Heaven, Enoch and Elijah

All four articles below are on this one audio file.

What and Where Is Heaven?

Are Enoch and Elijah In Heaven?

Were Moses And Elias With Christ On The Mount?

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts… Saith The Lord

by Mike Vinson

What and Where Is Heaven?

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

What have we just been told in this, the first verse of the Word Of God? We are later told that “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool” (Isa 66:1). Did God not have a dwelling place before he created the heavens and the earth? Why would God need a throne in heaven or the earth for a footstool? Is God trying to show us just how long His legs are? No, Of course not. God is not interested in letting us know the length of his legs. He is intent on impressing on us the extent of his sovereignty.

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

The natural man cannot see the point that God is making. And why would that be?

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.

To the natural man, heaven is a geographic location. It is simply in a different geographical location in the universe. But rest assured, to the natural man, heaven is a tangible, physical planet. It is out there in space. It is always just beyond the scope of the cameras of the Hubble space craft. Just like the ‘new body,’ promised to the overcomers, heaven is proclaimed to be both spiritual and physical. Or as many put it both spiritual and real. To the natural man, a mere spiritual body is not a ‘real body.’

I once asked a highly respected Concordant minister, “Are you telling me that you believe that heaven is a physical planet? Yes,” he retorted, “I believe that heaven is a real physical planet!” Spiritual things, you must understand, are not quite ‘real’ to the natural man. “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.

So the mind of the natural man cannot receive the concept of an invisible, “as the wind,” spiritual heaven. He cannot receive the concept of an invisible, “as the wind,” spiritual body. The natural mind shudders at such an unappealing disgusting thought. It is absolute foolishness, to the mind of the natural man. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture?

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him [Nicodemus], Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [unstable flesh-“marred in the hand of the Potter”- Jeremiah 18:4] and of the Spirit [“made again another vessel, as seemed good to the Potter to make it] , he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 
Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [The natural reaction of the mind of the ‘natural man.’]
Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?
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. 

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another [entirely different] vessel [a new man, born of the spirit], as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Not one word of these verses of scripture, straight from the mouth of our Savior, can possibly be “received by the natural man” who rules in the pulpits of the churches of orthodox Christianity.

“No man hath ascended to heaven?” Why, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and all the prophets were all, at the very moment Christ made this statement, sitting securely in the heavens with God the Father, according to most Christian ministers. Some may be aware of the words ‘Abraham’s bosom’ and the word ‘Paradise,’ and they may make some slight distinction between these words and the word ‘heaven.’ But not one of the ministers of the orthodox Christian community believe that “flesh is [exclusively] flesh,” and “spirit is [exclusively] spirit.” They certainly do not believe that “No man hath ascended to heaven…” After all,” they ask me all the time, “what about Enoch and Elijah?” Be sure to read our letter on this subject at the link provided.

By now it should be clear that the words of Genesis mean more to the “mind of the spirit” (1Co 2:14), than they do the the mind of “the natural man.” It is not because the natural man cannot read. He can read. What he cannot do is receive the things of the spirit. Why cannot he receive the things of the spirit? Is it because he doesn’t keep everything in its proper context? No, that is not the reason that the natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit. He can and does ‘keep things in context.’ Be sure to read ‘Rightly Dividing The Word Using A Principle That Only The Apostles Understood.’ The reason that the natural man “cannot receive the things of the spirit” is because “they are foolishness unto him.”

And so it is with this word ‘heaven.’ According to the Word of God, ‘heaven,’ in the scriptural sense of this word, is not a geographical location or a planet with a physical city called ‘New Jerusalem as its capitol. Rather heaven, as revealed in scripture, is in the hearts and minds of God’s elect saints. What reveals to us this Truth, are the statements of scripture concerning God’s elect, whom He also refers to as the “overcomers” and the “manchild who is to rule all nations,” the “kings and priests who will reign on earth” and “the four beasts and the four and twenty elders before the throne of God.” What is said of this last group shows us exactly, in scriptural terms, where God tells us He “dwells .” What is said of this group shows us where God “rests,” Where His “throne” is, where His “temple” is and where is His “habitation” and His “tabernacle.” We will cover all of the scriptures that substantiate these assertions, including the scriptures relating to the “four beasts and the four and twenty elders” later in this study. But for the sake of emphasis, let me repeat: ‘Heaven’ was created by God “in the beginning.” God has no beginning so ‘heaven’ has not always existed. God is not contained by the heavens. Nevertheless He tells us, for our benefit that…

…The LORD he is God in heaven above…( Deu 4:39, and), Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne… (Isa 66:1).

