All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
February 3, 2010
A New Creature
HANDS FOR JESUS
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MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
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2010 by Merle E. Koepke
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In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." What does "in Christ" mean? Many Christians today do not have any idea of what it truly means to be "in Christ." Yet, this should be the most important revelation anyone could ever receive. Knowing what it means to be "in Christ" can and should transform our lives that we will no longer live like the world lives (Rom. 12:2).
Christians are new creatures in Christ. Therefore, they should no longer love this world or the things of this world. In 1 John 2:15-17, it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." This world is only temporal. The day is coming when it will be gone. We will also be gone either up into heaven, or down into hell.
Therefore, only that which is of God should be of any importance to us. In Colossians 3:1,2 it says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God...Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Christ means "anointed" or "the Anointed One." In the Hebrew, the word for Christ, means "the Messiah." To be "in Christ," means to be "in the Anointed One."
Jesus of Nazareth became "the Anointed One" when God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was "the Son of Man in the flesh and the Son of God in the Spirit." At about the age of thirty, Jesus received "the Anointing of the Holy Spirit," (following His baptism in water by John the Baptist) (Matt. 3:16). Speaking of the day that Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit, it says in Acts 10:38, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
In Luke 4:18,19, Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." When Jesus of Nazareth was anointed with the Holy Spirit, the power of God came upon Him and He "...went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38).
For Christians today, Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..." Those who are in Christ, when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit receive the same power Jesus received.
In speaking of Christ, we need to go back in time to Genesis 15:5 when Abraham questioned the LORD concerning his promised heir, it says, "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." This is important to understand for "the stars of heaven" are not the same as "the dust of the earth," or "the sand of the sea shore" (Gen. 13:16, 32:12).
The LORD God made two covenants with Abraham. One, pertaining to the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (which included all the children of Israel). The other covenant was through Christ, pertaining to those born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
We can see these two covenants more clearly when we understand the Gospel as it is revealed to us in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 15:47 it tells us, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In 1 Corinthians 15:46 it says, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." By this it tells us that Adam was not spiritual, whereas Jesus was spiritual.
In Genesis 2:16 it says, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." This commandment of the LORD God included eating of "the Tree of Life," which was also in the midst of the Garden. Adam was given the opportunity to eat of "the Tree of Life" in the midst of the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9,16). After Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:22 says, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." In eating of the Tree of Life, man receives eternal life, and is able to live forever.
God had a plan for man right from the beginning. When we see God's plan for man from God's point of view, we can better understand the Gospel that should be preached throughout the world.
Jesus came preaching the gospel of "the Kingdom of God" (Mark. 1:14,15). In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
In short, Lucifer had already been cast down to the earth before Adam was created. Lucifer became Satan, the Devil, when he rebelled against God (Ezek. 28:12-20; Isa. 14:12-20: Luke 10:18). Through Lucifer's rebellion, he led many angels to rebel against God, and they are held in chains until the day of judgement (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Rev. 20:10). In heaven, God lost His praise and worship angels, which were before the throne of God.
For those who can receive revelation knowledge of things to come, they should notice that in Revelation 4:10,11 it says, "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying...Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Those four and twenty elders were people who did the will of God here on earth, and now they are in heaven, praising and worshiping God and the LORD before the throne, where Lucifer and his angles were at one time. In Revelation, Chapter Five it speaks again of people, praising and worshiping the Lamb that was slain. For those who can receive it, there is room in heaven before the throne for anyone who will do the will of God here on earth. The position that Lucifer lost is now available for those who will do the will of God in their lives.
After Lucifer was cast out of the third heavens, the LORD God created man (male and female), in the likeness and image of God, yet as an "earthly creature." Mankind (male and female) were given an opportunity to choose whom they will serve, the Devil, or God? Those who choose to serve God (and not the Devil), can receive a new birth and become a "heavenly creature in Christ," replacing Lucifer and the angels that followed Lucifer when he rebelled against God.
Adam, being the head of the creation of mankind in the flesh disobeyed the LORD God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By this, sin and death came upon all mankind. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Man did not die "spiritually or physically that day." Sin and death did not overtake mankind as some believe. Sin and death "became resident" in mankind in the form of mortality in the physical body and corruption in the soul of man. This mortality and corruption in man is only overcome by first becoming born again in Christ Jesus. Then secondly, obtaining unto the resurrection of the dead on that last day as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. It says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed...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 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...O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?... The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law...But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Total victory over sin and death is only "...through our Lord Jesus Christ." Total victory is when mortality and corruption no longer reside within us. In heaven there will be no mortality (we will live in a body that has no death in it). In heaven there will not be any corruption (we will be in agreement with God, for corruption is, when our thoughts and actions do not agree with God).
