TEEN TREE             OF LIFE

Our Heavenly Citizenship

Part 5

March 22, 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.”

 

We’ve learned that because of our Heavenly Citizenship, we our ambassadors for Jesus Christ. Because of this, there are some very important questions we should be asking ourselves, as His Ambassadors, while living on earth. Do you stop during your day, and assess your daily Christian Walk by asking yourself, “Who do you represent to the world?” Do you look at how people see you? We should always be mindful of the fact that we aren’t representing ourselves to others, we’re representing God! As believers, we represent ourselves to God and God to other people!

 

As ambassadors, we are lavished with amazing benefits. A foreign ambassador, who is a citizen in another country, doesn’t support himself in a foreign land. This holds true of us with our Christian Ambassadorship, as well. As God’s Ambassadors, who are citizens of Heaven, we are supplied with every single thing we need while we’re here on earth, in Satan’s world. But our supplies aren’t from an earthly, human government – they are supplied by Our All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Perfect God!!

 

An earthly ambassador’s instructions are given to him in writing. Ours come in the form of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church-Age. As we learned earlier in this study, the Mystery Doctrine for the Church-Age is found in the New Testament epistles and reveals to us our Heavenly Privileges so that we may execute God’s Unique Pre-Designed Plan for our lives. Through our union with Christ, and by increasing our knowledge of Mystery Doctrine, we’re able to execute His Plan. Paul wrote about The Mystery Doctrine of the Church-Age in COL 1:26-29 (The Message Bible): This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

 

Our citizenship is in Heaven and so are our privileges according to PHI 3:20-21 (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. So, why would you seek the so-called privileges of this world?? In His Sermon on the Mount, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ warns us about storing our treasures in a place where our citizenship is only temporary and inferior! He also emphasizes the message that Heaven is where our treasure and future are: “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or worse, stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (MAT 6:19-21 The Message Bible) What an important lesson that is!

 

An ambassador doesn’t live in his or her assigned foreign country for his own personal gain and because of this, should never take insults personally. This is because, in actuality, he or she is representing someone else – and is that country’s citizens’ message and values. The final fact we’re going to look at, with respect to our ambassadorship, is that we’re going to get recalled. Just like an ambassador in government might get called back in the event of a declaration of war, we will be called back, if the Rapture occurs in our lifetime. The Church-Age ends with The Rapture which is when Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ comes back in the clouds of the air to take His Church (His Bride) out of the world to be with Him forever.

 

The seventh heavenly privilege is The Indwelling of The Trinity. All three members of The Trinity indwell the body of every Church-Age believer at the point of Salvation. This privilege is unique only to Church-Age believers. Think about that for a moment. Moses didn’t have the Indwelling of The Trinity! Noah didn’t have it! King David didn’t have it. But you do!!

 

Our Lord and Savior taught that God The Father indwells the believer’s body in JOH 14:23 (New International Version): Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Paul describes The Indwelling of God The Father in EPH 4:6: …one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that He indwells every believer’s body in JOH 14:20: “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Paul’s message about The Indwelling of God The Son is this: Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. (2CO 13:59 The Message Bible)

 

Paul also wrote this about Our Lord’s Indwelling in GAL 2:19-21 (The Message Bible): What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So, I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Can’t you identify with what Paul describes in these amazing verses which he was inspired by The Holy Spirit to write?

 

When Our Lord and Savior explains the Role of God The Holy Spirit, He teaches that The Spirit also indwells the body of every believer: that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (JOH 14:17) This is one of Paul’s lessons on The Indwelling of The Holy Spirit: But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (ROM 8:9-11 The Message Bible) Wow!!

 

            In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote this: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1COR 3:16) Further on in this Epistle, Paul writes: Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So, let people see God in and through your body. (1COR 6:19-20 The Message)

 

The Indwelling of The Trinity in the Church-Age believer is the literal, local presence of God on earth. In the Old Testament, we had Jesus Christ – The Shekinah Glory – dwelling among Israel. The Shekinah Glory of Israel lived in the Holy of Holies which was the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle. Jesus Christ’s Presence was visible by a cloud above the tabernacle by day and a pillar of fire by night, so that the Jews could always tell when He was present in the tabernacle. In the Hypostatic Union, we had Jesus Christ Himself walking on earth. Now, in the Church-Age, we have each member of the God-Head indwelling the body of every believer! Every believer is The Holy Temple of God and because of this, Jesus Christ, as the Shekinah Glory, indwells every believer.

 

Each Member of The Trinity has a specific purpose for indwelling the believer’s body. God The Father’s Purpose, as The Author of The Plan, is related to its glorification: How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (EPH 1:3-6 The Message Bible)

 

God The Son’s Purpose, as The Only Revealed Member and Executer of The Plan, is a sign of blessing and protection: The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (JOH 1:14 The Message Bible)

 

God The Holy Spirit indwells the body of each Church-Age believer for the purpose of empowerment and to restrain evil. God The Holy Spirit first indwelt your body so that The Lord Jesus Christ might take up residence there, too. ACTS 1:8 explains The Holy Spirit’s Empowerment: “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

{to be continued}

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