Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An orderly resurrection

Regarding resurrection, are the firstfruits mentioned in I Corinthians the same as the 144,000 in Revelation?  What is meant by the phrase ‘every man in his own order?’

1 Corinthians 15:23

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Revelation 14:1, 3, 4

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Paul keeps the firstfruits in 1 Corinthians 15 in the context of our dispensation.  But, the firstfruits principle applies to both his  coming (aka appearing [2 Timothy 4:1]) for the body of Christ at the rapture, and his Second Coming to Israel.

Paul uses that word ‘come’ to refer to the Lord’s return for his Body at the Rapture.

1 Corinthians 1:7; 11:26

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

1 Thessalonians 3:13; 5:23

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.


And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Thessalonians 2:1

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

So Paul uses the term ‘the coming of our Lord’ to describe the Rapture.  In the direct context this is what I Corinthians 15:23 is referring to.  But the same principle will be applied to the Second Coming to Israel.

Regarding the phrase ‘every man in his own order,’ notice that the colon follows ‘order.’  He is giving the order of the resurrection.  He was the first one to be raised from the dead (never to die again).

1 Corinthians 15:23

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

He’s talking about our resurrected bodies.  Christ got his first; then we all get ours – the dead in Christ first (those who were already dead at the time of the Rapture), then those of us who are alive and remain.


1 Thessalonians 4:15

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Unless he is specifically talking about the future as in 2 Thessalonians, Paul is talking about things pertaining to the body of Christ, even though the same principle applies to the Lord’s second coming to Israel.  There are some similarities between the two programs—these would  be inter-dispensational principles).

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Paul also talks about the firstfruits of the Spirit.

Romans 8:23

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

One of the reasons God gave us his Spirit is to be the earnest of our inheritance:

Ephesians 1:14

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

He is like a down payment – earnest money.  The Holy Spirit is the earnest money, guaranteeing that we will receive our physical bodies that will be changed to be incorruptible and immortal like the Lord’s:

1 Corinthians 15:51-53

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changedIn 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.

And he is our guarantee of our inheritance in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 1:14

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Christ got his new body already, we get ours at his coming (the Rapture); even Israel will get their new bodies in the Kingdom when he comes back the second time for them.

So the whole context and point of 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection of the physical body at the Rapture even though the description will apply to Israel at the second coming.

Look at verse 26:

1 Corinthians 15:26, 55

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

At the Rapture, physical death will be a thing of the past for the Body of Christ.  No member of the body of Christ will die again.  That’s not true for Israel.  Death (of humans) won’t be destroyed in the prophetic Kingdom program until the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

Revelation 20:12-14

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 the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Did Christ know...

Did Christ in his earthly ministry have an understanding of the mystery and was he referring to the body of Christ we he said that he was going away to prepare a place (for you)?  Is that what he is doing right now?

John 14:2-3

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

In context, that statement was to the little flock.  “Preparing a place” for them is is exactly what the Lord Jesus was doing after he ascended and before he appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. 

It is God the Father who instituted the dispensation of God’s grace.  I’m convinced that during his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus obtained all his information from the old testament scriptures, so he didn’t learn about what we call the mystery until he returned to the Father.  God sent him back to give and teach it to the Apostle Paul.  I don’t think, like some do, that Christ spent his whole earthly ministry knowing the mystery because he operated as the Son of Man.  He was Jesus of Nazareth – the prophetic Messiah.  He learned the mystery after he ascended.  It is God the Father’s will.

Colossians 1:26-28

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Paul makes it clear – it was hid in God (the Father):


Ephesians 3:9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

So Christ definitely didn’t know about the mystery during his earthly ministry.  

He operated on his knowledge of the old testament scriptures as the Son of Man.

Matthew 24:36
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heavenly Places, part 2

Can you describe the Heavenly Places?

The heavenly places consist of the first heaven (the atmosphere around earth); the second heaven (outer space); and, third heaven called Mount Zion, the heavenly or New Jerusalem where God lives [Revelation 21:2;  21:10; 3:12 KJV].  Angels are active in all three areas.  There are always angels around the throne in the third heaven.
God sits on a throne:

1 Kings 22:19

And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

Psalm 11:4

The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven:

Revelation 4:2

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Christ is seated at His right hand:

Hebrews 8:1

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest [the Lord Jesus Christ], who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
We are positionally seated with Christ, but we’re not there yet:

Ephesians 2:6

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

God is omnipresent but he does have a form.  We’re made after his image:

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God is a Spirit:

John 4:24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

He’s a spiritual being, but he does have a physical form.  He wears clothing (garments), has hair on his head, sits on a throne and rides around on a chariot guarded by cherubim.

Daniel 7:9-14 describes the future when the Lord Jesus Christ will go to receive the Kingdom from his Father. He (God, the Father) is called the Ancient of Days:

9 I beheld till the thrones [positions of authority] were cast down, and the Ancient of days [capitalized, referring to a person, God the Father; a very good description of God] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion [again, positions/realms of authority on earth] taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [terminology used for Israel’s Messiah] came with the clouds [angels] of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they [angels] brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

God, the Father sits, wears a garment, and has a head of hair (v9).  His hair is white.  (That’s another reason why He allows our hair to grow white when we get older.  It’s interesting, that you see in pictures, the judges in England and our founding fathers all wore white wooly wigs which signified wisdom.  The bible talks about silver hair representing wisdom [Proverbs 16:31].)

He sits on a throne which is actually a chariot with wheels (also, v9) and cherubim typified by and associated with fire many places in scripture.

