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#389 Kingdom: The Entrance: The Requirements 

Each time we prepare to leave on a trip we first determine what we should pack for this particular trip. For example; we will prepare differently for a trip to the equator than we will for a trip to the North Pole. We pack differently for a vacation than we do for a ministry trip. Our preparation and our needs will be quite different depending upon our destination.

It is amazing that most of the visible church never considers that we are preparing for the most important trip of our lives. No thought is given to our preparation or what we will need for that eternal walk through the Kingdom. The “ministries” seem to think there is no preparation necessary except to accept Jesus as our personal Savior.

My first thought was to identify various levels and realms of the New Jerusalem / Mount Zion realm and to conduct a scriptural tour through the Heavenly City to observe who are there and the degrees of perfection they have attained. To observe what they are doing in the Kingdom Government of God and what “ruling over the nations” means. Why do some rule over five cities and some over one city? Why do some rule over nations?

Walk about Zion as compared to “run through Zion” will explain a lot about stopping to examine the details and considering the eternal consequences, the unseen realms and the measurable extent of each small revelation within the Eternal City and the Mountain of God.

Psalm 48:12 Walk about Zion, and go around her; Count her towers; 13 Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces; That you may tell it to the next generation.

Now it has occurred to me that the real issue for each “ministry”is to be certain that our people are actually prepared, just to make the tour, before we begin. Also, since this is a new subject for most of us, we should lay broad foundations for what this unique preparation requires of us and in us! Why? Because the Adam / natural man will be totally lost on this scriptural tour. He may be able to grasp something from a tour of the New Earth but the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem will just be foolishness to him and he cannot grasp any of that Truth. Since this document may go out to many different people, we want to be sure that everyone who takes the tour is fully prepared. Obviously the preparation is directed BOTH toward the “old man”, the sinner, the natural man, the carnal man and certainly the new inner man. This “preparation” is not directed toward to the natural mind or the intellect of the natural man.

The extent of the preparation necessary for each dimension of Heaven will help us define different reasons why certain people are in each of these realms. Even though I know this description of each realm will infuriate those that see Christianity as a New Testament religion, and everybody going to one heaven, an explanation of these “partitions”is necessary to understand the reality of the Kingdom and its demands.

Hopefully, some of the mysteries of the Kingdom will be revealed this way. For example; We know that ONLY those who do the will of God can enter the Kingdom of God. We also know from John 3 that NO ONE, who is NOT born again, can even see the Kingdom. From these same verses we know that each one who enters into the Kingdom MUST be born of the water AND the Spirit. What we may NOT know is why! We may also not know how all this works. Therefore, we will begin simply from the basic stages of preparation and why this is essential to enter the Kingdom / New Jerusalem / Mount Zion dimensions of Eternity.

Even though this study is very basic and what each of us SHOULD have learned in Sunday School, in my last trips I was startled to discover that nearly all pastors I met are totally ignorant of these basic foundational preparations for the Kingdom. Some even boldly declare that NO foundations are necessary because “we are saved.” Nevertheless, maybe we can better define what it means to be “saved to the uttermost” or why it is called “so great a salvation.” This study may help define what “Pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” means. It may help explain why Paul was caught up to the “third heaven”instead of the “first heaven.”

Since many Evangelical Churches teach that “forgiveness of SINS” IS salvation, we may want to introduce this subject by making a distinction between “SIN” and “SINS.” “SINS” are forgiven simply by repenting before God, exercising faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary and being cleansed of “SINS” by the “shed blood.” This is so simple that anyone can understand it and do it and receive the gift of His wonderful grace. For some who are struggling over past “SINS” this explanation presents an easy to understand answer to the problem of “SINS.” Forgiveness of “SINS” then is our introduction into this primary grace of God. This opens the door into the progressive realms of Salvation.

The way we are defining the “partitions in heaven” is by the levels of salvation that we have experienced. It should be quite clear that the “thief on the cross” experienced a much different level of salvation than did Paul, who completed his race for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. To ignorantly proclaim that both Paul and the thief are on the throne with Jesus is to ignore dozens of scriptures that speak of the necessity of growing up in all things into Christ, who is the Head of His body of mature saints just like Himself.

There seems to be many who confuse being righteous by faith with going on to

perfection. They simply say that those who are righteous are already perfect by faith. They share that those who are “in Christ” share the same perfection that Christ has attained and are therefore seated with Him of the throne of heaven and will rule with Him throughout eternity. Our complete salvation, perfection and ruling is treated as a finished fact when our sins are forgiven.

