The Heavenly Places #5

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV).

Why does Ephesians conclude with this description of the war between good and evil?

It is not until we come to Paul’s ministry do we learn how God will cleanse the heavenly places. Ephesians highlights our eternal destiny as members of the Church the Body of Christ. Just as Father God will use Israel to accomplish His will in the Earth, so He will use us to achieve His will in the Heavens. He will exalt His Son, Jesus Christ, in both realms. Ephesians chapter 1: “[9] [Father God] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: [11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance….”

One day, brethren, we will be displayed for all of the universe to see. All creatures will witness God’s wisdom fully manifested in outer space. We will participate in Jesus Christ’s exaltation in the heavenly places throughout eternity future. Ephesians chapter 2 declares: “[6] And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

As good as this all is, however, we are not there yet. The heavenly places are still so far away! Howbeit, one day, Jesus Christ will return to Earth—at the Rapture—to take His Body (us) beyond the sky. Until we get there, though, we are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Knowing full well that we will replace him and his minions in the heavenly places, he fights us every chance he gets. We had better don all the armor of God, beloved, that “we stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-20)! 🙂

 

The Heavenly Places #4

Monday, June 5, 2017

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV).

Why does Ephesians conclude with this description of the war between good and evil?

Parroting the misguided claims of so-called “Bible authorities,” critics complain about the King James’ italicized words. The phrase “heavenly places” is heavily derided because the original Greek does not have “places.” Thus, people refuse to quote the Authorized Version verbatim here—they prefer “heavenlies.” “Places” is needed to construct a complete English thought; therefore, our 1611 translators rightly inserted it. Upon removing “places,” we rob ourselves of an important link.

Revelation 12:7-9: “[7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, [8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Friend, did you notice “place” in verse 8? It means a “room, position, dwelling.” Satan and his fallen angels functioning in heaven today (today’s Scripture) will be tossed out onto the Earth halfway through the future seven-year Tribulation. (Recall the “Old Testament” references about God and Satan both working in the heavenly places, with God cleansing those regions of evil. The Revelation is the capstone.)

With the heavenly places vacated of evil beings, Father God installs us the Church the Body of Christ into those positions of power (refer to the “heavenly” references in Ephesians—1:3-12, 1:20-23, 2:6-7, 3:10-11). Colossians chapter 1: “[16] For by him [Christ Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:… [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth [using Israel], or things in heaven [using us the Body of Christ].”

Now, we wrap it up….

The Precious Blood of Christ #7

Friday, September 23, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

In Ephesians 2:19-22 (the Church the Body of Christ) and 1 Peter 2:5-10 (the nation Israel), Jesus Christ is the “chief corner stone.” A “corner stone” is absolutely critical, “valuable” and “precious,” to the structure or function of something else. Without the cornerstone, an arch falls, a wall tumbles, and a house collapses. Jesus Christ is “precious” (1 Peter 2:6,7). His blood is also “precious” (today’s Scripture): by it, God’s life is displayed in heaven and earth in the ages to come. Redeemed Israel is God’s “house” and the Body of Christ is God’s “house”—they have His life in them because Jesus’ “precious” blood has redeemed them all from sin!

Colossians 1:16 says: “For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” Satan and sinful man tainted those offices of government that were to originally glorify Jesus Christ. Verses 20-22 are God’s solution: “[20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. [21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled [22] In the body of his flesh through death….”

“Through the blood of [Christ’s] cross,” God will reconcile all the governments of heaven and earth unto Himself. Without that shed blood, God’s life cannot be imparted to sinful man. Although Satan and his angels have corrupted heaven, and sinful mankind has corrupted the earth, God’s original plan for creation will still come to pass. The “precious blood of Christ” is the means whereby God overthrows Satan forever (Colossians 2:13-15), both in heaven and in earth….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God demand blood sacrifices?

The Converted Nation and The Translated Word #3

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

“He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19,20 KJV).

Herein do we see God’s head of the nations—Israel!

One of the most famous Bible verses is the first, Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It is not until we come to Paul’s ministry and Colossians 1:16 that we see how God structured the Heaven and the Earth to function: “For by him [the Lord Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

In the original creation, there was perfect governmental organization. God created beings to serve Him in Heaven (angels) and other beings (humans—Adam and Eve) to serve Him on Earth. In Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19, we read about Lucifer/Satan leading a rebellion in the spirit world among the angelic hosts. This chief evil spirit then caused Earth to be polluted by recruiting mankind to follow him in Genesis chapter 3. Satan had the governments of both Heaven and Earth; he tainted them and most of their creatures with his sinful agenda.

God formed the nation Israel to do with Adam had failed to do—assume Earth’s governments for His glory (earthly kingdom). Israel was to reclaim Earth for Jesus Christ’s glory. Israel was to magnify God’s Word in the Earth, thereby undoing what Satan had done on Earth! (However, nothing was said about God’s purpose and plan for restoring Heaven unto Himself. We do not learn this secret plan of God until we come to Paul’s ministry, the books of Romans through Philemon. God kept that information secret until He was ready to reveal it.)