So while it is true that God is “IN US,” and this is certainly scriptural, it is likewise scripturally true that we are “IN HIM” and not a few places mention that God is “WITH us” even though He is simultaneously “IN us.” Again, this only proves that “the heavens, even the heavens of the heavens, CANNOT CONTAIN HIM.” There is MORE to God than can be “contained” in the “heavens” of spiritual MEN! God is IN US, we are IN GOD, we are with WITH GOD, and God is WITH US. These statements are ALL Scripturally true.

Act 17:28 For in him we [including these Pagan Athenians] live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

An Analogy of “Being Born of Water”

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [later] of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

While it is not possible to describe accurately the vastness of God’s presence, an analogy might be helpful at this point.

Let us say, for the sake of this analogy, that “God” is the living waters of the great ocean. Mankind are the fish. Fish, like humans, are mostly water. God the GREAT “LIVING WATERS” is IN US (in His fish), and we are IN THE WATER [surrounded and totally engulfed in God], yet God is also WITH US, but…BUT, even all the fish of the ocean cannot “contain God.

So..as the Great God of the OCEAN does indeed dwell in His fish, and His fish dwell in Him, and He dwells with all His fish, nonetheless, the OCEAN is TRILLIONS of times larger and grander and mightier than the fish that He ALSO DWELLS IN.

1Ki 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I [King Solomon] have builded?

With this understanding of the truth of the vastness of the omnipresence of God, let us return to our study of how scriptures view the use of the word ‘heaven.’

To the natural man, the creation story in Genesis is simply an historical account of the creation of the “physical” universe as we know and “see” it. If our definition of “heaven” is the “realm of Spirit,” then this truth has nothing to do with the creation of the “heavens and earth” in Genesis 1:1. God does NOT dwell in “the firmament above the earth which contain the clouds, sun, moon, and stars.” And so Christ informs us:

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.

Christ claims that HE was simultaneously “in heaven,” and “came down from heaven.” Does that sound like foolishness to you? That is almost as confusing as:

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

“Is not, and yet is?” Just how contradictory can you get? Such is the confusion of the mind of the natural man. These words are all “foolishness unto him.” Be sure to read the letter on Understanding The Book of Revelation.

All Things Are In Christ

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Moses informs us that ‘heaven,’ was created at the exact same time as the earth. We need to know that in the Hebrew this word is always in the plural:

Exo 20:11 For in six days Yahweh dealt with the heavens and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He stopped on the seventh day. Therefore, Yahweh blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. [CLV]

Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is… [KJV]

But the “One God, the Father” (1Co 8:6), of course, existed quite well before there ever was a heaven, and He will do very well when “the heavens shall pass away.” But if indeed, heaven is Gods elect, how then can it be said that ‘heaven was created at the same time as the earth?’ Here is “the Way” God did that:

Gen 1:1 In the beginning [Hebrew #7225 = reshiyth – firstfruit – see Lev 23:10 – in Christ] God created the heaven and the earth.

What a revealing statement. God created all things, including His elect, “In the firstfruits.” He created everything “in Christ.” Here are the scriptures:

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God

Col 1:13 Who [the Father] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us [God’s elect] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him [the firstborn-the reshiyth] 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: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

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. [Be sure to read Is God a Trinity]

Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits [same word as ‘beginning’ in Gen 1:1] of your harvest unto the priest:

So Where Is God?

The scriptures tell us that God is in the heavens.

Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

And again:

Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

If these verses do not teach us the omni-presence of God, then we surely have been “given eyes that we cannot see and ears that we cannot hear.”

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.

