First the Natural,
Then the Spiritual
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Paul wrote letters to the churches at Rome, Ephesis, Phillipi, Colossi, Thessalonica, and to the Hebrews. Of all the churches Paul wrote to, the church that got more of Paul's attention than any other church was the church at Corinth. The church at Corinth was a very carnal, out of order church. Paul declared to them:
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" I Corinthians 3:1-3
Much division existed in the church of Corinth. Fornication was in their midst, and there was concern because some ate meat offered to idols. Paul rebuked the church at Corinth because of their idolatry. Paul also addressed the way the women dressed, and the woman's place in the church. By Paul's letters, divorce must have been another problem.
Paul gave the church at Corinth guidelines as to how the Lord's Supper was to be administered, and spent two chapters on the use and misuse of the spiritual gifts.
The city of Corinth was an immoral, corrupt city. This had a great affect on the church. Because of the immorality and corruption in Corinth the church could not differentiate between the things of God and the things of the world.
This very aptly applies to the body of Christ in the earth today which has also become morally and spiritually corrupt. The church today is more carnal than spiritual. Much division exists even in denominations with the same name. Many walk as sensual men instead of being spiritually led by the Holy Spirit.
Much of Paul's letter to the Corinthian church was written to point out the way of righteousness and to set order in the church. As we study, we realize Paul wanted to establish a vision for what the Corinthians could expect from God, but first they had to get their eyes off the world and unto Him. Paul pointed out many errors in the church at Corinth, and gave them Spiritual guidance as how to correct the error and establish order, after which he revealed many Spiritual truths concerning God's Kingdom and His Kingdom people. Paul informed the Corinthians:
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I Corinthians 15:19
Paul was assuring the Corinthians there was more to their life in Christ than their daily existence. Paul was trying to get their eyes off the moral corruption around them, and get their eyes on Christ. Today the church has their eyes so focused on the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, they have lost their vision of God's coming Kingdom; and because of this they have become most miserable. These have lost their way, their truth, and their life. They no longer know the way to the Father. Paul informed the Corinthians:
"Howbeit that was not first which is Spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is Spiritual." I Corinthians 15:46
When Paul wrote this he was speaking of our bodies, and what we can expect in our mortal bodies. Paul begins:
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?" I Corinthians 15:34-35
Paul admonishes us to awake to righteousness and sin not. Paul is telling us to quit missing the mark of the high calling of God in our lives. He declared to the Corinthians, ". . .some have not the knowledge of God. . ." Paul stated this was to their shame. Today church pews are filled with those who do not have the knowledge of God. It is especially a shame to those who have free access to the Word of God, but have never read what God expects of them.
The question Paul asked was, "How are the dead raised, and what body will they have when they are resurrected?" Paul was very direct with his answer, and yet the resurrection remains a mystery in this day. Paul explains:
"Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die." I Corinthians 15:36
The word sowest has the meaning of "burying the dead." Paul stated our mortal body cannot be quickened (made alive), except it die. This sounds strange, until we realize Paul was referring to the death of the physical body, so we can receive our Spiritual, eternal body which will never see death. Paul continues:
"And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:" I Corinthians 15:37
Paul refers to the body which has gone by the way of the grave. Then he explains this is not the body God will resurrect on the last day. Paul reveals the body that is buried returns to the earth and becomes part of the earth which grows our grain. The Lord spoke to Adam:
"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." Genesis 3:19
All flesh returns to the earth and becomes part of the earth from which it was taken. Only three men heretofore have escaped this fate: Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus. But God has a better promise for us:
"But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed His own body." I Corinthians 15:38
Those who have died and gone on before will not be resurrected in the bodies they were buried with. God will give them a new body as it pleases Him. Jesus was given to us as an example. After Jesus' resurrection, He was not recognized. Mary failed to recognize Him in the garden. The disciples on the road to Emmaeus did not recognize Him. Even His disciples who walked with Him did not recognize Him until He spoke. Jesus informed His disciples:
"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." Luke 24:39
Jesus no longer had a flesh and blood body. His body was now flesh and bones. This is an example of the body Adam had before sin, and it is the body which all the resurrected will have on the last day. The last day is the one thousand year millennium. Paul informed the Ephesians:
"For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Ephesians 5:30
The resurrected body will be a body of flesh and bones. This will be the same body Jesus had when He walked the earth for forty days after His resurrection. Paul was attempting to give the Corinthians this hope, yet the great majority of those who are called by His name today do not have this vision of God's Kingdom age.
