T h e† F i n a l† V i c t o r y
This teaching will absolutely go into at least two parts.† It is very important that you understand and focus on the subject matter.† We have already won.† The final victory is ours and we need to understand that and live with that idea every day.
-- Part One --
There is a gathering together of all the saints when Jesus Christ returns.† This is our great hope pertaining to the Christian church.† There are different parts of Jesus Christís return which are clearly explained by Godís rightly divided Word.
We must understand the Ďmechanicsí of the return of Christ to understand his second coming.† This all began with his conception and birth and ended with his ascension, over 30 years later.† There are a lot of important and significant phases and events that took place during this time.† And similar to this time, there are periods and events that encompass several different phases and events of the second coming.
The following is very important for you to understand.† There are four basic events included in the times pertaining to the end - when Jesus Christ returns for the second time.† The following will illustrate their order:
1.† This involves Christís coming for the Church, which is the Body of Christ, to which you and I belong if we are born again of Godís spirit.† Christ is going to gather all of the believers together and meet them in the air.† It is most important to understand that the gathering together involves only those believers who are still alive on this earth when Jesus Christ returns.
2.† The second event occurs during the Book of Revelation when Jesus Christ comes WITH his Saints.† You must distinguish between the first occurrence where Jesus Christ comes FOR his Saints.† In this second event Christ is coming WITH the Church which is the Body of Christ.† I am trying to make this as easy as I can so I am going to mention that the saints that he comes with are the saints that he came for initially, mentioned in the first phase.† You should be able to understand this.
3.† As we go on, I will explain to you this third event which is the first and second resurrection.† Thatís correct.† There are two resurrections.† These resurrections are referred to as the resurrection of the just and of the unjust.
4.† And finally comes the very end, the final point [telos], when death is destroyed and all things are subdued and under the control of the true God.† This will be a great time and a time of rejoicing for all of us believers.
Now having this concrete background we can now go to the Word of God and see it express its clarity.
The 15th chapter of I Corinthians discusses basic doctrine concerning the resurrection and the rising of believers.† We need to understand the word Ďresurrectioní.† Just as every disciple is not an apostle, every rising is not a resurrection, but each resurrection is a rising.† This will be made much clearer as we proceed.† It has come to my mind that a person brand-new in the Word may have some difficulty understanding these principles.† If you are new at the Word, you may want to stay away from advanced teachings for the time being.
Moreover, brethren, I declare [make known] unto you the gospel [good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;† -- I Corinthians 15: 1
Now this gets rather involved, so try to pay attention.† A person can have good news of different kinds.† Whenever we read the word Ďígospelí in Godís Word, we need to determine if it is the good news of the Old Testament or the good news of the presence of Jesus Christ which is the good news of the revealed mystery, which is the good news of the church epistles.† So there are two types of good news.† One pertains to the Old Testament and one pertains to the New Testament.
The words Ďwherein ye standí can be translated Ďin which ye stand alsoí.† So the end of that verse can be translated in the following manner:† ďwhich ye also have received, in which ye stand alsoĒ.† A person can receive something and not stay with it.† They cop out.† This verse not only says that we are to receive the good news, we should live it also.† So it comes down to a simple point of not wavering on Godís Word; we must receive it and then stand on.† We must live it.† Letís take a look at the next verse.†
By which [the gospel] also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.† -- I Corinthians 15: 2
If you donít keep it in memory, which means keeping God first in your thoughts and in your actions, you have believed in vain.† There is no profit in your believing because you are not acting upon the Word of God.† Letís examine the verse even farther.† You do your best and God will do the rest regarding your understanding.
Literal:† By [through] which ye are saved also Ö† The word Ďsavedí is the Greek word sozo† meaning Ďto be made wholeí.† In this case, to be saved means more than being born again.† A person can be born again and still not be made whole in other areas of his life because he is not renewing his mind and acting upon the Word of God.† Itís that simple.† Do you remember the record of the 10 lepers that came to Jesus Christ for healing?† The record is in Luke 17: 12 Ė 19.† All of the lepers were healed but only one of the lepers returned to thank Jesus and that leper was made whole Ė body, soul, and spirit.† So besides his physical healing, he had also received the gift of the Holy Spirit as we receive when we are born again.† This one leper became born again when he came back to Christ and said Ďthank youí.† Isnít that a fantastic record?† We all need to learn the importance of being thankful.† And a believer once taught me that you cannot be negative when you are thankful.† Thatís something to think about.† God honors and appreciates a thankful person.
Most believers do not understand the simple fact that we can get born again of Godís spirit, but our mind does not change at all.† The only way we totally become whole is by keeping in memory all that you have received and studied from Godís Word.† People will think, and you have heard it said, that God took smoking away from me.† God did no such thing because you have free will to do as you please even after you are born again.† This is when your free will becomes especially important.† You must renew your mind and change your thinking to line up with Godís perfect Word.† This is referred to as the renewed mind and is a very difficult and long process.† You may know how hard it is to change bad habits.† Well, we have developed bad habits all of our life until we became born again.† Now we have a chance to change those habits and to do the right thing according to Godís Word.† Let us now look even more closely at I Corinthians 15: 2.