Those who choose to receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior and reject the temptations of the Devil, can spend eternity with God forever. This earth that we now live upon today will pass away (Isa. 65:17, 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1). Only that which is of God will endure forever in the heavens. Those who follow the Devil will not inherit eternity with God.
In Genesis 17:7, The LORD God spoke to Abraham saying, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." This promise was then spoken of in Galatians 3:16, where it says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
Then in Galatians 3:27-29 it says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ...There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Christ is "the firstborn from the dead," the Head of the Body of Christ. In Romans 8:29 it says, "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." Where it says, "For whom he did foreknow..." implies that what is spoken of in this verse, God knew even before the foundation of this world. In Colossians 1:18 it says, "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."
For those who can understand revelation knowledge, Adam was the beginning of mankind here on earth. Adam was first formed of the dust of the ground, then Eve was taken out of Adam and called woman. Adam and Eve were not spiritual. They were earthly, formed of the elements of this earth (Gen. 2:7). They had terrestrial bodies, whereas spiritual beings have celestial bodies. They were a living, breathing, creature. They needed air to breathe and continue to live. Therefore, they were limited to where there is air to breathe. They were "in the flesh of Adam" from the days they were created in Genesis 2:7.
Everyone born into this world "by the union of one man and one woman" were born of the flesh. (When Jesus came into this world, He was not born by the union of one man and one woman. Jesus was born into this world by the Holy Spirit and Mary). Jesus was without sin, for He was not born of the bloodline of Adam, in which sin and death was passed upon all who are born of the flesh.
Those who are born of the flesh are all "in Adam." This is important to understand, for in 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Everyone who dies on this earth while they are still in Adam, will spend eternity in hell. Only those, who die on this earth while they are "in Christ" will be made alive, and enter into heaven. Therefore, it is important that Christians understand the gospel of Christ.
Those who are born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6), and the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23) are no longer in Adam. They are translated from the flesh of Adam into the body of Christ. This we are told in Romans 8:9 where it says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." This is very important for Christians to understand. They are no longer in Adam, but in Christ. Adam was "the first creation" of mankind, created upon this earth. Christ is "the second creation" of mankind upon this earth. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Those who are in Christ, are "a new creation of mankind." Those who are in Christ, are His body here on earth. Christ is the head of the body of Christ, and those who are in Christ are His body.
Speaking of the body of Christ, Ephesians 1:4,5, says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love...Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."
All of this is speaking of the Son of God, first becoming "the Son of Man." Then dying on the Cross and arising again from the dead to become "the Head of the Body of Christ" for all eternity. The Body of Christ is one body, and all who are in Christ are His Body.
When Christ was raised again from the dead, He became the beginning of "a new creation of heavenly creatures." Those who are in Christ are no longer in Adam, but in Christ.
This is very important for in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 it says, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept...For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead...For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Those who are "in Christ," when He comes for them will spend eternity with Him in heavenly places. Christ is the beginning of "a new creation of man" (man in the spirit, living forever with God).
Sons of God
In Romans 8:14 it says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." There seems to be a difference between those who are born again, and those who continue in Christ until the end. Therefore, it seems that some who are truly "Sons of God," will continue to reign with Christ forever. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are serving the LORD. In Revelation 22:3, it says, "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." Then in Revelation 22:5 it says, "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." By this we see that those who are led by the Holy Spirit and serve the LORD in this life, will reign with the LORD for ever. This is a position that has been reserved for those who are "sons of God," led by the Spirit of God.
Therefore, the Word of God reveals that the "sons of God" (those who are led by the Spirit of God), will continue in eternity. We see evidence of this in Matthew 19:28, where Jesus said unto His disciples, "...Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
To these disciples, Jesus seems to be speaking of a time following their natural lives here on earth. Jesus used the Greek word "paliggenesia," translated "regeneration." That is in reference to the new birth. At the time Jesus spoke this to His disciples, they were not born again. The new birth also speaks of a new creation of mankind, which is "in Christ."
At the time Jesus spoke to His disciples in Matthew 19:28, none of them were in Christ, for Jesus Himself was not yet arisen from the dead to become "the Head of the Body of Christ." Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead" (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15-18).