Paul gave the church at Corinth the perfect answer to all those who foolishly believe in the theory of evolution:
"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." I Corinthians 15:39
All flesh is not the same flesh. Men, beasts, fish, and birds all have different kinds of flesh. This then would make it impossible for man to evolve from a lower species. If man had evolved from a lower species, then man and beast would have the same flesh. This would allow man to reproduce with beasts. This, of course, is an impossibility. If evolutionists would read the Bible they could correct the error they live by. God is the Creator, and He protects His different species because they cannot interbreed.
God spoke one of the most profound statements in the Bible to Adam:
"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:12
God put the seed of everything He created in itself. Trees do not mix their seed with other trees. All herbs have their seed within themselves. The same is true with man, the beasts, the fish, and the birds. This is why God revealed all flesh is not the same flesh. Every kind of flesh has its seed within itself.
"There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another." I Corinthians 15:40
The word celestial means "heavenly" and the word terrestrial means "earthy." Many believe Paul was speaking of God's creation of the heavens and the earth. We must remember Paul was speaking of the body which is buried. The terrestrial body is our earthly body which we dwell in at this time. The body we are resurrected with is the celestial body, or a Spiritual body of flesh and bones. Again Jesus is our example. When He walked the earth for thirty-three and one-half years, He dwelt in the same terrestrial body in which we now exist. In Paul's letter to the Romans, he revealed:
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Romans 8:3
Paul was not saying there was sin in Jesus' body. What he was saying was Jesus' fleshly body was the same body we have. Jesus overcame the old, sin nature in His earthly, terrestrial body, the same as we must do if we are to receive our resurrected body.
Paul revealed this hope to all who dwell in this earthly tabernacle. There is a celestial, heavenly body in our future. This is our Spiritual body, the body of flesh and bones. This body can only be seen through Spiritual eyes. [see "The Glory of the Celestial" by George Kirkpatrick]
When Jesus appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaeus, Mark recorded:
"After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country." Mark 16:12
In what form did Jesus appear to them? He appeared to them in His Spiritual flesh. He opened their Spiritual eyes and they saw Him. As they walked, Jesus revealed all the Scriptures concerning Himself in the Old Testament. When they went to Emmaeus and sat down to eat, Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, and He was gone. Jesus had simply reopened their physical eyes, and He was gone.