By which [the gospel] also ye are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.† -- I Corinthians 15: 2
This verse should now begin to make even more sense to you.† The term Ďif you keep in memoryí is referring to what you have in your mind and what you are thinking on during your day.† First and foremost, you should be thinking about the Word of God.† When you run across a situation, you should know what the Word says about it.† I have stressed this following point time and time again, even in a teaching with a room filled with about 20 believers.† Sometimes, Iím sorry to say, itís like talking to the drywall.† I have taken countless hours when I used to walk my dog to learn by heart Scriptures that pertain to everyday living.† At one point I must have learned about 100 Scriptures by heart.† At times, I still go back and review those Scriptures because if you donít use it, you will lose it.† Thatís very true.† At this point, I must present to you two Scriptures that pertain to the renewing of the mind.† I have repeated these two Scriptures many, many times and I am only believing that they will sink into the mind of one person.† Thatís my goal.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is† your reasonable service.† And be not conformed to this world:† but be ye transformed [transfigured] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is† that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.† -- Romans 12: 1, 2
Those two Scriptures are as simple and straightforward as can be.† God is imploring you as a result of His mercy, to present your bodies, which of course includes your mind, to present them holy and acceptable unto Him which is your reasonable or religious service.† God then tells you not to be conformed to this world and that is a major warning, but to be transformed or transfigured from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly by the renewing of your mind to Godís Word.† When you renew your mind and act on the new principles that you have learned, you will prove to yourself that good and acceptable and perfect Will of God.† Itís absolutely mind blowing.† But it will never happen until we act upon the Word of God.† The devil, he will try to talk you out of it and he does a good job of it.† We need to be strong and to follow our heart and not all the temptations and provocations that take place in this world.† We should know by now that the god of this world is the devil.† This situation will not change until Jesus Christ returns.† But a defeated entity is running this world.† Most people donít know that Satan is defeated Ė only those people who study Godís perfect Word.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;† -- I Corinthians 15: 3
The phrase Ďfirst of allí literally reads ďamong the first thingsĒ.† Among the first things that Paul delivered unto the believers was ďthat which I received alsoÖ.Ē.† We should be able to understand that one of the first things that Paul received by revelation from the true God was information dealing with resurrection and rising.† This greatly helps us to understand the true order of the church epistles.† To most believersí surprise, the first epistle which was written by Paul was to the Thessalonians.† And yet in most Bibles, if not all of them, Thessalonians is the last church epistle mentioned, but it was the first one that was revealed to Paul.† However, if you like to discuss different possibilities, we can say that Thessalonians can rightly be placed last, because it will be the last experience for the church.†††
For some of you who would like to get into the intricate details of the Word of God, I feel you would be blessed if I went over a very small point that would help you to understand Godís Word even more so.
Take a look at the use of the word ďsinsĒ in verse three.† ĎSiní used in the singular form, refers to manís innate sinful nature.† ĎSinsí as mentioned in the plural form are the results of that sinful nature.† So we can conclude that Jesus Christ died not only for our sinful nature, but he also died for the results and consequences of that nature.† When you dig deep under the surface of Godís Word, many times that is when you will find great treasures and it will bless you more than anything in the world.† You have found something that no one else has found before.
And that he was buried, and that he rose [has been raised] again the third day according to the scriptures:† - I Corinthians 15: 4
Jesus Christ was buried three days and three nights and he got up on the third day.† There is an interesting reference to this found in the book of Acts.† God gave David revelation about the resurrection of Jesus Christ Way back in the Old Testament and that record is recorded in Acts.† Remember that this revelation given to King David made it possible for the Old Testament believers to believe and to walk on Godís Word and he gave them hope because they saw the glory of these future events.
For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.† Ė Acts 2: 25
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul [Christís soul] was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.† - Acts 2: 31
This is why we must understand the significance of I Corinthians chapter 15.† It is the greatest chapter in the Bible regarding the return of Jesus Christ and the chronological steps that will take place at the end.† Without that hope, we are going to become discouraged and defeated.† So long ago, in the Old Testament, David was shown by God things regarding Christís resurrection and especially the fact that Jesus Christ would not be left in hell.† And also his flesh did not see corruption.† If Jesus Christ had remained in the grave, his flesh would have corrupted.† Paul also speaks of Jesus death and resurrection later in the book of Acts.
The subject is also mentioned in the book of Acts chapter 13: 33 Ė 35.† When you read those three Scriptures, you will see that this is why Corinthians gives us the account that Christ was buried and has been raised the third day according to the scriptures.† If you study the Word, you will even see that this is mentioned throughout many books in the Old Testament, but one that we are going to point out is in the book of Psalms.†
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.† Ė Psalm 16: 10
What was mentioned in I Corinthians 15: 4 was a fulfillment of the prophecy that was originally given of old to men of God.† They were able to see by revelation given to them by God, the coming of Christ, they also saw his death and they saw him being raised from the dead.† The only thing they did not see was the mystery of God in Christ in us and also this included the church of the Body of Christ and Jesus Christís return for that body.† All else was revealed to them.
You must be able to understand that the great mystery that was revealed to Paul and the church epistles was not revealed to anybody at any time prior to this.† The fact that we could be born again of Godís spirit shocked and destroyed the devil once and for all.† In many ways, the mystery of God in Christ in us has been hidden and has disappeared.
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 2: 10
This is why Christians walk with very little power and are pushed around by the world and its influences.† We are actually living in the greatest possible time.† When a person becomes born again of Godís spirit, he has the same capabilities within him that Jesus Christ had.† The problem is that we simply do not believe it and therefore we do not act upon it.† I said this example many times and Iím going to use it again.† If you are going to minister or pray for healing for somebody, you must believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that this healing is going to be successful.† What is absolute 100% believing?† Well, take a pencil or pen right now and hold it above your desk.† Now drop the pencil or pen.† How certain were you that that pen or pencil was going to fall and drop on top of your desk?† Thatís believing.† No doubt whatsoever.† We can get there Ė we have to work at it and donít let the enemy talk you out of it.† He is a liar and the father of all lies.† We are going to conclude part one here because I do understand that in some ways, this teaching gets rather involved and you may have to read it at least twice to understand it completely.† There is a second section or subject that is coming up in my research materials that I would like to get into in part two of The Final Victory.
[End of Part One]