There is no indication that any of the Apostles were judging the twelve tribes of Israel during their lifetime here on earth. All indications are that, what Jesus was speaking of takes place in the heavens, after this earthly life is over. Jesus said, "...when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." This agrees with many other places in the Scriptures where it mentions "Jesus sitting on the throne after His resurrection from the dead." In Revelation 3:21, it says, "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." This was revealed to the Apostle John after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. After Jesus' resurrection from the dead, He was seated on the throne along with His Heavenly Father.
Jesus was not judging anyone until after He arose again from the dead. In John 5:22, Jesus said, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." In John 8:15 Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." In John 12:47,48, Jesus said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world...He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
By this we see that while Jesus was here on earth, "before His resurrection from the dead," He did not judge anyone. All judgement was left until after Jesus arose again from the dead, and became "Christ."
Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ, which is a whole new creation of mankind. Before Jesus became Christ, there were no "Christians," who are the body of Christ. Now, that Jesus has become "Christ" the firstborn from the dead, He is seated with His Father on the throne, "judging all mankind." In Romans 14:10 it says, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."
This tells us that "judgment does not take place until after this life here on earth is over." Then, we will all be judged. In Matthew 25:31,32, Jesus said, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory...And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats."
God is not "unjust" in anything He does. God is consistent in everything He does. When Adam sinned, God did not judge Adam because of his sin. When people sin, God does not judge people before their time on earth is over. Judgment day for each individual comes following their last day upon this earth.
God is righteous and just in judgement. For Jesus to become "Christ," the Head of the Body of Christ, He first had to be faithful to remain without sin even until death. Jesus was a Man in the flesh, tempted the same in all points as we are. Jesus overcame the temptations of the Devil. Jesus was tempted in every area, just as we are. Had Jesus failed to overcome the Devil, He would not have obtained His position at the right-hand of God the Father.
Being that Jesus did fulfill all the requirements that the Father had set for Him, He became Christ, the Head of the Body of Christ, the judge of all mankind. He is a righteous Judge, being that He overcame sin and death, and defeated the Devil in His resurrection from the dead.
The first Adam failed to keep all the commandments of the LORD God. The LORD God said "to all mankind" in Genesis 1:16.17, "...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat...But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The English versions of the Bible are not correct in what is written in Genesis 2:16, the word used for "man" is not speaking of one man by the name of Adam. It is speaking of "mankind" in general.
If we were to consider "who sinned in the beginning" it would be Eve, not Adam. After Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she gave to Adam and he did eat also (Gen. 3:6). Yes, Eve was deceived, just like multitudes of people have been deceived throughout the generations. Even Spirit-filled Christians have been deceived by listening to those who teach what they have heard other men teach, and have not received it from the Holy Spirit.
Satan has used men to teach his doctrines, based upon "the knowledge of good and evil," rather than the truth from the inspired written Word of God. Yes, it does say in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Adam was first formed, then Eve was taken out of Adam. Adam was the head of the first creation of mankind. Just as Jesus Christ is the head of the second creation of mankind. Therefore it says in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
This is all explained in Romans 5:17,18, which says "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ...Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." The first Adam was man created a living, breathing, creature (who was a living soul), with a body of flesh and bones, and a spirit given to him by God.
Adam was without sin in the day that he was created. When Adam harkened unto the voice of his wife, and did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death entered into the human race, through the head of the human race (which was Adam). Therefore, all who are "in Adam" will die, because of the sin and death that entered into the human race in the garden of Eden.
Then, about four-thousand years later Jesus came. He was without sin, and lived about thirty-three and one-half years without sin. Jesus overcame sin in the flesh by His righteousness in keeping all the commandments of God the Father. Jesus defeated sin and death, to destroy death and the Devil who has the power of death. In Hebrews 2:5-9, it quotes Psalm 8:4, in speaking of Jesus, it says, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Adam was not "the son of man," whereas Jesus is "the Son of Man." Some have taught that Psalm 8:4-9, was speaking of Adam, which is not true.
In Hebrews 2:5-8 it says, "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak...But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?...Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands...Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him..."
The Word of God has no errors, for God cannot lie. When God speaks, He knows "the end from the beginning." Therefore, God reveals things that are not "at the time," as though they were. What God reveals to man is truth, and truth cannot fail. What was spoken in Psalm 8:4-9, was speaking of Jesus, who is "the Son of Man," by the virgin birth.
Following on in Hebrews 2:8-14 it says, "...But now we see not yet all things put under him...But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man...For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings...For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren...Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee...And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me...Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."