Another time, Jesus appeared to His disciples in the Upper Room. The doors and windows were locked. Again He opened their Spiritual eyes, and He was in their midst. He had His new form, His celestial body, His Spiritual flesh. Paul continues His revelation of the resurrection of the dead:
"There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a Spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a Spiritual body." *** I Corinthians 15:41-44
Paul spoke about the glory of the sun, moon, and stars. He stated each had a different glory. He compared these different glories to the resurrection of the dead. This is what the Lord revealed to the prophet Daniel:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." *** Daniel 12:1
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Daniel was shown a time of trouble (tribulation) which would come upon the earth. This trouble would be like no other time of trouble the earth has ever seen. But all those who are written in the book of life will be delivered (escape) from this great tribulation. Many believe this to be the time of the so-called rapture, but we know by the prophet Joel who spoke of this time of trouble:
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." *** Joel 2:32
Only those who call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered. Our deliverance comes in Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem. Mount Zion is the New Jerusalem, the Holy City who is prepared as a bride for her husband. John was shown the bride of Christ:
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." *** Revelation 21:2
The holy city was prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The bride of Christ is the holy city, New Jerusalem. The bride will be made up of the remnant whom the Lord has called. Jesus revealed His bride to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." *** Revelation 19:7-8
The holy city will be clothed in the righteousness of the saints. Only those who have clothed themselves in the righteousness of God will make up the Holy City. This is the time God has given us to prepare ourselves to be part of His holy city. His bride, and His bride only, will escape the time of trouble that is directly ahead of us. [see "Preparing the Bride" and "God's Holy Remnant" by George Kirkpatrick]
After Daniel had spoken of this time of great tribulation coming upon the earth, he spoke of those who are asleep in the dust of the earth:
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." *** Daniel 12:2
Daniel recorded many of them who sleep in the dust shall awake or be resurrected. Some will be resurrected to everlasting life, and some to shame (disgrace and scorn) and everlasting contempt. This dispels any idea that Daniel was shown a rapture. Daniel enlightens us to what happens to those who are raised to everlasting life:
"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." *** Daniel 12:3
Those who have put on the righteousness of God will shine as the brightness of the firmament (the stars and planets). God gave Paul the understanding of the resurrection of the dead. As Paul explained, there is one glory of the sun, another glory for the moon, and another glory for each star.
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:" *** I Corinthians 15:42
Paul was explaining that each one who is resurrected will receive the glory he or she deserves for the life they have lived on earth. Some would have us believe we all receive the same reward. This is not what the Bible teaches. As the sun receives one glory, the moon another glory, and each star their particular glory, so everyone who is resurrected unto life will receive their own glory.
The physical body is sown (buried) in corruption. Corruption means they were buried in a body that would rot and decay. But they will be raised in an incorruptible body that death will have no power over. Speaking of our terrestrial body, Paul declared:
"It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:" *** I Corinthians 15:43
Those who sleep in the dust of the earth were sown in dishonour. Paul informed us:
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." *** Romans 6:23
All who have died, have died under the curse of death pronounced upon Adam in the garden. God informed Adam:
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." *** Genesis 2:17
Time was not measured before man sinned. There is no time in eternity. Man's days were not numbered while they walked in the presence of God. Adam did not drop dead in the next twenty-four hours after he partook of the knowledge of good and evil. In fact, Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years after he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Paul stated those who sleep in the earth were sown in dishonor. There is no honor in death. The only honor we receive is when we live in Christ. Paul revealed those who are part of the resurrection of the just will be raised in glory. They will receive the glory they deserve for the life they lived.
As Paul stated, their bodies were sown (buried) in weakness. Most who die, die of old age, sickness, or injury. They died because of some weakness of the flesh, but they will be raised in power. The word power is the Greek word DUNAMIS from which we get the word dynamite. Those who sleep will be raised (resurrected) by the same power as Jesus was. Paul cried out:
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;" *** Philippians 3:10
The power of Christ's resurrection is the Spirit of life, the Holy Spirit of promise. There is no eternal life in the flesh, the same as there is no death in the Spirit. Paul continues his revelation of the resurrection:
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a Spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a Spiritual body." *** I Corinthians 15:44
The natural, terrestrial body is the body made of the dust of the earth. But this is not our hope. Our hope is our Spiritual, celestial body. Jesus gave us an example of this body during the forty days He walked the earth after His resurrection. As Jesus stated, His Spiritual body was flesh and bone. Our hope of glory is not in this physical body, but in a Spiritual body. As Paul explained to the church at Colossi:
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." *** Colossians 1:27
Our only hope of glory is Christ, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. This has been a mystery (hidden truth) from the beginning. The church system teaches our hope of glory is some physical place called heaven with golden streets and pearly gates. Not one Scripture indicates we are going there, but this has become the uninformed's only hope. Yet Paul made it plain to the church at Colossi:
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." *** Colossians 3:4
If Christ has not become our life, then there will be no hope and no glory for us. The resurrection of the dead will come in God's timing, and those who have not made Christ their life will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt.
As Paul reveals the mysteries of God, He gives us another example of the natural body and the Spiritual body:
"And so it is written, The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." *** I Corinthians 15:45
Many believe Paul was referring to the first Adam as the man in Genesis. But we need to begin to see with Spiritual eyes. Jesus came as the first Adam to overcome sin and the temptation of satan in the flesh.
In the garden, Adam was created with Spiritual flesh, but he fell and lost his Spiritual covering. Jesus came as the first Adam (fallen man) in sinful flesh to give us an example of overcoming our sinful flesh and Adamic nature. Jesus lived as mortal man, but He lived a victorious, overcoming life. As Paul revealed to the Hebrews:
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." *** Hebrews 4:15
Jesus was tempted in every way our flesh is tempted, yet He sinned not. The original Adam had the best food and ideal living conditions; yet when he was tempted he gave his dominion over the earth to the serpent. Jesus came to reclaim His dominion for His people.
When the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by the same serpent which tempted Adam and Eve, the devil could offer Him nothing that tempted Him in any way. When Jesus was tested for forty days without food or water, His physical body was in its weakest condition, yet He was not tempted with food or all the kingdoms of the world.
Jesus came as the first Adam (the living soul Adam) to overcome the flesh and every temptation of the spirit of darkness. Jesus also came as the last Adam. He was not a quickening, living Spirit while He dwelt in His natural body. He became this living, quickening Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. He was the cloven tongues of fire that came and set upon all those in the Upper Room. This fulfilled His promise to His disciples. Jesus informed them:
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;" *** John 14:16
Our Saviour, Jesus was our first comforter. But Jesus promised His disciples another comforter:
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." *** John 14:17
As Jesus stated, the second comforter will abide with us forever. The second comforter is the Spirit of truth. The world could not receive the Spirit of truth because they had no relationship with the first comforter. Jesus informed His disciples they knew the second Comforter because He dwelt with them. The Holy Spirit was resident in Jesus. Then Jesus told them the Spirit of truth "shall be in you." Then Jesus made a profound statement:
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." *** John 14:18
Jesus came to them on the Day of Pentecost as the second Adam, the quickening Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Then Jesus spoke the promise we should all look forward to:
"Howbeit that was not first which is Spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is Spiritual." *** I Corinthians 15:46
We all dwell in this temporal body. This is the natural body. Paul spoke of the natural body dying daily. In Paul's second letter to the Corinthians he explained:
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." *** II Corinthians 5:1
Paul knew his earthly house was only a tabernacle, a temporary dwelling place, but he had hope of another house (body) not made with hands that was eternal in the heavens (the Spiritual realm).
"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked." *** II Corinthians 5:2-3
When the Spiritual covering left Adam and Eve in the garden, they were found naked. It is recorded:
"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." *** Genesis 3:7
When man sinned and his Spiritual covering was gone, God opened man's physical eyes, and they saw their nakedness without God. This was not the promise the serpent had made them:
"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." *** Genesis 3:5
The serpent's words were true for all those who have fallen into sin. They have made their flesh their god. They know good and evil and choose to do the evil.
The body of Christ groans daily because they know there is more than what they have received. This earthly body is such a hindrance in our walk with God. We so desire to have our eternal body, not made by hands (labor).
We desire our Spiritual house so we will not be found naked. Adam and Eve's Spiritual house was their Spiritual covering. When they sinned, they found themselves naked in the eyes of God. God's Spiritual covering had departed, and He had clothed them in skins of animals. This was to display their beast nature until they could be redeemed by the coming of Jesus to reclaim the dominion they had given away.
