Angelic Conflict part 325: Current work of Christ – Heb 13:17; Rom 8:23; Num 8:11-13; 1Co 15:20-23; Joh 14:3.
length: 59:57 - taught on May, 27 2014
9. Christ in His resurrection is the first fruits from among the dead and His Church are the first fruits of the Spirit.
Our High Priest has made every member of the Church a royal priest, 1Pe 2, and our offering is also one of thanksgiving, the fruit of the lips.
HEB 13:7 Remember those who led you [those who had died (Memorial Day)], who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
HEB 13:8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.
HEB 13:9Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods [legalism], through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.
HEB 13:10We have an altar [the Cross], from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
HEB 13:11For [moreover - a further consideration] the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
HEB 13:12Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
HEB 13:13Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
HEB 13:14For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
HEB 13:15Through Him then [in view of all these considerations], let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
HEB 13:16And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
The one who is thankful is the one who is not in bondage to the things that he has been given and so he is gracious to others.
The meaning is, that we are to show liberality to others, especially those who are in want, and were to take special pains not to forget this duty. We are prone to think constantly of our own interests, and there is great danger of forgetting the duty which we have towards others.
There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction.
2 Cor 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed
The writer then makes it a point to remind them that this liberality is to also flow to their spiritual leaders, the apostles in Jerusalem along with the Lord’s half-brother James, and which now applies to the pastor teacher.
HEB 13:17Obey your leaders [PT’s], and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
It is a great responsibility to have watch over another’s soul when you know the battle of watching over your own soul. The wonderful gift of PT carries this burden and for it they are accountable to God. If they don’t do it well God will discipline them. If they are doing well in diligence to protecting the souls of their congregations then they should be supported liberally and submitted to and their doctrine should be obeyed. For anyone who does not do this unto such a ones it is only unprofitable for them.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Therefore thankfulness extends from the believer priest to God for all the fruit He has given him and that thankfulness extends itself to the body of Christ in the form of graciousness and to the pastor teacher who is commissioned with revealing these glorious truths to him.
As we have noted, the first fruit "procession" to Jerusalem was to be a joyous celebration and not a burden. If our so called giving is a burden then we are out of bounds. The offerer would state at the altar how Jacob went down to Egypt with few and was oppressed, but he was released from Egypt by the power of God when he was many and God led him to a land flowing with milk and honey.
David took the ark of the covenant in a great celebration and procession to sit on Zion. Our Lord ascended to heaven with all the OT saints in a great celebration and procession. Our Lord will call us to heaven with a shout at the Rapture and the first fruits of the Church will be waved before God in a great celebration and procession. At the end of human history our Lord, the ruler of all, will present all kingdoms to the Father in great celebration and the final and eternal procession.
NUM 18:11 This also is yours [Aaron the high priest], the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.
NUM 18:12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the Lord, I give them to you.
NUM 18:13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.
The gifts given belonged to the high priest and in like manner the bounty of the Church has been given to Christ who will present them before the Father, and in fact, He has prayed that the Father protect His bounty.
"And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.
The highest application of first fruits is found in the NT in connection with the resurrected Christ and His bride.
1CO 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
1CO 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1CO 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
1CO 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming
ROM 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
ROM 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?
ROM 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
The resurrection of Christ, therefore, is the historical proof substantiating the hope of the believer that he too will be raised from the dead, in keeping with the prediction of PHI 3:20-21.
PHI 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
PHI 3:21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
10. Christ is now preparing a place. Every believer has a permanent dwelling place, custom made by the eternal Carpenter.
In the upper room, Christ told His disciples:
JOH 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
JOH 14:2 "In My Father's [Father is used 53 times in Joh 13-17] house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
JOH 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you [eternal carpenter], I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Here again, His present work would be meaningless unless it was supported by a literal resurrection from the dead.
One person defined a home as the place where you are treated the best and complain the most.
Sometimes people have a hard time making a home. Whether it be a broken family or an overly dysfunctional family or extreme poverty or physical or mental illness there are some who cannot call any place home. Sometimes there is great division in the family and no love and so, even though there may be a house, it is not a home. A home is a place of comfort. It is a place where a person can relax and completely be himself. It is extremely familiar and comfortable. Once someone can call a place home the size, shape, ornamentation, location, etc. do not matter. It is where he calls home, pure and simple.
Sometimes people have a home and then are uprooted. For some reason they have to move. Maybe it's a military family, maybe there was a new job, maybe the person got married, maybe the person started a church, maybe an extreme weather event demolished the home. Maybe they feel like the last stanza of a poem written by Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.