Look at what Paul tells us of God’s omni-presence. Speaking to the Pagan Athenians Paul makes this assertion:

Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

So according to Paul, under the inspiration of God’s spirit, even the Pagan Athenians “live and move and have their being in God.” It should by now be painfully obvious that God is far too great to be held of any material bonds. No matter how vast is the physical universe, it is but a mere shadow of the vastness of God our Father. And yet we are told:

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

So, even though God is omni-present He proclaims “Heaven is My throne.” How can a God who is omni-present in heaven and earth tell us that heaven is HIS throne! Can this ‘heaven’ contain God? Can He ‘go to heaven’ and leave His troubles behind? No, God has no ‘troubles,’ and heaven is nowhere near large enough to contain Him:

Psa 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on highPsa 113:6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

So where and what is this heaven? Do the scriptures tell us exactly where and what heaven is? Let us consider what scripture reveals about the heavens.

Earth Is Always The Opposite of Heaven

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Seven times, we are told where God dwells:

  1. God dwells on high.

Psa 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high

  1. God Dwells In Heaven.

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? [The scriptures answer this question]

Psa 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Psa 113:6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

  1. God Dwells In Mount Zion.

Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Psa 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
Psa 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
Psa 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
Psa 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

  1. God Dwells Between The Cherubim

2Sa 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

2Sa 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

1Ch 13:6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, [that is], to Kirjathjearim, which [belonged] to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.

  1. God’s throne is “in the midst of the Four Beasts And The Twenty-Four Elders”

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Rev 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Rev 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Rev 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 
Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

And who are those “kings and priests” who will “reign on 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.

Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 
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.

So the four beasts and the four and twenty elders are simply symbolic of the “overcomers,” the “manchild,” “kings and priests” who will reign with Christ on earth.

This is all by their own admission. All we need do is believe God’s Word!:

Rev 5:9 And they [The four beasts and the four and twenty elders] sung a new song, saying, Thou [the slain lamb] art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

  1. Where God Rests

Isa 18:4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

Psa 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
Psa 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

  1. God Dwells In His People

Deu 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and be their God. 

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 fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

‘Heaven’ is not a geographical location but the realm of the spirit of life. Heaven is in the hearts and minds of the people of God. Heaven is being in Jesus Christ, because being in Christ is to be in the Father. That is what and where heaven is!

Christ Is ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and The ‘Door To Heaven.’

Gen 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

And who does Christ tell us this ladder with angels represents?

Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man

Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

And indeed Christ is the only way to the Father.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Joh 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also [and “be seated with Him in heaven” (Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: 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 is ‘seated in heaven.’]; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me [In heaven]? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father [in heaven], and the Father in me [in heaven]: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

This information is a terrible disappointment to “the natural man.” “The natural man” is expecting a physical heaven with all of its physical amenities, which “the natural man” maintains are both physical and yet spiritual. The “natural man” will retort, ” Everything is just spiritual to you.” Thus he demonstrates his disdain for “the things of the spirit” and his preference for the physical world.

But for all who have been granted the privilege to see and understand “the things of the spirit” this is the most exciting revelation in God’s Word. That He will take up permanent residence in the hearts and minds of His saints!

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

God is now dwelling in His elect. It will yet require a millennium and a ‘lake of fire.’

Isa 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.

But in the end this glorious Truth will be realized by all men of all time:

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

So…as the Great God of the OCEAN does indeed dwell in His fish, and His fish dwell in Him, and He dwells with all His fish, nonetheless, the OCEAN [God’s dwelling place–the heavens] is TRILLIONS of times larger and grander and mightier than the fish that He ALSO DWELLS IN.

Are Enoch and Elijah In Heaven?

Posted December 22, 2004
Updated November 2, 2010

Greetings again in the name of Jesus Christ,

I am sorry to bother you again but I have had a discussion between a friend of mine concerning Elijah and Enoch being transported and not seeing death. He feels it is just an assumption that they are not in heaven right now; that there is no concrete evidence that they did not see death. I told him interpretation, inference, assumptions may have relative truth but once they are backed with scriptures, then they become ABSOLUTE truth. The bible says no man has ascended into heaven except the son of God who came from heaven. He says “I want to remind you that when Christ said no man (physical body) ascended into heaven but the son of man who came from heaven. I believe Christ is referring to the physical body and not the spirit being.” Would you in your spare time please shed some spiritual light on this subject?

