Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) What can you tell us about “SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES”?
(A) Ephesians 1:3 say’s: 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed “us” with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Who are the “US” in the above verse that will receive all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ?
ONLY those who place 100% FAITH, BELIEF, or TRUST in Christ Jesus “ALONE,” for their salvation, have a Heavenly promise, and will receive Heavenly blessings. You must realize salvation is “NOT” achieved; rather, it must be received! You cannot do “ANYTHING” to earn salvation! It is a totally free “Gift” to all who put their “BELIEF” in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
Redeemed sinners will be in HEAVEN by God’s grace and by faith in the perfect redemptive work of the perfect Christ. But these redeemed ones will be rewarded according to their works after they get into HEAVEN by grace. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:17. “Do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men: Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-25.
There is only one way to get to HEAVEN. That is God’s way, and remember, it is God’s HEAVEN. The one way is by God’s grace and by faith in God’s Son. But so far as the resurrection of the body is concerned, there are two ways. “The dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” I Thessalonians 4:16-18.
“The dead in Christ” will be those whose bodies have gone to corruption, but whose spirits have departed to be with Christ; absent from their bodies at home with the Lord. Philippians 1:23 and II Corinthians 5:8.
So HEAVEN is a prepared place for a prepared people. HEAVEN means eternal bliss and everlasting glory with Christ. Hell (the lake of fire) is a prepared place for the devil and his angels, but those who refuse God’s offer of eternal life through Christ will also go there. Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:14-15 and Revelation 21:8.
We read this very interesting statement concerning the exaltation of the Lord Jesus, in Ephesians 4:8 –10: “He ascended up on HIGH”. “The Same also that ascended UP FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS.” Then note Ephesians 1:19 concerning the mighty power of God which He wrought in Christ, “when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the HEAVENLIES FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY, AND POWER, AND DOMINION, AND EVERY NAME THAT IS NAMED, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” Paul wrote to the saints at Colosse; “Knowing that we also have a Master in HEAVEN.” Colossians 4:1. To His disciples the Lord Jesus said; “Great is your reward in HEAVEN:” Matthew 5:12. The Lord Jesus spent several weeks on earth after His crucifixion, burial and resurrection. When he left this earth in His glorified body some heavenly messengers said to Christ’s apostles: “This same Jesus, Which is taken up from you into HEAVEN, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into HEAVEN.” Acts 1:11.
“We have such a High Priest, Who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the HEAVENS:” Hebrews 8:1. Christ has entered “into HEAVEN itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” Hebrews 9:24.
Thus we learn that Christ came down from HEAVEN, and that Christ went back up to HEAVEN. Before Christ came down from HEAVEN He was in the form of God. Now up in HEAVEN Christ is God in the form of Man, where He is the Head of the Church, Which is His Body: Ephesians 1:20-23. Members of that Body say, “Our citizenship is in HEAVEN;” for they have been raised up and made to sit together in the HEAVENLIES in Christ.” Philippians 3:20 and Ephesians 2:6.
Spiritual blessings are Divine benefits that are a part of salvation. They are derived from spiritual truth. They are also doctrinal in content, with most of than being found in the doctrinal sections of Paul’s letters. Some of them can also be considered as ‘promises,’ especially those that are related to the present and to the future. They are a part of the accurate knowledge that God wants us to have: Colossians 1:9,10.
Therefore, the practical sections of Paul’s letters that contain commands, exhortations, history, and personal things like the letter to Philemon, for example, are not basically in view here. It is not what we do for Him, but what He has done for us. We must keep this in mind when we read them. They are a result of the tremendous love that God has for His own.
The only part of the Bible that was searched for spiritual blessings were the epistles of the Apostle Paul. He is the Apostle of the Gentiles: Romans 11:13. The spiritual blessings that belong to the Body of Christ cannot be found in the Old Testament nor found in the four Gospels, because the Body of Christ is not found in the Old Testament nor found in the four Gospels, Blessings found in the Old Testament and in the four Gospels belong to the Jewish believers in the Nation of Israel. They were God’s people back then. It is wrong to take blessings from one group of people and apply than to another group of people; to take them from Israel and apply than to the Church which is His Body: Ephesians 1:22-23. This is misleading Bible teaching; it is not handling the Word of God correctly: 2 Corinthians 4:2.
Paul’s epistles are all about the Body of Christ, from the beginning to the end. What the risen Lord is telling us in these letters is that the emphasis on the kind of blessings that come from God during this Dispensation of grace is spiritual instead of material. The rest of the Bible emphasizes material things, while Paul’s epistles emphasize spiritual things.
