TEEN TREE         OF LIFE

Our Heavenly Citizenship

Part 6

March 29, 2020

 

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

Over the past six weeks, we’ve been studying the incredible privileges related to the fact that, at the moment of Salvation, every believer is made a citizen of Heaven. This is taught in PHI 3:20 (The Message Bible): But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. As citizens of Heaven, we are called to represent Our King, The Lord Jesus Christ, in this foreign country called earth. We’re now up to our eighth Heavenly privilege. This one might be the most amazing of all, because it’s the Availability of Divine Power. And we have it one hundred percent available!!

 

In the Old Testament, God’s Divine Power was only available to certain believers who held positions of unusual responsibility. This was known as the Temporary Enduement of God The Holy Spirit. The great prophet Elijah had The Enduement of The Spirit. He began to prophesy in a time of immediate crisis, one that would become far worse before it ever got better. There was tremendous evil to overcome. His ministry took place about 150 years before Israel would fall. Elijah’s work was to reveal the true God to Israel at a time of growing national crisis. He prepared the way for Elisha who was another great prophet.

 

Elijah and Elisha navigated the Jordan River on dry land. At one point, Elisha, understanding that Elijah would die soon, asked to be blessed with a double portion of Elijah’s Spirit. 2 KINGS 2:7-14 (New International Version) records this moment for us: Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. Imagine seeing that!

 

Elisha indeed received the double portion he had asked for and performed many miracles in Israel. One of Elisha’s miracles, performed under the Temporary Enduement of God The Holy Spirit, was the turning of bad water into clean water: The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.” “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken. (2 KINGS 2:19-22 New International Version)

 

As a ruler, King David had The Power of The Spirit. When fell in love with the married Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah the Hittite, he prayed: “take not Your Holy Spirit from me.” (PSA 51:11 New International Version) As believers, we cannot pray that prayer today because we’re always indwelt by The Holy Spirit. And all we must do is Rebound (name our sins to God in His Son’s Name) to recover The Filling of The Spirit when we sin. Now that, is a tremendous blessing!! Remember that the Christian way of life, in the Church-Age, puts emphasis on the ordinary believer. For the first time in human history, God The Holy Spirit can fill every believer. So, as a Church-Age believer, you can become extraordinary using the greatest assets that have ever been made available.

 

In the Church-Age, as a part of our unique predestination, every believer is offered the same Divine Power, which was also used by Our Lord Jesus Christ, while He walked the earth. God’s Divine Power is related to predestination and as you continue to learn God’s Word and obey His Pre-Designed Plan for your life, you’ll begin to experience what is described in EPH 1:7-10 (The Message Bible): Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. These words describe the riches of God’s Grace which include the availability of His Divine Power.

 

And always remember that the Divine Power which is available to you is the same exact one which belongs to God The Father, as The Author of His Perfect Plan; to God The Holy Spirit, who revealed His Perfect Plan; and to God The Son, who holds all things together and controls the universe. Look at what the apostle Paul wrote: We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. (COL 1:17 The Message Bible) And never forget that as a believer, you have access to the same power as Our Beloved Savior who holds the world together!!

 

But have you ever thought about why God gave us Divine Power? It’s because we live in the devil’s world – the cosmic system – and Satan and his fallen angels are cunning and effective. When Satan attempted to tempt our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we learn that he is actually the ruler of this world: The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus Christ said this about Satan to his apostles in the upper room discourse, on the night He was betrayed: “I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail.” (JOH 14:30 The Message Bible)

 

As “the chief of this godless world, Satan has made evil his policy and method of operation. He couldn’t produce a system of good in mankind and within society which would make his efforts be like God. So evil became the system by which he administers the rulership of this world. Unlike Our Awesome Holy Spirit, Satan cannot restrain sin; so, he takes human good and uses it to create sin and evil in the lives of those who don’t know God’s Word! As we’ve learned, Divine Good is Christian service or deeds performed by a believer who is filled with The Holy Spirit, directed by the truth of God’s Word, and motivated by love for God. Everything else is human good which is what the believer produces in the cosmic system and it’s worthless in God’s eyes. Human good ends up being the production of evil, which amounts to doing Satan’s work. Ugghh!   Human good is when people do so-called good things with the wrong motivation. All human good will be burned up at the judgment seat of Christ. This is taught in 1CO 3:13 (New International Version): …their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

 

So, this life in which we have been perfectly placed by God, requires an extraordinary and Divine Power! This is because Satan has maximum power as the ruler of this world, in which we have been placed as ambassadors from Heaven. His power is the result of his being the highest of all angels. Look at what Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to say about Satan in JOH 8:44 (The Message Bible): “… He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.”

 

This is the message the apostle Paul shared in EPH 6:10-12 (The Message Bible) about our relationship with Satan and his angels: … God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

{to be continued}

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