Thanks again and God continue to bless you and give you divine strength and wisdom as you continue to do His work

They are inspirational and Spiritual food.

Peace

A____

Hi A____,

It is good to hear from you again.

The false doctrine of the immortality of either the soul or the spirit being in mankind before the resurrection is very effective in keeping the entire orthodox Christian church separated from the simple truth, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” These are the words of God, so you can hardly expect an apostate church to believe them. Any apostate would much rather believe the words of the Adversary, ‘the dragon, that old serpent called the Devil.’ here are the words that are believed universally in orthodox Christendom: “Ye shall not surely die…” [‘Why you aren’t just dust, like God told you, you are really an immortal spirit. Your body might die but you are not dust having a spiritual experience, you are actually spirit, having a physical experience.’

This is the argument of all orthodox Christian doctrine concerning the composition of all who are ‘in Adam.’ The fact that this flies in the face of “Dust thou art…in the day that you eat thereof dying you shall die,” is always excused by the tactic your friend is using:

I want to remind you that when Christ said no man (physical body) ascended into heaven but the son of man who came from heaven. I believe Christ is referring to the physical body and not the spirit being.

This is the very unscriptural reasoning that nullifies even the need for a resurrection. According to this man’s doctrine, David IS in heaven. What Peter was referring to was David’s body. Now let’s analyze this man’s doctrine and see what sense it makes. Peter makes the statement:

Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Act 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

What is Peter’s point in making this statement? He is showing to those present that Christ is risen from the dead and David is not.

Christ is ascended to heaven, and David has not. If David is also in heaven, either in physical body or in spirit, then Peter’s argument has been gutted of any significance whatsoever, because David would be in heaven, and the resurrection would be inconsequential as to whether one received the inheritance of an immortal spiritual body. But Peter asserts that “David is NOT ascended into the heavens.” And how does Peter prove to those present that Christ is superior to David and is “ascended into the heavens” as opposed to King David, who “Is NOT ascended into the heavens?” What is Peter’s proof of this assertion?:

Act 2:29 …The patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.

Now if, as your friend asserts, David is right now sitting up in heaven, in a spiritual body, what point does Peter hope to be making by pointing out that “David and his sepulcher is with us to this day?” What, pray tell, does that have to do with whether David is in heaven if David has a ‘spiritual body without the need for a resurrection?

Unlike your friend, I will not simply make an assertion. Instead I will do as he would have done had he been able; I will show you even more scriptures to show that such un-scriptural arguments turn God’s Word into a book of contradictions. For example, your friend asserts that Enoch and Elijah went to heaven with “spiritual bodies,” inherent within them by virtue of having an immortal spiritual body before, and without the need for a resurrection. This is in accord with all orthodoxy, but what saith the Word of God? Does anyone have immortality without and before a resurrection? Is it really true as the Adversary told Eve, and as all orthodoxy believes: “You shall not surely die?” Here is the Truth of God’s Word:

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

So “it is sown a natural body,” and “it is raised a spiritual body.” But which body comes first? Did Adam and Eve, along with Enoch and Elijah and all the rest of mankind already have a spiritual body capable of ‘ascending into the heavens’ without the benefit of and before the resurrection of the dead? That is the crux of our question. I will not simply tell you what “I believe.” Here is the scriptural answer to this critical, pivotal question as to whether Adam had a spiritual body before he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward [at the resurrection] that which is spiritual. 1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall [in the future, at the resurrection, not ‘are presently bearing’] also bear the image of the heavenly].

This statement by the Apostle is in complete accord with all other scriptures:

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

And reiterated in Psalms:

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity [corruptible dust]; and in sin [nakedness]did my mother conceive me.

And reiterated in Ecclesiastes

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-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.

And again in Ecclesiastes:

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing,

And reiterated in Ezekiel:

Eze 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

But all these scriptures are in the old covenant. Do Christ and His apostles teach this same message? Has anyone ascended to heaven in any form whatever other than Christ Himself? What saith the scriptures?

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.

