You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
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
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
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.
17 and if children, heirs
also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, NASB
We are enrolled in heaven.
20 Nevertheless do not
rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your
names are recorded in heaven. NASB
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.
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.
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
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.
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;
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.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
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.