For all of those who are in Christ, and remain in Christ until the end, sin and death are defeated by Christ, who is the head of the body of Christ. Christ is the beginning of a new creation of mankind. The first creation of mankind was "in Adam." The second creation of mankind is "in Christ". In Christ, we have victory over sin and death by what Jesus did for us when He redeemed us from the slavery of sin which came upon man in the beginning.
This victory is for those who walk after the Spirit, and not after the flesh. In Romans 8:2, it says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." For those who are in Christ, "walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh,"and remain in Christ until the end, they are free of the law of sin and death.
This is what Romans 5:17-21 is speaking of, where it says, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ...Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life...For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous...Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound...That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
This all has to do with "walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh." Therefore, this is talking about those who are called "sons of God." The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14).
Mankind inherited sin and death through the head of mankind in the flesh (which is the first Adam). Jesus became man in the flesh, fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God the Father by His life on earth without sin. Then by His death in the flesh, He defeated the Devil. Jesus did not die in the Spirit as some teach. In 1 Peter 3:18 tells us that Jesus was "put to death in the flesh." By His resurrection from the dead, Jesus became "Christ," the head of a whole new creation of mankind, (man and God joined together in one body).
As the head of the Body of Christ, Jesus became the righteous Judge of all mankind. Being at the right-hand of God the Father, Jesus has been given the position of authority of judgement of all mankind. Therefore, Jesus is in a position of giving authority to some to judge others in eternity. (Not in this life, but in eternity, others will sit on the throne along with "Christ" judging others). This is what Jesus was speaking of in Matthew 19:28, where He said unto His disciples, "...Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
God is not a respecter of persons. The disciples who followed Jesus, were given a place in eternity, whereby they would reign with Christ, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. What about the others who follow Jesus in this life? What will happen with those who are faithful servants of our LORD?
There is a whole eternity ahead of us. This life here on earth is only the beginning of eternal life in the Spirit. In the Spirit of Christ, we have everlasting life. In 2 Timothy 2:11,12 it says, "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him...If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us." First it is telling us we must "...be dead with him..." To be dead with Him, involves denying our will to follow Him. Not doing our own will of the flesh, but submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we are led by the Holy Spirit, we will continue to live with Him. Then it says, "If we suffer..." The correct meaning of suffer is "continue, or endure." The end results are that "...we shall also reign with him..."
Eternity is a long time (it is forever). Those who are faithful, and continue with Christ, shall also "reign with Christ" throughout eternity. There is a lot of room out in eternity for God to do whatsoever He desires. We know that there will be a new heavens and a new earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1).
God has great plans for those who are faithful in this life to reign with Christ forever in eternity. There is a lot to do in eternity. The greatest part of all this is, that the "sons of God" will reign with Christ forever.
Christ is the head of the body of Christ. The Body of Christ is a whole new creation of human beings that did not exist in the beginning. Those who are a new creature in Christ did not exist when the angels were first created. Those in Christ did not exist when Adam was first created. Those who are in Christ came into being following the creation of Adam in the garden of Eden.
Before the creation of Adam, there was God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then the angels were created in the heavens. After Lucifer was cast out of the third heavens, the LORD God created man in the likeness and image of God, yet as an "earthly creature." Mankind was given an opportunity to choose whom he will serve, the Devil, or God?
Those who choose to serve God (and not the Devil), can receive "a new birth" and become a "heavenly creature in Christ," replacing Lucifer and the angels that followed Lucifer when he rebelled against God.
Being a new creature in Christ, we have both, a spiritual body and a natural body (1 Cor. 15:44). In our new spiritual body we become like the angels in heaven. We can go anywhere that God so desires us to go in the heavens. We can exist in the third heavens, before the throne of God and praise and worship the Father and the Son (who sits upon the throne with His Father). We can, forever give praise, honor, and glory to the Father and the Lamb who was slain. The Book of Revelation makes mention of this by saying, "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying...Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev. 4:10.11). Yet, we are not limited to just praise and worship before the throne.
We are told that the "sons of God" shall reign with Christ forever. There is a lot planned by God for eternity, including a new heavens and a new earth. There is a lot for the "sons of God" to do in eternity.
If we consider the position the "sons of God" have in eternity, we will find they are "just a little lower than God Himself." Yet, they are higher than the angels that were created long before Adam was first created. In 1 Corinthians 6:2, it says, "Know ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" Then in 1 Corinthians 6:3 it says, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?..." Those who are the "sons of God," shall also judge angels.