What, pray tell, is the point of this statement if spiritual bodies are not included… “but He that came down from heaven?” Are we being asked by your friend to believe that Christ had a physical body before he “came down from heaven?” No, Christ did not have a physical body before it was given to Him at His physical birth. And still He tells us “No man hath ascended to heaven, but He that came down from heaven.” Why, according to your friend, did not Christ at least say ‘Except for Enoch and Elijah who ascended to heaven in spiritual bodies?’ He never said that because that would have contradicted the entirety of scripture, which teaches:

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward [at the resurrection] that which is spiritual.

I have added ‘at the resurrection’ in brackets. Is this really what is meant by “afterward that which is spiritual?”

Here is what the scriptures teach of what happens to all men if there is no resurrection:

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.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Christ is not one of thousands who had already gone to heaven. No man had yet ascended to heaven. Christ is the firstfruits of them that slept, and as you so eloquently pointed out to your friend, Hebrews informs us that “these [including Enoch] all died in faith, not having received the promise [of immortality].”

As I mentioned, you and I can convince no one of anything. The only way that Truth is learned is by supernatural revelation:

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him [Peter], Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood [Mike or Abed] hath not revealed it [the fact that Christ is indeed the Son of God] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

You have been given the ‘eyes to see’ that the ‘many called’ have not been given.

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them [the “many called”] 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 [the ‘many called’] 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 [the ‘many called’] 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 [the many called but not chosen] 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.
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

I hope this is of some edification to you whether or not God gives the “eyes to see and ears to hear.” to your friend.

Your brother in Christ,

Mike

Were Moses And Elias With Christ On The Mount?

Posted July 11, 2005

Hello there Mike,

I wanted to say hello and thanks for all the effort you put into your site.

The last 2 months of my life have been overwhelming. It’s truly like scales have fallen off my eyes and that I have ears to hear. I’m restless at times, because my mind will not stop thinking. I’m praying that God will continue to reveal his truth to me.

I do have a few questions, if you could spare the time to answer.

In Mat 17:3, it says “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.”

Can you explain how this happens if they are still in the grave awaiting Resurrection?

Thanks Mike.

D_____

Hi D_____,

Thank you for your encouraging words and for your question. Letters like yours make all the work worth while.

I get this question regularly and it is easy to explain: It was a vision. No one was really there with Christ but Peter, James and John.

There is a response to an e-mail that deals with this question and with its sister question about where Enoch and Elijah were taken in my e-mail section.

Mike

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts… Saith The Lord

Mike,

Maybe I was not clear at the end but – “then all Israel will be saved”, is that it referring  to “spiritual Israel” Because many times in the chapter  it is made evident that that spiritual Israel is the subject matter at hand. Spiritual Israel= natural branches of the election (who are Jewish) + gentile branch of the election. I understand completely your point that a Jew is one who is inwardly a Jew. Roman 2:28,29, which also would supports the view that the Israel is the one of election. It is clearly understood that the election of the gentiles does not include all gentiles but it gets fussy when the term Israel is used. Is it natural Israel, spiritual Israel or both when Paul says “And so all Israel shall be saved”?

Of course the gentile branch would be included. Then look at the rest of that verse “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”.  If all of Israel (natural + spiritual both) is saved then why does the Deliverer need to turn ungodliness away from Jacob? I equate the Deliverer to being the Body of Christ, which is the sum total of the election of Jew + election gentile and maybe the rest of natural Israel. Not to belabor the point, but what does “all Israel” represent in terms of content and how you define the content will affect the meaning of the scripture.

Also another consideration, one might argue that “shall be saved” and “will be saved” in that verse makes salvation in that verse contingent upon the Deliverer coming out of Sion, which implies a future work being done to turn Jacob away from ungodliness. Jacob is different than Israel but one would think all Israel would include Jacob. I think the translators may not have understood all the different nuances of the original translation, and I get a headache thinking about it. I did take a course in logic a long time ago and I know that the natural mind cannot understand the spiritual, but one would think God operates in a logical way; divine logic. Hope that is clearer. All these considerations affect how the verse can be interpreted. Thanks, Mike.