"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." *** II Corinthians 5:4
Paul knew those who live in the temporal body would suffer death. But Paul's promise was to a generation who would not go by the way of the grave. Paul shows another mystery. Those who have God's hope of glory dwelling in them know their mortality (a body subject to death) will be swallowed up of life. This life is the eternal life God has promised from the beginning. They will live this eternal life in their Spiritual bodies, not in heaven, but in the earth which is their inheritance. As Paul explained in his first letter to the Corinthians:
"The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." *** I Corinthians 15:47
Jesus came as the first Adam in an earthly body as an example as to how we are to overcome the flesh and the Adamic nature. The second man was the Lord from heaven. The second man introduced us to the Spiritual body. Jesus did this in the body He displayed the forty days after His resurrection.
Jesus is our example, not only to live by, but He is also our hope of eternal life in our Spiritual body. Our Spiritual body will be one of flesh and bones, with the light of life flowing through our veins. This is the eternity which the body of Christ is searching for. This is our hope of His eternal glory. Paul wanted all to understand:
"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." *** I Corinthians 15:48
This is the same revelation Jesus spoke to Nicodemus:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 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? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." *** John 3:3-7
Jesus informed Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Then Jesus stated, "Except a man be born of water (baptism in the Word) and of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit anointing), he cannot enter into the Kingdom." There is a difference between seeing the Kingdom and being able to enter into the Kingdom.
Jesus spoke of the natural and the Spiritual man when He stated, "That which is born of the flesh (natural birth) is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is Spiritual (our Spiritual birth)." Today many try to be Spiritual in their fleshly body. Nothing we do in the flesh can please God. Only that which we accomplish in the Spirit is acceptable to Him.
"Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again." Then He gives us a clue as to how we are to know if we are born again: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." *** John 3:8
We are not born again until we receive our Spiritual, glorified bodies. All those who claim to be born again are still bound by their fleshly existence.
When the serpent tempted man with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and his pride of life, man gave into his fleshly desires and disobeyed God's commandments.
When Jesus came as the anointing on the Day of Pentecost, he came to cleanse man with the cloven tongues of fire to restore man to His Spiritual condition. When the Spirit has done its work, then man will regain, not only his position with God, but will again dwell in his heavenly (Spiritual body). As Paul enlightened the Corinthians:
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." *** I Corinthians 15:49
Just as we have borne (worn the clothing) the image (the likeness) of the earthy, we will also bear the image (be clothed upon) with the heavenly.
Again using Jesus as our example, Jesus walked the earth for thirty-three and one half years in the body made out of the earth. He bore the image (likeness) of the earthy man. After His resurrection, He walked forty days bearing the image (likeness) of the heavenly Spiritual man we will all dwell in for all eternity. This again is our promise of eternal life.
Paul disproved any idea of an eternity in a physical place called heaven, when he explained:
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." *** I Corinthians 15:50
Flesh and blood cannot inherit God's Kingdom. The whole idea of a physical heaven with its physical mansions, gold streets, pearly gates, and its utopia of an easy life and infinite pleasures all appeal to the fleshly (earthy) man. All these appeal to the natural.
Paul also related corruption cannot inherit incorruption. All our inheritance in God is Spiritual. We can only inherit when we have overcome the old Adam nature, and have put on the nature and likeness of Christ. We are informed in Genesis that God created man in His image and likeness. Until we come again into the same image and likeness of our Creator, we cannot enter into His presence and walk and talk with Him in the cool of the day.