Being "sons of God" we have the very life of God within us. Being "sons of God" we are in Christ Jesus, who is "the Son of God." Being in Christ, the fulness of God dwells in us. In Colossians 2:8-10 it says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ...For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily...And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."
This we already have here on earth. The sons of God have already received "...the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Eph. 1:14). The earnest of our inheritance is the fulness of the Spirit, to enable us to be led by the Holy Spirit. This we received when we were baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is the same baptism that Jesus received at about the age of thirty. In Matthew 3:16, it says, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." There is only one Holy Spirit.
Therefore, Jesus said to His disciples in Acts 1:5, "John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Then in Acts 1:8 Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Then it tells us in Acts 2:2-4, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting...And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them...And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
That day, those disciples received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, that they could be led by the Holy Spirit in everything they did. Being led by the Holy Spirit makes them "sons of God."
These disciples received the same Holy Spirit that Jesus received. They had the same power that Jesus had. They could do the same works that Jesus hid. These disciples had "...the earnest of their inheritance until their redemption..." (Eph. 1:14).
In Ephesians 1:13,14 it says, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise...Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Notice that it says, "...after that ye believed..." After we believed and are born again, we should receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Thereby, we are "...sealed with that holy Spirit of promise...Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." The seal "which is the earnest of our inheritance" is the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
This baptism in the Holy Spirit is only "the earnest of our inheritance." Our full inheritance does not come until after our resurrection from the dead. Between the time we are born again and the day we leave this earth, we must continue in Christ and endure until the end.
Jesus made many statements concerning the need to continue until the end. In Matthew 24:11-13, Jesus said, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold...But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Jesus also mentioned that there are some who will be taken out of the kingdom of God and cast into a furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Why is this? Mainly, because they did their own will of the flesh, rather than follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 13:41,42, Jesus said, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity...And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Also in Revelation 3:4,5 it says, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Christians must overcome in this life. For some who defile their garments could have their names taken out of the Book of Life. For those who have defiled their garments, they can repent and be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7-9).
The Epistles are written to Christians who were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Being the Epistles were written to Spirit-filled Christians, they already had the earnest of their inheritance.
In 1 John 4:13 it says, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 4:17, "...as he is, so are we in this world." When we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit we receive the earnest of our inheritance.
Then in 1 John 5:11-13 the Apostle John wrote, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son...He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life...These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
Then in 1 John 3:2 it says, "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." By this, we know that John is writing to are those who have "the earnest of our inheritance." Christians who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit have everything they need to be faithful to do whatsoever the LORD desires for them to do here on earth.
When these are faithful in doing what the LORD has planned for them here on earth, they will receive "the fulness of their inheritance when they come before the LORD on their last day." On the day of their resurrection from the dead they will receive their reward. Those who have been faithful until the end will spend eternity with the LORD. This should be our desire in this life, to receive the reward of eternal life in heaven.
In 1 Corinthians 15:51,52, it says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed...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." The "last trump," is when we take our last breath (when our heart beats for the last time). That is when we will be changed, and we will continue on in eternity with a new immortal body of flesh and bones, and the corruption we have in our soul and mind will become incorruptible. We will think like God thinks, and our will shall be to do whatsoever God desires for us. We will be doers of the Word, not just hearers only.
On our last day on earth, we will stand before the LORD, and be judged according to whatsoever is written in the books. Those whose names are still written in the Book of Life will be changed and they will inherit eternity with the LORD. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. In Revelation 20:12,14,15 it says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works...And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
What a glorious day for those who have been faithful and continued until the end. What a time we will have in heaven for all eternity. But, what a sad time of "weeping and gnashing of teeth," for those who are cast out.
If you are reading this book and you are not positive "beyond all doubt" that you are born again into the Body of Christ, you can be right now. Believe the Word of God and do what the Bible says.
The Bible says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." "Believe in your heart," and ask Jesus to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior. If you ask Him with a sincere heart, He will receive you, and you will become born again into the body of Christ. Do not go by what someone else said. You must receive Jesus yourself. Therefore, do it today if you have not done it before this.
It is our desire to see God manifest in your life by His love working in you and through you. We love the LORD our God, for He is love and He will manifest His love in the lives of those who love Him.
This is Part 1 of "A New Creature" Watch for Part 2 to come in the future. For more information on this subject, go to our Web sites on the Internet. Also get the mini-book, "The Last Trump," it will help you to understand what happens when Christians die here on earth. All books on our Web sites are free. You can download as many free books as you desire. Go to our Web sites at: