The Keys To The Kingdom of Heaven – Part 6


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The Keys To The Kingdom of Heaven – Part 6

If Ye Be Christ’s, Then Are Ye Abraham’s Seed

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Introduction

A few months ago I heard a radio talk show host in utter frustration make the statement, “How anyone can think that the Christian church has replaced Israel as the chosen people of God, I just cannot understand”. He certainly expressed himself, and most so-called ‘Christian ministers’, in a very Biblical manner when he said “I just cannot understand”. Truer words were never spoken for this very reason:

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The apostle Paul is simply repeating what Christ had explained to His disciples when they asked Him why He spoke to the multitudes (Mat 13:2) in parables:

Mat 13:9  Who hath [been given, vs 11] ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 
Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Notice verse nine. “Ears that hear… and…eyes that see… the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” are the same as “the keys to the house of David” which grant us to unlock and “to know [those] mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”. The apostle Paul was given by God to use those keys to explain clearly who is, and who is not, God’s true chosen people. God Himself, through the apostle Paul, explains clearly what this radio talk-show host, along with most all Christian ministers, ‘cannot understand… and cannot perceive’, even as their own eyes see these words and as they hear their own voices reading these very clear words:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

There it is. The keys to the kingdom of heaven are not given to the natural man, whether a talk-show host or a minister or a layman. The natural man is not given to see the words “…he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly”. That is one of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which has the natural man locked out of the kingdom of heaven. But the keys to the kingdom of heaven are given to those who are granted to receive the things of the spirit. It is with the ability to discern the things of the spirit that the true Christian church, the body of Christ, has been granted to understand that God has indeed replaced the physical nation of Israel with those who “are Christ’s” as God’s chosen people, regardless of any outward fleshly pedigree.

All who refuse to believe that “he is not a Jew which is one outwardly” have now, with King Saul, become the rejected anointed people of God, and that is why the natural man “cannot receive the things of the spirit of God”. The natural man continues to think of himself as a spiritual man even as he denies and rejects “the things of the spirit of God”. The natural man is the sworn enemy of God, and the man who given to discern the things of the spirit, is persecuted by the natural man:

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1Sa 18:10  And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
1Sa 18:11  And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice
1Sa 18:12  And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.

1Sa 24:2  Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.
1Sa 24:3  And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
1Sa 24:4  And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily. 
1Sa 24:5  And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
1Sa 24:6  And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. 
1Sa 24:7  So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.

Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

The apostle Paul contrasts ‘spiritual discernment’ with understanding the physical letters of the Word of God:

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

To fail to grow beyond “the letter” and to continue to think “according to the flesh” and to reject the words of the spirit which tell us clearly that “he is not a Jew which is one outwardly”, and to continue to agree with this talk-show host and with most all so-called Christian ministers, is a matter of life and death. Without this key to the kingdom of heaven one would surely not find the kingdom of heaven or the life that is that kingdom.

As is always the case, the scriptures always reaffirm themselves with a “second witness” which we can find in the second chapter of Ephesians:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 

There it is again. The Gentile Christians are “called uncircumcision” by those who are “called the circumcision”. But what is the true circumcision? Who is the true Israel? “You [Gentile Ephesians] are no more strangers and foreigners, but [“by the blood of Christ” you are now] fellowcitizens with the saints, and [“are fellowcitizens”] of the household of God”.

When Paul says in…:

Gal 3:28  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.

…he is not saying there are no longer any physical Jews, rather, as the next verse proves, his point is that anyone who is now “in Christ Jesus… is a[n inward] Jew… in the spirit, and not in the letter” (Rom 2:28), and is now “inwardly… in the spirit… the seed of Abraham… [and he is now inwardly… [a] fellowcitizen… in the spirit… with the… commonwealth of Israel”:

Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

The natural man cannot discern that the promises are just as spiritual as life itself. Being the recipient of eternal life does not exclude anyone from physical death, except for the very few indeed who will be alive and changed at the time of the first resurrection:

1Th 4:15  I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves.
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.
1Th 4:17  Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.
1Th 4:18  So comfort and encourage each other with these words. (NLT)

The man who is given to discern the things of the spirit is not striving to attain to physical life, nor is he hoping to inherit the physical promises God gave to Abraham and his seed, because the man of the spirit knows that those physical promises are merely spiritual types and shadows of “better things to come… the things of the spirit [which] are foolishness unto… the natural man”.

