The Keys To The Kingdom of Heaven – Part 8

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The Keys To The Kingdom of Heaven – Part 8

“The Words I Speak Unto You, They Are Spirit”

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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.

Introduction

It is only with spiritual discernment that “the things…we speak” are discerned, and as we have just read, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”. So exactly how do we go about using spiritual discernment in such a way that we learn from the spirit which teaches us by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”?

One thing which should be clear immediately is that spiritual discernment is not to be found in a dictionary because we just read: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” What that tells us is that when we are taught by the holy spirit, it will not be “in words which man’s wisdom teaches”. Whenever we are granted to learn from the holy spirit it will be only by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”, and we know that when we do that, it will result in an understanding of the Word of God which will immediately appear as utter foolishness to our natural mind because: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:”

In spite of being told in no uncertain terms that “the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual”, it is still the number one rule of Biblical exegesis in most seminaries in this nation and around the world that “If the scriptures can be understood in their natural sense, then that is the way to take it”.

This principle is so commonly accepted that a very widely received Biblical fiction series entitled “Left Behind” which came out several years ago, depicted the two witnesses as two literal men who breathed literal fire out of their literal mouths and destroyed their enemies with that fire coming out of their mouths. After all that is what the letter of the scriptures plainly declare:

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

It simply must be asked, if indeed “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit”, then is that any way to handle the “spirit” of the Words of Christ? If indeed “the holy spirit teaches [by] comparing spiritual things with spiritual” is that any way to handle the spiritual Words of God? It would be comical if it were not so truly sad that “the natural man receives not the things of the spirit for they are foolishness unto him”.

That this key to the kingdom of heaven is a principle being taught to us “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” is made clear by what we are told in verse 4:

Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Why would verse four be accepted as trees which are being used as a figure of those two witnesses to the Truth of the words of God, while the fire in the mouth of those witnesses is taken literally? Anyone who is given by the holy spirit to compare spiritual things with spiritual, will discern immediately that such a literal, “letter” interpretation is not how those words which “are spirit” are intended by the holy spirit to be understood. Rather, since “the words that I speak unto you are spirit”, the words ‘My two witnesses’, the words ‘two olive trees’, the words ‘two candlesticks, as well as the words ‘fire proceeds out of their mouths’, are all intended of the holy spirit to be understood as “spiritual things”, which are intended to be compared with other spiritual words of scripture.

Here are those other spiritual words:

Zec 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The “two witnesses” of Revelation 11 are those in every generation who witness to “the word of the Lord”.

The fact is that the adversary could not have come up with a better way of keeping the Truth of the prophesies of scripture hidden from mankind than to teach “If it can be taken or understood literally, then that is how it should be understood”. That doctrine is in direct opposition to:

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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.

Comparing spiritual things with spiritual are “not words which man’s wisdom teaches”, so in this study we will be faithful to what the scriptures teach us and show the spiritual principles involved in “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”.

“Comparing spiritual things with spiritual”

So how do we go about comparing spiritual things with spiritual? Well, the truth is that spiritual discernment is not a university level class that can be taken and studied from a text book, then bestowed as a degree in spiritual discernment conferred upon men by other men. The discerning of spirits and the knowing and understanding the doctrine of Christ comes only to those who are given to love God with all their hearts and who are by God’s sovereignty granted to see the doctrine of Christ with their eyes, hear it with their ears and be obedient to His doctrine from their hearts:

Joh 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Those are the qualifications of being capable of “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” to the point of knowing God and His Son. Only after that gift is bestowed upon us will we be given to remember and apply Christ’s own words in Matthew 13 where He Himself tells us that His parables are intended to keep the multitudes who come to him from understanding His message, while at the same time revealing His doctrine to those to whom He has given “ears to hear”.

