases God.
In driving with my wife 80 miles to a doctor's
appointment my mind is on the snowy road and on the visit with the
doctor; yet, periodically I
listen to and speak to my
precious wife of
whatever comes to our minds. The Apostle Paul's days and nights were
full of many 'earthy' things,
but never such as to clear his mind of upward thoughts.
3:20 For our conversation (with God the Father and God the Son) is in heaven; from whence also we look
for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ'.
It is the heart
gazing up as much as gazing around at our world. And if one's attention
much toward God as it is toward where we are on earth then He takes the responsibility for teaching as he did with Nicodemus.
The purpose of this website primarily is regarding the Scriptures
as I wander around in them always looking for the Lord to grab my
attention. And then I place herein some of those "attentions" that
visitors may look over my shoulder, so to speak, at what I am doing.
From time to time the Lord has a habit of visiting a
person as the
person is visiting the Scriptures ... and it is not so much the Lord
visiting where you are as it is to raising you toward him where he is
where he is is the 'heavenly things'.
suggest we are so much into earthly conversations about "One day
being with Jesus" that we miss out on individual conversations in heaven with him.
When we institutionalize Truths about God so as to
teach here on earth ... too often we have covered over and squelched
individual longings for
conversations in heaven. The former has to do with learning,
teaching, winning, victory, etc., while the latter has to do with
simple timely heavenly conversations.
Have you heard the phrase, "He (or she) is too
heavenly to be of any earthly good"?
I have a dear friend who seemingly at odd times
finds herself humming or even singing hymns. These are expressions
to Him without conscious "praying" and so she wonders "why or what it
On a TV show we were watching the other night a nun
commented about a sister nun who
was very boisterous and
always seemingly busy. Yet, about her the quiet nun said, "God made her
that His and her conversation is above all the noise and commotion". I
immediately thought, "That's it!"
Can it happen in a busy office? Can it happen on a
ranch in calving season? Can it happen on an assembly line? In fact,
over a great many years it has happened in foxholes with war raging
can also download this study as a pdf file.