L____

Hi again L____,You ask if “the all Israel shall be saved” is referring to spiritual Israel? You are correct when you say that spiritual Israel is mentioned in this chapter as the election. But spiritual Israel is being contrasted with natural Israel.
The tone for this chapter and this entire epistle, as I pointed out in my last letter, is set at the beginning of this epistle to the Romans, when Paul informs us at the end of the second chapter that a natural Israelite is not an Israelite at all. He uses the word Jew, but the principle is the same with Israel. Romans 2, Ephesians 2 and Galatians 6 all make clear the spiritual fact that Israel is now spiritual only. The natural Israel is now cut off, broken off, cast away and rejected and has not obtained that for which it sought, “but the election has obtained it.” God is, in Christ, “making of two one new man.” Ephesians 2 make Romans 11 very clear:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye [Gentile Ephesians] 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 [past] 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 [to the commonwealth of Israel] 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 [Gentile Ephesians], and to them that were nigh [them that are called circumcision in the flesh made with hands].
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; 
Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];
Eph 2:21  In whom all the building [those called circumcision and those called uncircumcision] fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 

So what is Paul talking about in Romans 11? He is talking about the same thing he is talking about in Romans 2 and here in Ephesians 2. He comes right out and says so in Romans 9, so there can be no mistaking it:

Rom 9:1  I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Rom 9:2  That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Rom 9:3  For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 
Rom 9:4  Who are Israelites [according to the flesh]; to whom [pertaineth] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the fleshthese are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

As I said earlier, the principle of Romans 2, “He is not a Jew which is one outwardly” carries through for Israel. Physical Israel is not the Israel of God:

Gal 6:15  Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do–submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!
Gal 6:16  All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God–his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
Gal 6:17  Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do–the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus. (MSG)

The Message (MSG) is certainly not the literal translation that the Concordant version purports itself to be, but it certainly gets the spirit of what Paul is saying in these verses, much better than does the Concordant version:

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation.” (Very good!)
Gal 6:16 And whoever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, also on the Israel of God.” ( “Observe the elements? What does that mean???)
Gal 6:17 For the rest, let no one afford me weariness, for I am bearing in my body the brand marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (“Afford me weariness???” That may be a very literal translation, but it is without comprehension to 9 or 10 people.)

The key to understanding what Paul is saying in Romans chapters 2, 9 or 11 is to understand what he means when he says “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Once again Paul makes clear what He means by the words he uses. He amplifies the meaning of that phrase in Galatians 4:28, but before we look at that verse, let’s notice what you say. You make this statement:

“I think the translators may not have understood all the different nuances of the original translation and I get a headache thinking about it. I did take a course in logic a long time ago and I know that the natural mind can not understand the spiritual, but one would think God operates in a logical way, divine logic.”

You are exactly right. “God operates in a logical way; divine logic.” Now let’s have a look at some of that “divine logic.” What we will be forced to acknowledge is that ‘divine logic’ is counter intuitive to human logic. Let’s look at Galatians 4 to nail down what Paul means by the phrase “in Isaac” and to demonstrate what is ‘divine logic.’

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

There it is just as you said, “God operates in a logical way, [but that logic is] divine logic,” and the thing about “divine logic” is that it makes it impossible for the natural man to discern what is being said. As I said above, divine logic is counter intuitive to the natural man. Divine logic make the words of God’s Word seem as “foolishness to the natural man.”

Let’s demonstrate this principle with a few more examples of how God’s mind as expressed in His Word is counter intuitive to the mind of the natural man.

1) In order to find life you must lose your life:

Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

2) The same message in other words is:

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.

3) To see anything you must first be blind:

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might seeand that they which see might be made blind.

4) If you are going to fight for Christ you must “put up your sword.”

Mat 26:52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword

5) The rich are poor.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 

6) God’s poor are rich.

Jas 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

7) To be strong one must first be weak.

2Co 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 

8) Wisdom is foolishness.

Rom 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

1Co 3:18  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

What natural man believes that death produces life? That blindness produces sight? That you win the war by putting down your weapons? That the rich are poor? That the poor are rich? That the weak are strong? Or that you may be wise by becoming a fool?

Add to all of that the fact that Christ proclaims that His words will never pass away, and God’s words really are imperceptible by the natural man.