Mat 13:9 Who hath [been given, verse 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.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

There it is. That is the ‘ceremony’ by which we are granted to discern spirits. That is the ‘ceremony’ by which we are given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Of course it is not a ceremony at all, but rather it is a calling which we cannot resist because it was predestined before the foundation of the world whether “it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” or whether “from [you] shall be taken away even that [you] have”.

So the ability to “try the spirits to see whether they are of God” is actually a gift of the spirit, and not a matter of our own free will, as the world falsely teaches us:

1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

It is true that not everyone is given the gift of discerning of spirits, but it is, in time, given to all who are in Christ to know His voice when a brother or a sister who has been given to discern the false doctrines coming from the “many false prophets [who] are gone out into the world”, and who come into the body of Christ attempting to spread their insidious false doctrines.

How then is spiritual knowledge imparted?

While spiritual discernment is not a degree conferred upon us from institutions of men, yet God has ordained that the things of the spirit would be gleaned and understood only though “that which is written” by other men, and “by the church”.

This is how the hold spirit opens up our understanding of “the things of the spirit”:

Act 8:27 And he [Philip] arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Act 8:28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Act 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Act 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

The scripture the Ethiopian eunuch was reading was:

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

The name ‘Jesus’ is nowhere to be found in that verse of scripture, but “comparing spiritual things to spiritual” the holy spirit declares to us that verse is speaking of the crucifixion of Jesus for the sins of all who are in Adam (1Co 17:22). The holy spirit used Philip to guide this man to Christ by teaching him the spiritual meaning of the words he was reading. This is how “the holy spirit teaches [us] by the church… comparing spiritual things to spiritual”. The application of the principle of “comparing spiritual things to spiritual” is actually learned when the holy spirit first prepares our hearts, and then “by the church [sends] some man … [who] guides [us]”. This Truth is reiterated in these verses:

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,

There it is again. “The fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world, has been hid in God [is] made known by the church…” When we put Acts 8:31 (“How can I [understand] except some [Godly] man guide me”), together with Eph 1:10 (“To make all men… by the church… see what is the fellowship of the mystery…”), we can begin to understand how the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual things in scripture with other spiritual things in scripture. The holy spirit had prepared the heart of the Ethiopian eunuch, and then the holy spirit had sent Philip as a witness to those verses which the eunuch had been shown by the holy spirit.

No court of trial is held without having the books containing the relevant laws available to those who are involved in that trial. In the same way, those who the holy spirit uses to “guide [us]”, must be a man of God who have “studied [the scriptures] to show [them]selves approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed… never thinking above that which has been written”.

1Co 4:6 Now these things, brothers, I applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us ye might learn not to think above that which is written, so that ye may not be puffed up, one over the one against the other.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

It is made clear by the spirit which uses men like Christ, like Philip and like the apostle Paul to show other men “the things of the spirit [which] are foolishness unto… the natural man”.

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit [the Word of God, Joh 6:63] and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard [Mat 13:9-15], neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit [Mat 13:11]: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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.

Here we have the entire Godly, Biblical system of how “the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” operates. Paul is demonstrating this work of God for us using “my speech and my preaching” as as example of how the holy spirit through himself and through you and me, is “speak[ing] wisdom among them that are [being] perfected”. In one verse of scripture we are told that the “things… which… we speak [are those things by which] “the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual”.

That is why it is critical that we all “try the spirits to see whether they are of God” (Joh 4:1) and that we are all able to discern whether the things being spoken to us by any man are ever “above that which has been written” (1Co 4:6).

It is only “those things which have been written [which] are spirit”, and what gives them their spiritual meaning is that they agree with other scriptures “which have been written”. Anything else ‘has no light in it’.

Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

“This word” refers to the law of Moses, which the New Testament reveals to be merely “a shadow of good things to come”, those good things being the spiritual words of our Lord as He Himself made clear to us:

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

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 law can never make the comers thereunto perfect, but what does perfect us is our daily dying as we experience “the washing of water by the Word [which is] spirit”:

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The letter versus the spirit

While the natural man teaches us that the words of scripture mean what they say, the scriptures themselves, and Christ in particular, teach us that the words of Christ, which He tells us “are spirit” (Joh 6:63) are actually meant to hide the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven from the multitudes who come to Christ, the “many called”, and at the same time reveal those mysteries to the “few chosen” who are then “given…eyes that see and ears that hear…they mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”

2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is 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.
2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
2Co 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
2Co 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
2Co 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

“Able ministers of the New Testament” while very careful not to think above what is written, are never guilty of taking what is written to mean the letters that are written. If the scriptures were taken in that manner, he would be a Jew which is one outwardly, and circumcision would be that circumcision which is outward in the flesh.

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

But when the spiritual man speaks of being a Jew, or when he speaks of being circumcised, he does so comparing spiritual types with spiritual realities which are spiritual and invisible to the eyes of the natural man, so that when the holy spirit teaches us in that manner we, too, much conclude:

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.

“Not in the letter” tells us that the mantra of the seminaries of Babylon, “If it can be taken literally, that is the way to take it”, is “the ministration of death, [and] the ministration of condemnation”.

These are the things which are “not given unto…the multitudes” of natural men who come to Christ to see or hear. These are the words which Christ tells us “are spirit” and which Christ and the apostle Paul tell us simply “cannot [be] received [by] the natural man”:

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

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.

How could a person who “cannot hear [Christ’s] word” be expected to “receive… the things of the spirit of God”? He cannot know them, because Christ’s words are not discerned with a dictionary. Rather “they are spiritually discerned” and are foolishness to the natural man.

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels”

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

What we have in earthen vessels are “the words [which Christ] speaks unto [us which words] are spirit”. It is through His Word that He dwells within us. If we do not have His word within us, we do not have Him within us. If the word within us teaches that Christ is part of a trinity God-head, who will torment His own creatures for all eternity, Christ is not in us. If the words in us teach us that we are a spirit having a physical experience, instead of an earthen vessel having a spiritual experience, Christ is not in us. If the words in us teach us that Christ did not break the sabbath, did not do that which is not lawful according to the law of Moses, and that He did not profane the sabbath, then His word is not in us, and He is not in us.

On the other hand, if we know “there is one God, [and that one God is] the Father of whom are all things”, and if we know that besides that one God the Father there is also “one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things”, and if we know that we are beasts, and that we have no preeminence above a beast, and that without a resurrection they which have fallen asleep in Christ are perished, and if we know that Christ did break and profane the sabbath and was still guiltless [Mat 12:1-8 and Joh 5:16-18] because of His words, as opposed to the law of Moses, then “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” is beginning to “shine unto [us]”, and is not hidden from us.

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ecc 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath [Hebrew: ruach – spirit]; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ecc 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

“Invisible things… are understood by the things that are made”

It is through the understanding of “the things of the spirit” that “the holy spirit teaches [us by] comparing spiritual things with spiritual”, and because “we have this treasure in earthen vessels”, God has determined that the invisible things of the spirit are to be understood by the things that are made…”

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

The man who has “the mind of the spirit” sees the mind of the spirit in everything that is made, because He knows that God created all things by Christ, and therefore everything made reveals His mind in some way.

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:

Only the mind of the spirit can grasp how life comes only through death by observing that a seed must fall into the ground and die before it can bring forth much more life.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

It is one of the keys to the kingdom of heaven and to life itself to understand that only the man who has the mind of the spirit can see Christ, and through Christ see His Father:

Joh 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

“The kingdom of God is within you” (Luk 17:20-21). The keys to the kingdom of heaven are given to you and me to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven and know God and His Son and for the purpose of giving us life eternal which is in knowing God and His Son whom He has sent to save the whole world (Luk 17:20-21, Mat 16:18, Joh 3:17 and Joh 17:3).

[Part nine can be found here.]

Other related posts