Genesis 3:24

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


Psalm 99:1

The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

Ezekiel 10:1-2, 9

Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub,

And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.

Have you ever heard of the Chariots of Fire?  God sits on a chariot with a throne.  He’s mobile.  God moves around (v10).  He doesn’t just sit there.

In verse 13, the Lord Jesus is referred to as ‘one like the Son of man’ and notice carefully what this verse tells you…

Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they [the clouds] brought him near before him.

Remember what happened at the Lord Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1?

Acts 1:9
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

These “clouds” are angels!

Daniel is looking into the future when the Lord receives the Kingdom:

Daniel 7:14
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heavenly places, part 1

What can we know about the heavenly places?  

The tenth chapter of Daniel gives some understanding about the heavenly places where we’re going to live.  Gabriel had to travel through the region of the prince of Persia (a fallen angel); he was held back and it took him 21 days to be able to reach Daniel even with Michael’s help.

Daniel 10:12-13
Then said he [Gabriel] unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

When the Lord Jesus Christ himself comes back, whether it’s for the members of his body…

1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

 or at his return (aka, second advent)…

2 Thessalonians 1:7
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Revelation 19:14
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

He always mentions angels coming with him.  And the reason is because his angels have to battle and fight.  Even before he comes back at the second coming for Israel he has Michael fight Satan and his angels in heavenly places.  This is real!

Revelation 12:7-9
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon  [Satan] fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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.

There is war out there – war in heaven.  So he’s always with his angels.  Remember when he comes at the Rapture that archangel is most likely Michael. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

He’s the only one who is called an archangel in scripture.  Michael is going to come back for us.  And the reason is that he’ll have to fight to get us through the heavenlies.  The fallen angels are still in existence today and they’re operating in the heavenlies.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:10
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers [various classes of angels] in heavenly places might be known by the church [they are up there learning] the manifold wisdom of God,

I don’t know exactly what each rank does, but there are different classes and ranks and authority of angels.

Colossians 1:16
For by him 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 [various level of authorities]: all things were created by him, and for him:

The angels run creation. (It will be like that with the nation of Israel as the sons of God [in the earth] and with the body of Christ [in the heavenly places].  There will be higher positions of authority given to us.)

Just as there are good and bad rulers in human government here on earth, it is the same in the heavenly places.  There are holy [elect] angels and fallen angels that are in governmental positions. 

Job 15:15b
…the heavens are not clean in his sight. […because of the rebellion still going on there.]

The operation in the heavens didn’t cease with the opening of the dispensation of grace.  That has remained the same throughout the dispensations.  The only program on hold during this gap of time is Israel’s prophetic program on the earth – not what is happening in the heavens.  The way the heavens function today has always been the same since God created the angelic creatures, even though one third of the angels followed Satan.  They’re still doing their jobs.

To get a sense of what is going on in the heavenly places, let’s look at Job 1 and I Kings 22:

Job 1:6a
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD…

They were called in to give an account—much like your boss calling you in for a meeting.  That means that all of them are not just sitting in his presence at every moment.  They’re ‘out there’ but then they come together – they congregate.  There is an actual place where God meets with them; it’s called the mount of congregation, located in the heaven of heavens.

Isaiah 14:13
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Having an understanding of how things are operating in heavenly places helps me to be able to dispensationally apply truths found in the rest of the Bible outside of Paul’s epistles.  And knowing the details of what is happening in the heavens as revealed in the Old Testament helps me to understand what the heavenly places are like and what God will do with the body of Christ when we get there; that is, how we will be used in service to him there.  If you study about the kingdoms on earth in the Old Testament, you’ll have an understanding about what is going on in the heavenly places.

Knowing all these details today isn’t going to affect our every-day lives as believers; but if you know what Paul is saying about the cross and how to share a clear Gospel, and you know how to share the rightly divided word and teach people about Paul’s ministry, you will be doing God’s will for you in your lives here and now—that’s our main job.  Unlike what religious leaders teach, we are not ‘disciples of Christ’ but, rather his ambassadors.

2 Corinthians 5:19-20
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of [the ministry of] reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 

Hopefully this helps! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Anonymous

Pastor Ron's response to a comment left on the January 24, 2011 post:  Hebrews…

Thanks for your opinion Anonymous, and although we disagree with your view on the human authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews, we do appreciate you reading our blog.

What you must remember is that the writer of Hebrews includes himself in the doctrine presented in the book, and our Apostle Paul was not a part of that doctrinal program!

Hebrews 4:11
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Paul already has rest in Christ as a member of the Body of Christ!

Hebrews 4:14
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession

Paul did not have to hold fast, he is eternally secure as of the moment he trusted Christ!

Hebrews 10:26-27
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

This does not pertain to our Apostle Paul, nor anyone else saved in the dispensation of grace! We all sin willfully at times against our Lord, yet we cannot ever lose our salvation!

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul was/is a member of the present Mystery dispensation of grace, and not a part of the Prophesied earthly kingdom program. So although many believe that Paul is the human author, he is not! And, what's most important is that God wrote it!

Hebrews 1:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Remember what Paul says...he was given the mystery of Christ! You must rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Ephesians 3:1-4
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote aforein few words, Whereby , when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Paul was sent by our Lord Jesus Christ to make known the Mystery, not to focus on Prophecy/kingdom program.

Colossians 1:24-26; 4:3-4
 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it [the Mystery of Christ] manifest , as I ought to speak .

2 Thessalonians 3:17
The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.

You must beware of those attributing letters to Paul that he did not write...

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2a
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled , neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as [but not] from us,

Again, Anonymous, thanks for reading our blog.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Ron Knight