In other words the counter intuitive is, was and will be character of God’s Word is divinely and supremely logical to those who have been given divine logic, but it is contradictory, illogical, and “foolishness to the natural man.”That is how it is possible for Mat 13 to come right out and say that the multitudes were never intended to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God, and yet no one can see those words as applying to anyone but those who were there at that time. That is how it is possible for Christ to come right out and say “This generation will not pass away till all these things be fulfilled,” and the natural man will be asking where were the heavenly signs and why did not the end of the age come in that generation?All of this is true in spite of the fact that Christ tells us that He is the Word, and that He and His words will never pass away. In other words it is absolute “foolishness” to the natural man to be told that Christ and His words “are, were and will be and that they will “never pass away.” The natural man simply cannot discern such a spiritual concept.

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.

1Co 2:13  Which things [“freely given us of God”] 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. Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [Greek, age]

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

“Spiritual discernment” is not something that is taught in a class. It is either given to a man, or it is not given. Look at the verse that precedes Christ’s answer to why He spoke in parables:

Mat 13:9  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

“Ears to hear” are not natural ears. “Ears to hear” are ears that understand, and ears that understand and discern “the things of the spirit of God, are given to but very few:

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen. 

As far as God is concerned natural Israel is only “called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands;” and they are only Paul’s “kinsmen according to the flesh.” But they are not [any longer] Jews [or] the Israel of God” whereas “the election according to faith” is now the “true circumcision” and the “true Israel of God” and “heirs according to the promise.” I hope you can see that there are not two heirs or two sons of the free woman.”

There again is another example of the counter intuitive nature and character of the word of God. Look at what Paul teaches in Galatians 4:

Gal 4:21  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 
Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 
Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 
Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 
Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 
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.
Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. 

Here is the great apostle Paul telling us that Abraham’s two wives are types of the two covenants. The natural man immediately concludes that Sarah’s children are the sons of the free woman. But is that what the holy spirit in Paul concludes? No, instead the holy spirit concludes the exact opposite: “This Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem that now is and is in bondagewith her children.”

Where in the world did that come from??? It wasn’t Hagar’s children who were at Mount Sinai in Arabia. It was Sarah’s children who received the law at Mount Sinai. But Paul, without explanation, goes right on to declare that “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all,” whether Jew or Gentile. He even goes so far as to tell the Gentile Galatians that “We brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise,” and that those who do not understand these spiritual matters, always have and alway will persecute those who do see these “things of the spirit.”

But what happened to the promise that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance? The answer to that question is given us in another counter intuitive parable, called the parable of the workers in the vineyard:

Mat 20:1  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
Mat 20:2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mat 20:3  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
Mat 20:4  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Mat 20:5  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
Mat 20:6  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
Mat 20:7  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, [that] shall ye receive.
Mat 20:8  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them [their] hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 
Mat 20:9  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 
Mat 20:10  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 
Mat 20:11  And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house, 
Mat 20:12  Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
Mat 20:13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 
Mat 20:14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 
Mat 20:15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 
Mat 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

God is going to save all Israel, just as He has always promised them. The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. But the first will be last and the last will be first:

Heb 11:39  And these all [All of the Old Testament men of faith up to John the Baptist], having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise [their penny]:
Heb 11:40  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

“They without us” is not us without them. It is those who come into the vineyard at the eleventh hour who receive their reward first.

That “better thing” is to be rulers with Christ for a thousand years, and then to be used of God as the flames of the lake of fire, to bring all these Old Testament saints to Christ. Here is what Christ Himself has to say about all who were called saints in the Old Testament:

Mat 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Luk 7:28  For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

Were Abel, Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and all the other Old Testament saints; were they not “born of women?” Of course they were. Yet here we have our Savior Himself telling us that “Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist:” But He goes on to add, “but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

When we put all of this together with Peter’s incredible statement in the first chapter of his first epistle, it becomes clear that there was no salvation offered under the law or anywhere else in the Old Testament economy:

1Pe 1:10  Of which [11th hour] salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.” Again, that is completely counter intuitive to the thinking of the natural man:

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 I hope this all helps you to see the fact that God will “return the captivity of [natural] Israel… when Sodom and Samaria be come in,” and that when He does so, He is fulfilling his promise that His “gifts and His callings are [indeed] without repentance… and so all Israel, [my kinsmen according to the flesh] shall be saved.”

Your brother in Christ,Mike



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