So how can we come again into our rightful place in God? Paul was given insight into this process when He revealed a hidden truth from the foundation of the earth:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed," *** I Corinthians 15:51
Paul declared we shall not all sleep. This he spoke, meaning we would not all go by the way of the grave, but we would all be changed. We need to ask who was this promise given to? To answer this, we must look at the revelation given to Peter who held the keys to the Kingdom:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:" *** I Peter 2:9
Peter was writing to a chosen generation of people who are a royal priesthood, an holy nation unto God, and a peculiar people. The word peculiar means "purchased possession." Peter was revealing a special generation who would not see death, a generation who would be changed, a generation who would show forth the praises of God. A Psalmist wrote of this chosen generation:
"This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord." *** Psalm 102:18
The Psalmist declared "written for the generation to come." He did not say generations, but one generation. This is the last generation who are being called out of the darkness of superstition, fear, and ignorance to praise their God with their whole being. Peter continues:
"Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." *** I Peter 2:10
These people who will praise God were not a people, not a nation, but have become the nation of God, a holy nation, (Spiritual Israel). Paul declared this mystery to the Ephesians:
"That at that 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." *** Ephesians 2:12
When we were without Christ (the Anointing), we were aliens shut out from the commonwealth (nation, citizen) of Israel. We were strangers from the covenants and promises, and without the anointing. We were without hope and God in this world. Those who have the anointing have become citizens of the nation of Israel, and have become God's holy nation the Spirit revealed to Peter.
We do not become citizens of this holy nation by birth, but by and through the Holy Spirit anointing. Paul continued his revelation to those who are part of this chosen generation:
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." *** I Corinthians 15:52
Paul reveals this change comes in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. When does this change take place? It takes place at the last trumpet. The last trumpet is the seventh trumpet. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." *** Revelation 11:15
When the last trump sounds the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (His anointed ones). Then we who are alive at that time will be changed, and the dead (the righteous who sleep in Jesus, I Thessalonians 4:14) will be raised incorruptible. These are those who will shine as the brightness of the firmament. [see "Rapture, False Hope" by George Kirkpatrick]
Jesus revealed these to the rulers of the synagogue:
"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." *** Luke 13:28
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets will be in the Kingdom of God. But those Daniel spoke of who are raised to everlasting shame and contempt, who were without Christ, and had no hope in God will be thrust out of the Kingdom. When this resurrection takes place, then those who have put on Christ will be changed.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." *** I Corinthians 15:53
This is when this body which is subject to death and decay will be changed into an incorruptible, immortal body. This is the same body Jesus walked the earth in for forty days after His resurrection, a body which can only be viewed through Spiritual eyes. This is the same body Adam and Eve had before they sinned before God. When this change comes, we will no longer see through our physical eyes. Our Spiritual eyes will be opened and we will be able to see the Spiritual world, hidden since the garden of Eden. Paul continues:
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." *** I Corinthians 15:54
When our mortal bodies are changed, then death will be swallowed up in victory. Paul related, "It is written. . ." This was quoted from the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah:
"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." *** Isaiah 25:8
Isaiah reported God would wipe away all tears, and the rebuke of God's people would be taken away from off the earth. The earth Isaiah was speaking of is our earthly bodies. Jesus revealed the time of Isaiah's prophesy to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." *** Revelation 21:4
When we are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we will have our immortal bodies. Then there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain, and no more death. Why? Because all of the former things will have passed away. Our former life style will pass away, but most of all our earthly bodies and our adamic nature will be changed into our immortal, eternal bodies.
When Jesus was quizzed about the resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees used the example of seven brothers marrying the same woman. They wanted to know which of the seven brothers would have her as his wife in the resurrection. Jesus' answer was so profound, few understand it today. Jesus informed the Sadducees:
"But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection:" *** Luke 20:35-36
Jesus states those who are accounted worthy to obtain that world. . . What world? The word world means "ages of the ages, the unbroken ages, perpetuity, and eternity." Those who are accounted worthy of this eternal age will neither marry nor be given in marriage after the resurrection of the dead. Jesus was speaking of both males who marry and females who are given in marriage.
Jesus continues, ". . . neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels." These are the eternal children (sons and daughters) of God. Paul disclosed to the church at Rome:
"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." *** Romans 8:11
If the same Spirit dwells in us that raised Jesus from the dead, then He will quicken our mortal bodies. The word quicken means (to make alive). The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the Holy Spirit. When our mortal bodies (earthly bodies) are made alive, the corruptible will have put on incorruption, and our mortal bodies will be swallowed up of life.