To restore Earth to Himself, God desired Israel to know Him first. They were to learn His Word, enjoy His goodness, and, as per the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3, they were to then take that knowledge and salvation to all the nations of the world! Let us see what Israel did….

Settle Not for “Angelic” Trinkets!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30 KJV).

What Christian needs guardian angels when the Spirit of God guards his or her soul?

Recently flipping through a shopping catalog, one particular trinket grabbed my attention: “Guardian Angel Visor Clip keeps a watchful eye on loved ones when you can’t be there. Attractive pewter-finish accessory features a guardian angel; gently reminds those behind the wheel to be ever watchful while on the road. $7.” The attractive (distractive) little angel held a plaque that read, “[Granddaughter/grandson/son/daughter] please drive safely.” (Nothing for husbands or wives or parents?!? And who is going to be looking at this “reminder” hanging on their rear view mirror if they should be watching the road?!)

Undoubtedly, angels played a very important role in the lives of Old Testament believers (Judges 6:11-24; 2 Kings 19:35; Daniel 9:21; et cetera). “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Angels even served the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry (see Mark 1:13; Luke 22:43). In the future, believing Israelites will have guardian angels to help them in the seven-year Tribulation. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). In Revelation chapters 1-3, describing that time period, we read of seven angels that will lead the seven churches of believing Jews in Asia Minor.

When we look at Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, there is no hint of any angels serving or protecting us. What the Apostle does say about angels in this the Dispensation of Grace is that we should not worship them (Colossians 2:18,19) and the only reason an angel would appear to us today is to preach to us a false Gospel (Galatians 1:8), to draw us away from the Word of God’s Grace.

The Holy Spirit has “sealed” us—preserved us spiritually (the inner man). Whatever happens to the outward man (physical body), it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. What counts most concerning us, God the Holy Ghost has already taken care of it! We need not religious trinkets!

NOTE: The 2015 Slidell Grace Bible Conference (New Orleans area) will be held Friday-Sunday, November 27-29, 2015. Guest speakers will be: Richard Jordan, Frank Redman, Charlie Fouche, and me, Shawn Brasseaux. See attached flyer for details. We would love to have you attend! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #19

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

“[God] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (2 Timothy 1:9-11 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Long before there was a Heaven and an Earth, there was the triune Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And there was Their purpose and plan for Heaven and Earth. They determined that some of the people who would be saved unto eternal life, they would form a special body of believers, the Church the Body of Christ. But, the Triune Godhead never said so much as one word about that plan for over 4,000 years. Imagine keeping a secret that long!

Then, the time came for God’s marvelous secret to be revealed. That “mystery”—that “hidden wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)—was finally manifested for all to see. Not only would people see it but also the angels and Satan! Today’s Scripture says that Paul was thus appointed “a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” The risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Paul and chose him for a special purpose (Acts 26:16-18). Paul would declare to all the world how Jesus Christ, at Calvary’s cross, had utterly destroyed Satan’s plans (Colossians 2:15). Through Paul, Jesus Christ, via His heavenly ministry, would tell all the world that there was eternal life and immortality available to them through His finished crosswork. Beloved, this is the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God!

To revert back to Christ’s earthly ministry, or the other Old Testament Scriptures, is to ignore Jesus Christ’s heavenly ministry and the wonderful Gospel of Grace. Our message today is found in the writings of Paul, Romans through Philemon. To abandon God’s Word through Paul has dangerous, everlasting effects, so let us exalt his Gentile ministry as the Holy Spirit did (Romans 11:13)! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God give angels free will as He gave to mankind?

Up From the Grave He Arose #4

Friday, May 15, 2015

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15 KJV).

The chorus of Robert Lowry’s classic 1874 hymn “Up From the Grave He Arose” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Up from the grave He arose;
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

On the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. “He [had been] crucified through weakness” (2 Corinthians 13:4). On that Resurrection Sunday morning 20 centuries ago, there were many shocked individuals. The most surprised was the old Devil himself. All his efforts to keep the Lord Jesus Christ dead and gone had failed!

Now that the mystery has been revealed through Paul, we read in the context of today’s Scripture: “[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he [God the Father] quickened together with him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses; [14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

On Christ’s cross, we were crucified. The means whereby Satan killed Jesus Christ, God used it to make us dead to sin! That awful sin debt that we had accrued with the Mosaic Law was nailed to Christ’s cross. That whole Law system was thus done away, and the Dispensation of Grace came in! At Calvary’s cross, Jesus Christ put the entire Satanic policy of evil and all of its associates, to complete and utter shame.

Now, Jesus Christ is “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). We too are alive for evermore with Him, dead to sin and alive unto God’s glory (cf. Romans 6:1-23). So, we wait for Him to come and take us away to the heavenly places, where we will reign forever with Him. Praise the Lord! Up from the grave (we arose because) Jesus Christ arose! 🙂