Rom 13:11 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

1Pet 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We are treating “salvation” as the process of advancing toward our final salvation ready

to be revealed in the last days. The level of our growth or advancement will determine where we will be in the “partitions of heaven.” The thief and those of his character will be in the lowest levels and Christ, along with Paul, and those of His character will be in the highest levels of heaven.

Many can readily accept different “partitions” in hell because of different levels of wickedness but reject the “partitions” in heaven for different levels of perfection. Obviously this subject will excite much hostility because the lukewarm want to have some false assurance that they will be accepted into the highest or third heaven. The first, second and third heaven are firmly rejected by most evangelical Christians. Some just make the first and second heaven the natural, visible heavens [ atmosphere] that will be destroyed.

Revelation 21 shows us the three “partitions” of Eternity as (1) The New Earth (2) The New Heaven and (3) The New Jerusalem which make up the Eternal Tabernacle of God. The New Jerusalem being the third heaven! This refers to that highest level of ascending life and perfection. Revelation 21 then defines the “perfection of the bride” which is revealed in the “perfection of the City” which IS the bride. The fact that not ALL believers are “the bride”or attained to her perfection is clearly revealed in Revelation 19 when we see the multitude of guests who were invited to the wedding feast.

When we walk through the city and observe these extraordinary scenes, Mount Zion, the towers, the gates, the palaces and the extreme glory, some of the reasons for the partitions will be revealed.

Before we pack our bags for the journey, we should be fully aware of our personal preparation that is necessary. We shared briefly about forgiveness of “SINS.” I am capitalizing to create a focus upon the difference between “SINS” and “SIN.” Since “forgiveness of sins” is universally preached among Evangelicals we will focus more upon the problem of “SIN.” This problem is sometimes totally ignored and it is assumed that both “SINS” and “SIN” is easily forgiven and handled by the shed blood of Calvary. This is a tremendous mistake because if this were true no other foundational experience would be necessary.

We need to pause here to interject some insight into Paul’s dilemma and frustration with the Corinthians and the Hebrews because he could not share the deeper truths with them. Paul desired to share deeper truths with the Hebrews about Jesus Christ our High Priest and about New Covenant Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.

Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. 11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

The explanation to his frustration concerning babes is given in 1 Corinthians 3,

1Cor 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

The context of Hebrews 6 is based upon the deficiencies that Paul found in the church that he addressed in Hebrews 5. When Paul found men who were fleshy, natural, carnal, just babes and immature believers, he knew he could NOT share any deeper truths than just the very first principles or elementary things about Christ and God’s purpose. Paul was certainly prepared to open up new realms and vistas concerning our High Priest and the Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. He was prepared to share about the two Cherubim but realized he couldn’t yet. If the Hebrews were living in the dimension of growth they should have achieved by that time it would be exciting to find what Paul would have shared.

When we study the Book of Hebrews it is amazing the depth of things that Paul did share with those whom he evaluated as “babes” who could only receive milk and not solid food. Today these things are determined to be among the deepest things we can share and certainly “meat” according to the level of ministry today. If Paul were here to see what we were sharing after 2000 years, he would certainly weep over the immaturity and carnality of the church today.

This past year of traveling I really thought I would be able to share some deeper truths but discovered that even the pastors were not able to receive very much. It made me angry that men would assume that position of leadership and yet know next to nothing about the word of God. Just today I felt the Lord correct me and indicate that rather than getting angry it was my responsibility to find out where they were in their Christian Life and then share the next steps that were necessary to fulfill their calling. It never occurred to me that these people had never been taught even the simple things about Christ and God’s Eternal Purpose. They were doing their best with the understanding they had. They assumed that if they knew “about the foundations” that was sufficient. To have the actual experience of the foundations in their life was a new thought. I actually judged them as “just babes” and more or less rejected them as “pastors.” Now, today I understand both the Corinthians and the Hebrews had pastor / leaders/ elders who were carnal / natural, immature and babes. Paul just shared what he could for that time. For me to assume that ALL pastors can and should receive deeper teaching is because of my arrogance. My sharing more or less humiliated them rather than helped them to understand God’s purpose.

However, when we see the problem of “SIN” and God’s solutions to “SIN”, the various foundational experiences become a clear necessity. The isolation of “SINS” from the problem of “SIN” is necessary so we can discern the solutions revealed in scripture. This reality is NOT one of the mysteries but something clearly revealed in scriptures, especially in the Book of Romans but shown in other places as well.

“SINS” are what we have done that offends God and prevents us from participating in His Eternal Purpose. God has made “forgiveness of sins” very easy to obtain through repentance and faith in what Jesus Christ has provided by His shed blood on Calvary.

However, “SIN” is our fallen condition that we inherited from first Adam. “SIN” has become our nature and a strong power within us called “the power of “SIN.” It is this “SIN” that brings about death. Jesus’ blood was shed for “SINS” but He suffered death to deal with “SIN.”