One should note here there is nothing said about this process being in heaven. It will happen on this earth, in our time.
Paul informed the Corinthians in this same chapter:
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." *** I Corinthians 15:22
As long as we are in our earthly bodies all we can expect is death. Only in the anointing will our mortal bodies be quickened (made alive).
"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." *** I Corinthians 15:23
Christ Jesus, is the risen, glorified Christ. He was the firstfruits of the dead. Those who are Christs (anointed ones) at His coming will be partakers of the same resurrected life as Jesus. The Spirit of life resurrected His crucified, mortal body, and the Spirit of life will also change our mortal bodies. When will this wonderful event take place?
"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet." *** I Corinthians 15:24-25
This is when God's Kingdom age will come into full power. This will be the sounding of the seventh trumpet when the kingdoms of this world will have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (anointed ones) who have been changed into their immortal bodies.
Paul related that the Father will have put down all rule, all authority, and all power. He must rule until all His enemies are under His feet or brought under His control. What are the enemies of God? Paul informed the Romans:
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." *** Romans 8:7
The carnal mind is not subject (in subjection) to the Law of God (the Bible). It cannot be, because as Paul declared:
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." *** Romans 7:14
The carnal mind serves the flesh. The law (the Bible) helps us to overcome the carnal mind so we can walk in and adhere to the law of God. The other enemy of God is the flesh . Paul related to the church at Rome:
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." *** Romans 8:8
That which is not pleasing to God is His enemy and must be brought under His footstool. Why must we bring the flesh into subjection to the Spirit? To the Galatians, Paul wrote:
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." *** Galatians 5:17
Only the carnal mind and the flesh are enemies of God, and it is impossible to please God with either one. Why is this?
"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." *** I Corinthians 1:25
Many proclaim satan is the enemy of God. Jesus defeated satan in the wilderness in his forty days of testing. Satan has no power unless we give it to him. Jesus defeated satan when His flesh was in its weakest condition. We have the same overcoming power in the anointing. Paul continued his revelation to the church at Corinth:
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." *** I Corinthians 15:26
Death is not the enemy of God. Death has always been the enemy of man. Man can and will overcome death. The only way death can be conquered is through the anointing. The only way death can be overcome is through resurrection, or to be part of the generation who will be changed. The promise of overcoming man's last enemy has been proclaimed through the ages. The prophet Isaiah declared this victory:
"Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:" *** Isaiah 28:14-15
How true this is of the church system today. Isaiah called those who have the rule over God's people "scornful men." The reason God called them scornful was because they taught the people their only hope in God was dying and going to heaven. Isaiah declared these have made a covenant with death. He also stated they are in agreement with the teachings of hell. They are taught God punishes sinners for an endless eternity for the mistakes they made the few years they lived on earth. [see "Hell, What Is it, and What Goes There" by George Kirkpatrick]
Isaiah informed the church that they have made lies their refuge, and have hid themselves under falsehoods. What lies and falsehoods were these scornful men teaching God's people? The teaching was ". . . when the overflowing scourge shall pass through it shall not come unto us. . ." This is the false teaching of the rapture. What is this overflowing scourge that is coming? Isaiah recorded God's words concerning this overflowing scourge:
"Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." *** Isaiah 28:17
The overflowing scourge is God's judgment upon this sinful generation --- but not only upon this sinful generation, but also upon a luke-warm church system which God will vomit out of His mouth. Our righteousness will be judged by the plummet. The plummet is a plumb line. God will use the plumb line to check how our lives line up with God's Word, and how we line up in our relationship with Him.
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies. Hail is always the symbol of divine judgment. When God's judgment is poured out there will be no place to hide. The waters will overflow their hiding places. In this verse, the word water refers to "violence." Violence shall overthrow their hiding places. Isaiah continues his warning to the luke-warm church:
"And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." *** Isaiah 28:18
Yes, God has promised judgment. Those who have made a covenant with death, and who are in agreement with hell will witness God's wrath. When the judgment comes, Isaiah proclaims, "Ye shall be trodden down by it!"
