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Heb. 12:23

23 To the general assembly [paneguris] and [kai] church [ekklesia] of the firstborn [prototokos], which are written [apographo] in [en] heaven [ouranos], and [kai] to God [theos] the Judge [krites] of all [pas], and [kai] to the spirits [pneuma] of just men [dikaios] made perfect [teleioo], KJV-Interlinear



23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, NASB

The gathering to the general assembly, is a gathering at a public festival, where all that belong to a specified region, gather in a big party. This is both a gathering of believers, but it is more than that. This gathering is with all of the elect angels (those who did not remain turned away from God) who reside in heaven.

This is going to be a huge party.

This passage carries over from the previous verse. We have approached God through Mt. Zion instead of Mt. Sinai. What does that mean? Well, it means that we have come to God through Christ and not through our own invented means. We have rejected works, mans righteousness, religion, and so forth and we have accepted our path to God through grace, or through faith in Christ.

We did not earn our salvation. We did not deserve our salvation. God did all of the work and we benefit because He offered salvation to us as a gift. We merely have to believe and we are saved.

So, we approach God through the right path, the Cross. We approach our spiritual life through the right city, Bible doctrine. Jerusalem is the city of peace. Peace comes from Bible doctrine. Again we do not pursue God or our spiritual life by means of our own righteousness, by means of our own ingenuity, by means of our own intellect, but we do pursue it through doctrine.

And now we have a great assembly before us. When we go to heaven we will see, for the very first time, a huge number of angels. Myriads and myriads of them. How many is that? Well God is said to know the names of all of the angels. God is said to know the names of all of the stars. Can you count the stars? Can you name them?

I was watching the Science Channel recently and there was an interesting comment made. They estimated that the number of stars in the universe was 70 billion million, million. That is 70 billion trillions. That is a lot. And guess what? That estimate was made before the Hubble Telescope had taken some of its greatest deep space photographs. Photos which show even more galaxies way out there. So how many stars are there? No one knows except God. The same applies to the number of angels that exist. I would venture to guess that even the angels do not know how many they are.

So this festival, or party, will be big. We will be a part of it one day when we get to heaven.

We are the church of the first born. We are enrolled in heaven as the Body of Christ. The first born are those who receive the inheritance. And not only the inheritance, but the double portion of that inheritance. As believers, we are heirs of God (the Father) and fellow heirs with Christ.

Rom. 8:17

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, NASB

We are enrolled in heaven.

Luke 10:20

20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. NASB

Rev. 21:27

those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. NASB

We should rejoice that our names are recorded in heaven, in the Book of Life. We are not to rejoice or even boast that God may do things through us. If He does, it is His work alone and not ours. God sets the circumstances of each of our lives, not us. God brings together all of the evens that will effect our life, not us. God provided us with life, with parents, with a home or lack of a home, with a career or lack of a career, with health or the lack of health, with talent or a lack of talent, with an IQ or a lack of an IQ. We provided none of these things for ourselves. We provide nothing in our life. God provides us with all.

So never, never, never boast about anything you are or anything you have. It can be taken away in an instant and that would leave you with embarrassment.

God is the judge of all. No other religion, or belief, or philosophy can claim this. Well they can make the claim but they cannot make good on their claim. Only God can judge, and only Christ has been given that right. And only Christ has the power and ability to carry it out.

To try to come into Gods presence at Sinai (mans works) means death.

Psa. 73:25

25 Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. NASB

To come into His presence at Zion (Christ s work) means life.

Rev. 21:3

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, NASB

We will also join with Old Testament believers, in heaven. They are the spirits of righteous men made perfect.

From the time of Adam to the time of the Cross, believers could not go directly to heaven when they died. They went to a temporary place called Paradise. It is one of the four compartments in the underworld. The underworld is called Hades.

When Christ finished His work on the Cross, then one of His first tasks was to bring out every person in Paradise, to heaven. That has been done. Paradise is now an empty place. Only various religions refer to Paradise as still existing, but that is just another example of their phoniness and misguided philosophy. Why would anyone want to go to a place that is empty and abandoned and without God?

Anyway, we will join with all of those Old Testament believers. Once the work of the Cross was accomplished, then their perfection was no longer in question. Satan could not protest their spiritual status.

Matt. 8:11

11 And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; NASB

So, again, you as a positive and growing believer in Christ, will have a greater future, will have better company, will have a far better destiny, than you otherwise would have if you ignore your spiritual life. Unbelievers of course will have nothing, and actually they ll have worse than nothing.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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