The “law of SIN” indicates it is a government within us that is in conflict with the Laws of the Kingdom and God’s Eternal Government. This “law of SIN” has made us slaves to its laws. Those who have been taught that “SIN” is forgiven are most likely still living under the “law of SIN.”

Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;

Rom 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Here it is clear that Jesus Shed His Blood to deal with “SINS” but His death was required to deal with “SIN.” The question that remains is this; How do we deal personally with the “SIN” problem? We must enter into and participate in His death that He died to “SIN.” How do we do that? We get “baptized {immersed} into His DEATH.” Since this “death”results in that dimension of death to Adam, God commanded that every dead person must be buried before sundown. This is expressed in our being buried with Christ through baptism. “SIN” is related to Adam and his genealogy. Death and burial should bring our relationship to Adam and to “SIN” to a conclusion. When we relate baptism to “SINS” we get on shaking ground.

Act 22:16 'And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'

It is assumed that “SINS” are forgiven BEFORE we are baptized but then are “washed away by Baptism.” Baptism is not a matter of forgiveness but of death and burial and is set against “SIN,” Not “SINS.”

Having our “SINS” forgiven but then continuing on in the “SIN” nature and just preaching “the increase of grace” is a common thing in too many visible “churches.” Baptism is preached as nothing more than some kind of public testimony. Therefore, even though the “SINS” problem is solved, the “SIN” problem is never addressed OR solved.

How can such an obvious error go undetected for centuries in the Evangelical Church? It seems clear that NO DIFFERENCE is seen between the forgiveness of “SINS” and the understanding of how to escape from the tyranny of “SIN.” “SINS” are handled by faith in His shed blood but “SIN” is handled by the death of the sinner.

{ Gen 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."}

The difference between a “sinner” and a “saint” is there is a death and burial between them. To say that we are “just sinners” saved by grace reveals this ignorance. We should be “sinners who have died and been buried by grace” and the new resurrected man is saved.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Rom 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

No one can become a “slave to righteousness” until he has first been “freed from “SIN.” The “sinner” boldly proclaiming that he is “righteous before God” by faith promotes this error. God’s ONLY plan for the “sinner” is death and burial. When the “sinner” is dead and buried he is “freed from SIN” and we are free from the “sinner.” Even though he has been forgiven of “SINS” he is still not “freed from SIN” until he is dead with Christ, buried with Christ, and resurrected with Christ. We could say he is then a resurrected “saint.”

Rom 7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7 presents many strange “mysteries” that are not sorted out very clearly. In this study I am interpreting Romans 7 as an explanation of why the actual experience of Romans 6 is essential to deal with the “SIN” problem. Until the “SIN” problem is solved in us experientially through a genuine death and burial there will be “the LAW of SIN” actively functioning in us, working in our members.

Rom 7:9 And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.

Keeping the Law of Commandments provided NO DEFENSE against the Law of SIN. Why? Because “SIN” functioned within the person independently of the outward Law of commandments. As long as the old man was alive, the law of “SIN” reigned in his members and there was NO remedy available. Until Jesus Died there was and could be NO REMEDY! ONLY through His death and burial was there any solution to the law of “SIN.” As long as this law of “SIN” is alive in us it will always be working death in us. Therefore, the Law of Life will have a constant adversary within us.

Rom 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.

Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

The way Paul says that we are released from the Law of Commandments is through our own individual death. Death also will release us from bondage to the flesh.

Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.

This is an incredible statement because it speaks of Jesus as two different persons. One who has died to the Law and another who was raised from the dead. We can ONLY speak of union Life when we apply it to the One who was raised from the dead. This surely implies that we also must be dead, buried and then “raised from the dead” before we can be joined to Him who was raised from the dead. This is another aspect of baptism that I never saw before. The “bearing fruit for God” that Paul is speaking of here must be the same fruit that Jesus was sharing in John 15 in speaking about the Vine and the branches. There must be a “union Life” before there can be fruit that remains. Here is another aspect of baptism that I never saw before.

When so much of the “visible church” has ignored the reality and necessity of water baptism it is little wonder that the church is in such pitiful, status quo condition.

Trying to put a time frame on this truth of Romans 7 has resulted in a total confusion in applying the reality of this truth. {Was this before or after Paul was “saved?} That is irrelevant because this truth is still a reality today and the evidence is visible in much of the church today! They that remain ignorant of why each foundation is absolutely essential and experiential will suffer so much loss in the Kingdom dimension of Christianity! Each foundation is essential for ALL those who are trying to press into the Kingdom. As long as “SIN” is not firmly and experientially dealt with in the church, “SIN” will always deceive us and bring about death. The evidence that this truth is real is easily seen and working as a “law”today in too many “Christians.”