This is not God's desire for any of His creation. His desire is to have a people who will overcome, so they may be changed when the time of change comes. The prophet Hosea also revealed God's hope of overcoming man's last enemy:
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes." *** Hosea 13:14
The power of the grave is death and decay. When Hosea declared, "I will redeem them from death. . .", he was proclaiming the coming of Jesus as our Redeemer who would overcome death in His mortal flesh. God's plan of redemption was revealed by the prophets from ages past, and yet the mystery God revealed to the ancients is only now becoming a reality to this last generation. Paul declared this revelation to the Hebrews:
"And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." *** Hebrews 9:15
Jesus is our Redeemer. He is the mediator of a new covenant with His creation. This new covenant was given by the Spirit. It is by the Spirit we can claim our promise of an eternal inheritance in God. Jesus redeemed every man from the power of the grave. Unfortunately few have truly grasped this wonderful gift and proclaim it in their lives. This is why Jesus would say:
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." *** Luke 12:32
It is God's little flock who walk in His uprightness and righteousness. God has promised His little flock the Kingdom. This promise is not to the multitudes who are still in the valley of decision, *** Joel 3:14. [see "God's Holy Remnant" by George Kirkpatrick]
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul gave this hope:
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:" *** II Timothy 1:9-10
Jesus abolished death and has brought the existence of life and immortality to light. The word light means "to enlighten, to make clear to all, to give Spiritual understanding." We can only have this enlightenment through His glorious gospel. God wants us to understand His overcoming plan for His creation man.
As Paul related, God's purpose and grace was given in Christ Jesus before the world began. Those who are predestined will walk into the New Day in their new, glorified bodies. Paul informed the Hebrews: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." *** Hebrews 2:15
The whole existence of man from the garden has been racked by the fear of death. Fear holds mankind in bondage. Man knows he has no hope in the flesh, yet he is held in bondage by the flesh. The only way he can escape the bondage of the flesh is by Spiritual revelation of what God has promised His creation from the beginning of the ages. His promise has always been eternal life in the Spirit. Paul continued His revelation to the church at Corinth:
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." *** I Corinthians 15:55-56
Why must man suffer death? It is because of sin. When man continues to serve his sin nature, there is no overcoming life in him. The Word of God was given as our road map to get us through this life to where God is. If we do not use our road map, we will not see the New Day.
Paul relates the sting of death is sin. Then he relates the strength (power) of sin is the law. The Amplified Bible renders this phrase as "Sin exercises its power upon the soul through the abuse of the law." When we do not allow God's Word preeminence in our lives, sin has free access to the soul. The apostle James records:
"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." *** James 1:15
The wages of sin is death. If sin and the sin nature are not dealt with, then death becomes an absolute. This is why Jesus gave the church at Corinth, and us also, the hope of a resurrected life in Christ. Paul concludes His revelation to the Corinthians:
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." *** I Corinthians 15:57-58
Our only victory over death comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul assured the Corinthians their labor in the Lord was not in vain. What labor was Paul speaking of? It was the labor of being stedfast and abounding in the work the Lord was doing in their lives. Paul was trying to assure them of their place and their hope in God. This same message is to God's chosen generation, His royal priesthood, and His holy nation in the earth today.
God has given us the victory through an overcoming life. All the teachings about heaven, the rapture, and being born again need to be reexamined in our lives. Everything we believe must line up with the Word of God, not man's teachings or doctrines. Paul informed the Corinthians:
"And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." *** I Corinthians 8:2
We need to read God's Word for ourselves, and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our soul and spirit with the truth of God's Word. Then we will realize we have only understood the natural. Now we need to understand the Spiritual.
Other Related Books by George Kirkpatrick
Rapture, False Hope
Day of Fire
The Overcoming Sons of God
God's Holy Remnant
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give