Heb 10:1  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

The physical temple itself was but a type and shadow of the true “inward… in the spirit… temple of God”:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The man who is granted to discern the things of the spirit also knows that God’s kingdom, God’s true Israel, is also within His people, and the physical nation of Israel is merely a type and shadow of the true kingdom of heaven, just as “the first man Adam” is but a type of “the last Adam”, Christ:

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

1Co 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit
1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

So the natural ‘Israel’ must precede the true Israel. Paul repeats this doctrine of Christ with these words:

Gal 6:15  Certainly, it doesn’t matter whether a person is circumcised or not. Rather, what matters is being a new creation.
Gal 6:16  Peace and mercy will come to rest on all those who conform to this principle. They are the Israel of God. (GWV)

“Of both one”

Let’s look again at Eph 2:14:

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

What a revolutionary statement!!! Christ is making of two one. He is not making of two, two. ‘Peace and mercy will come to rest on all those who conform to [that] principle [of making of two one]. They are the [only] Israel of God”.

Let me clarify myself at this point. Neither the apostle Paul nor I are anti-semetic. Neither of us thinks that physical Jews are inferior to anyone else who is “in Adam”. What Christ Himself said from His own mouth when speaking His first recorded message to those in the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth, and then again when speaking to the woman at the well, and what He is explaining to us via the pen of the apostle Paul, is simply:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

So physical Israel, like King Saul, is God’s rejected anointed, and we dare not touch or do harm to God’s anointed, even after the spirit of the Lord has departed from His rejected anointed.

1Sa 24:5 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
1Sa 24:6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

1Ch 16:22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

The negative application of “the seed of Abraham”

Just as the first Adam must precede the last Adam, we are also told that the Christ must first be “of the seed of David according to the flesh“.

Act 2:30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

The seed of Abraham and the seed of David are again, one and the same, in both the negative and the positive applications. The reason “Christ… was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” via His mother, is to demonstrate that He, too, came to this earth in the very same sinful flesh and blood with which we contend:

Heb 2:14  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;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham
Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 
Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

“[Christ] took part of the same… flesh and blood as the [physical] children [of Abraham].” In the same manner, before we can be “the last Adam”, like our Lord, we must be “the first man Adam… according to the flesh”.  Only then can we are made to be the positive application of  “Abraham’s seed… the last Adam”.  We are even told “as Isaac was [we Gentile Christians are also now] the children of promise”.

Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

‘Abraham’s seed, the house of David, and the children of promise’ are all spiritually one and the same. They all signify those in Christ who are granted the keys to the kingdom of heaven and to life eternal through the knowledge of Christ and His Father (Joh 17:3).

Notice what is promised to those who know Christ and who are “in Christ”:

1Co 6:2  Do 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?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Now notice what is given to those who are promised the key to the house of David:

Isa 16:5  And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

Isa 22:22  And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Those who are “in Christ” are “kings and priests” who will “judge the world… and… shall judge angels”. Those who are promised the key to the house of David, “sit upon… the throne in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment…”

Obviously “the dream is one” (Gen 41:26), and both are the overcomers in Christ who are given to rule the nations for a thousand years and then judge angels in the devouring flames of the lake of fire:

Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? 
Isa 33:15  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

 1Co 6:2  Do 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?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Conclusion

So here we have one more of the keys to the kingdom of heaven. We have seen in the scriptures that being the temple of God, being circumcised, being a Jew, being an Israelite and being the seed of Abraham, are one and all now only a matter of being “in Christ… in the spirit and not [being a Jew] outwardly… in the letter”.

Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

For this reason the man who is given to receive the things of the spirit has the same concern for all the nations of the world, and is grateful to be the inward, spiritual circumcision, the inward, spiritual Jew, Israelite, temple of God, and the inward, spiritual seed of Abraham.

All of this agrees with our Lord’s own words:

Joh 6:63  Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritualThey are life. (GW)

It is this spiritual understanding of who is the seed of Abraham, and who is the recipient of the promises made to Abraham, which is one more of “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” by which we are given to bind on earth that which has already been bound in heaven and to understand “the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God“. With this “key of knowledge” we, as His “church which is His body”, can now make this part of the mind of God known and understood in the heavens His elect who are yet here on the earth:

Luk 11:52  Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Mat 16:19  And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatever you bind on the earth will have been bound in the heavens; and whatever you loose on the earth will have been loosed in the heavens. (ALT)

Joh 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Eph 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:
Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, [“the keys to the kingdom of heaven”]

The phrase: “will have been bound in the heavens… will have been loosed in the heavens”, means that if we are “in Christ”, we are granted to know here on earth the mind of Christ, whom we are coming to know better as we die daily with Him:

Joh 17:3  Now this is eternal life: that they shall be knowing You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You sent. (ALT)

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

What this key to the kingdom of heaven reveals is that we are living in the day Christ spoke of in answer to the question from the woman at the well concerning where we are to worship God:

Joh 4:21  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at [physical] Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we [inward Jews] know what we worship: for salvation is of the [inward] Jews.
Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth

[Part seven can be found here.]

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