Our Heavenly Citizenship
April 5, 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 and to 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.”
We are now at the ninth privilege of our Heavenly Citizenship which is:
The Completed Canon of Scripture. The Holy Bible. God’s Word.
As we learned earlier in this study, our instructions for how to be a Heavenly Ambassador, are relayed to us, in the Mystery Doctrine, which is found in the New Testament Epistles. The Mystery Doctrine reveals to us our Heavenly Privileges so that we know how to execute God’s Unique Pre-Designed Plan for our lives. We’re only able to execute God’s Plan through our union with Jesus Christ, and by increasing our knowledge of Mystery Doctrine. The Mystery Doctrine is only available to those believers living in the Church-Age.
Do you know what a prophecy is? A prophecy is direct communication from God to humans through prophets. In the Church-Age, there is no prophecy. The only prophetic events, concerning the Church-Age, are its beginning and its end, with The Rapture – also known as The Resurrection of The Church. The beginning of the Church-Age was prophesied by Jesus Christ in MAT 16:18 (The Message Bible): Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
Our Lord and Savior also prophesized the Church-Age’s beginning when he spoke to the apostles in JOH 16:7-15 (The Message Bible): I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend [God The Holy Spirit] won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you. When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world [Satan] is brought to trial and convicted. I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’”
The beginning of the Church-Age is also prophesied in ACT 1:1-5 (The Message Bible): Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.”
The Church-Age’s end – The Rapture (when the church is resurrected) is prophesied in 1TH 4:15-18 (The Message Bible): And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words. The apostle Paul also prophesies The Rapture in 1CO 15:51-52: Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
The beginning and end of the Church-Age were prophesied, however the Church-Age itself was not. There are prophesies concerning the Second Coming of Our Lord; His Reign on earth; and His Eternal Glorification. But there are none concerning the Church-Age. Once The Canon of Scripture was completed, everything that God wanted to say to mankind was written down. So, why the absence of prophecy in the Church-Age? Why the huge silence? Because rather than fix our attention on particular prophesied events, Our Lord directs us to concentrate on the tremendous doctrines concerning The Mystery Doctrine of Christ in us. The testimony of The Lord Jesus Christ, during the Church-Age, is not revealed through prophecy but through the Church-Age believer! That’s you and me!!
The members of The Church have access to the same Divine Assets which sustained the Humanity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And we also have the Completed Canon of Scripture which was given to support our Spiritual growth for the glorification (the praise, honor, and worship) of Our Lord and Savior. So, God excluded prophetic events from the Church-Age to emphasize the dynamics of His Word.
All Scripture originates from God. God The Father spoke to men in the Old Testament; God The Son taught God’s Word on earth; and God The Holy Spirit inspired human writers who wrote the Bible which we have today. No Scripture originates from human volition, design, or purpose: But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2PET 1:20-21) So, the origin of The Bible is God The Holy Spirit who is a Perfect Source, which means we have a Perfect Book!
In 2TIM 3:16–17, the apostle Paul writes: All Scripture is inspired by God [God-breathed] and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate [mature], equipped for every good work. There are four key terms which are crucial to understanding this passage; “all;” “inspired by God;” and “profitable.” The first term “all” can be translated as every or all. It refers to the entire Canon of the Old Testament which Timothy (to whom Paul wrote this) had known from his youth. The New Testament had not yet been completed, but by extension, this verse now includes it.
The second term is “Scripture” which means, a writing or a written document. This word tells us that the focus, of The Holy Spirit’s Inspiration, is in the written record, rather than in the ideas, concepts, or even oral expressions of the writer. So basically, it’s all about the WORD! Think about that for a moment!
The third key term in our passage is the critical one in this passage – the word “inspired.” Are you ready for a little Greek? You remember that the New Testament is written in Greek, right? Here’s an important Greek word: THEOPNEUSTOS. It’s an adjective which means it describes something. The word THEOPNEUSTOS is made up of two words: THEOS (the Greek word for God); and PNEO which means, to blow or to breathe. So, the word “inspired” – THEOPNEUSTOS in the Greek – means God-breathed. This means that God is The Author of all Scripture. This is taught by Our Lord and Savior in MAT 4:4 which says: “… every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
The fourth term is “profitable.” It means, to help, benefit, or do good. So, the Greek word for profitable – OPHELIMOS – comes to mean, useful or profitable or even advantageous. This teaches us the reason why the Bible was given to us: to be useful, profitable, and advantageous to our lives!!
The tenth and last Heavenly privilege connected to our Heavenly Citizenship is The Ability to Become an Invisible Hero and Spiritual Champion! When a believer advances to Spiritual maturity, he or she has the chance to become an Invisible Hero and Spiritual Champion, by having a positive impact on those around them. In the Old Testament, there were only a few people who became Spiritual Champions. However, we are living in an age, the Church-Age, which provides Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity for any and every believer to become one. God allows all to becoming a Spiritual Champion making no distinction between color, race, gender, etc..
An important thing to note here is that we’re warned and commanded not to end up as loser believers. The apostle John warns us not to end up suffering loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, when we stand before God and He judges what we did on earth: But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them [the Jews] were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased. The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them. These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. (1COR 10:5-12 The Message Bible)
With respect to becoming a Spiritual loser, every believer will stand at The Judgment Seat of Christ – the evaluation of each member of The Royal Family of God. This will take place at the end of the Church-Age, after The Rapture of The Church. It’s an evaluation of how we used God’s Logistical Grace Provision; the Problem-Solving Devices (tools); and Divine Power. The evaluations are based on how we executed The Pre-Designed Plan of God or our failure to do so. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the gain or loss of our Escrow Blessings for Eternity. You’ll gain your blessings and be a Spiritual Champion, if you’ve lived a life with positive volition and advanced in the Pre-Designed Plan of God. You’ll lose your blessings and become a Spiritual Loser by failing to do these things. And your escrow blessings will remain on deposit forever, as a memorial to lost opportunity. So, obviously, your goal in life has to be to become a Spiritual Champion: to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you… (1PE 1:4)