The fact that Water Baptism is set against “SIN” is no longer in question to those who see Romans 6 as one of the foundational truths. A “birth” out of this fallen condition should not be ignored. This obviously is part of the “born of the water” that is necessary to enter the Kingdom. This “birth” is following death and burial and must be in the realm of resurrection.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is firmly set against the flesh, not against “Sins” or “SIN.” The Coming of the Holy Spirit is not about the death of the sinner but about an ascending Life. The death and burial in water baptism, which precedes this birth, is a death to the Law. The “born of the Spirit”evidently is the result of our “death to the Law of commandments” which activates our walking in the law of the flesh. Baptism releases us to serve God in the Spirit! Overcoming the flesh is part of that “born of the Spirit” which results in another foundation!” Of course that is just basic and primary because the Feast of Pentecost is a “harvest feast.” The type, shadow and picture of the “provisions of Pentecost” is seen at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19 + 20and part of chapter 21. Also Deuteronomy 4 and 5 and Jeremiah 7:21-28.

At Mount Sinai God called ALL of Israel up the mountain so He could make them ALL a Kingdom of Priests. Since they could NOT come up into His Presence, because of the great fire, God gave them the Tabernacle, the priesthood, the sacrifices, the blood and many other visible things, objectively, as an earthly substitute, for what He wanted to give them subjectively from His manifested Presence. This “subjective addition” was essential to make all of Israel a Kingdom of priests, a Holy nation and a people for God’s own possession. When Israel refused to go up the mountain, they forfeited the opportunity to become a Kingdom of priests. When some teach that ALL of Israel became priests at Mt. Sinai it is clear they have not read the scriptures.

The reality of God’s Purpose at Mount Sinai should be experienced in New Covenant reality within the total experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fulness of Pentecost. It is this “birth into the reality” that provides the “experience” of the next foundation for the Christian Life. Out of this “reality” will come a new birth of the Spirit that is preparation for entering the Kingdom dimension.

Why has too much of the Evangelical Church rejected this truth? Probably because of ignorance of what God requires to participate in His manifested Presence in the Highest or third Heaven.

Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Rom 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the

things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

What more proof do we need than this simple truth revealed in Romans 8 that without the active working of the Holy Spirit, as a subjective Power in our Life, we will always be in conflict with the flesh. However, in the modern thought the flesh is just treated as something we have to battle until we depart from this earth realm. The fact that “those believers who are in the flesh” can NEVER please God is not a big problem because “we believers are saved by grace,” not by works!

“We are saved by grace” is given as an excuse against every demand of the Kingdom and set against every reason that we must experience every foundational truth. No “foundational truth” is unnecessary or irrelevant if we are going to set the Kingdom and God’s Government as our ultimate goal. Every foundational experience will remove something from us that will keep us from the Kingdom or add something to us that will be necessary for our entrance into the Kingdom realm. These foundations combined should equip us to do the whole will of God. Only those who DO the will of God can enter the Kingdom of God! Without the conquering power of the Holy Spirit in us warring against the flesh, there is no other solution to the “flesh”given. No one who lives after the life of the flesh has ANY inheritance in the Kingdom.

Gal 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Empty words of comfort and encouragement are regularly given from the pulpit to “believers” who practice these things and “this lie” is carelessly given from the pulpit without any embarrassment. Because of this ignorance many preachers welcome these same people into the Kingdom of God simply because they believe in “the grace of God.” Their arrogant answer is “Well, we believe in the forgiveness of sins. We are sorry for you if you think you have to earn it.”

Of course we are relating death and burial as the solution to the Law and to the flesh and in experiencing a solution to the “SIN” problem. Paul is certainly NOT promoting any forgiveness for the works of the flesh or any forgiveness for the adherence to the Law of commandments. Overcoming the flesh is not by forgiveness but by death and burial and by resurrection and birth into another dimension of the Spirit. Trying to overcome the flesh by trying harder, by the works of the flesh, is no solution to the problem of flesh. The natural man at war with the flesh will result in a miserable failure.

Since the “old I” is flesh there can be no Christian Life connected to the “old I.” The “old I” must die, be buried, and be resurrected into a completely different kind of Life, Zoe! The “New I”is of a different species born of a different Father and attached to a different genealogy and accepted into a different family where EVERYONE does the whole will of God. This is the ONLY species that is accepted into the Kingdom Government of God. The “first birth” into this new species is being “born again” from the Divine Sperma!

1Pet 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed {sperma} which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.

My opinion is that if we have neglected this first birth there will be no succeeding births or entrance into the Eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!