My friend, if you are looking for spiritual truth, you must go to the epistles of the Apostle Paul. They are loaded with spiritual truths. Theologians and pastors who minimize Pauline truth are depriving believers of the spiritual importance found in Paul’s writings to the Church.
Below I will list eight of the many spiritual blessings which can be found in the writings of our Apostle Paul. There are no conditions placed on these blessings because we are under grace. We have received the full benefit of our blessings in Christ, they are a present possession! We simply need to lay hold of them by faith. The first seven blessings will come from Ephesians 1:4-14.
(1) Verse 4: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: We have been chosen in Him (Christ) before the world began. Christ is the source of our salvation and spiritual blessings. God chose us in eternity past to be part of His church today (which is under grace) called the Body of Christ. What a blessing!
(2) Verse 5: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Paul’s use of the term “predestinate” is always in direct connection with the household of faith. “Having predestinated us,” that is, the members of the Body of Christ. Predestination merely means to “determine beforehand.” It has been said that what God foreknew was not merely what man would do, but rather what He would do for man.
God has foreordained us “unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” In biblical times adoption had to do with position-taking those who were already children and making them full-grown sons. Normally, there was a special gathering of friends and family at which time the father would declare his child to be his son, with all the rights and privileges that went along with this blessing. As the heir, he now held a position of esteem.
Gentiles who were once aliens and strangers are now the sons of God. We are the heirs of His grace, not by works, but according to His good pleasure. That’s grace! Just as the United States Constitution guarantees that every American has inalienable rights, we too have rights and privileges as the citizens of heaven. In addition to being seated with Christ in the heavenlies, we are going to rule and reign with Him. In fact, as the sons of God, we are destined to judge men and angels at the Great White Throne Judgment: 1 Corinthians 6:2-3: 2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
(3) Verse 6: 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.God has made those who have received the riches of His grace accepted in the Beloved. We are the objects of His favor. Therefore, we have full access day or night to come boldly before the throne of grace to make our requests known. This is remarkable when we consider that God’s people in time past approached Him in fear and trembling. “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” Exodus 20:18,19. When death casts its shadow over us, we need not fear, for we will instantaneously step into the glory of His presence. We are accepted in the Beloved!
(4) Verses 7-8: 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Throughout eternity those nail prints in our Savior’s hands and feet will serve as a constant reminder that Christ is our Redeemer, to the glory of God: John 20:24-29; Revelation 5:6. Remember the song, “The Old Rugged Cross, “ it is more than a mere instrument of death. Christ and Him crucified is a glorious message which extols God’s love for a world of lost and undeserving sinners. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit has carefully selected certain words such as redemption and forgiveness to convey what God has accomplished for us at Calvary.
Most of us are familiar with the term redemption. I doubt if there is a woman alive in America who has not used a coupon to redeem a grocery item. The “Blood of Christ” is the spiritual coupon that redeems us back to God and gives us full access into the heavenlies. Dear friend, if you are reading these lines and have never received your free coupon, simply trust Christ, who died for your sins (personally), and believe that He was buried and that He rose again the third day. Our freedom from bondage has come to us at a great cost. Therefore, may we never be guilty of using our liberty for an occasion to the flesh.
Another wonderful theme of the message of the Cross is forgiveness. God’s forgiveness, unlike ours, is total and complete. Suppose for a moment that a sinner was to write on a chalkboard all of the sins he had ever committed. Each sin, whether it be lying, pride, or impure thoughts is another nail in his eternal coffin that will eventually condemn him. However, this man suddenly comes to his senses and
casts himself at the foot of Calvary’s Cross. The instant that he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, his slate is wiped completely clean. In the place where those sins once appeared is now written the word “FORGIVEN”!
Often the question is asked, “But what about the future sins that one may commit?” Judicial forgiveness is past, present and future. Stop and think: were not all of our sins future when Christ died on the Cross? Furthermore, those who lived before the Cross are said to be forgiven “through the forebearance of God” on the basis of the shed blood of Christ: Romans 3:25.
(5) Verses 9-12: 9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.The Mystery of His will has to do with God’s eternal purpose for the heavens and the earth. We should add that God hid a principal part of this purpose from past generations; not even the elect angels had any knowledge of it. With both the Jews and Gentiles set aside in unbelief, God was free to make known the counsel of His will, which He foreordained before the foundation of the world. God changed the course of history by unfolding a new program known as the Mystery:
Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:1-3; Colossians 1:25,26.
The Mystery is God’s secret purpose for the Church, the Body of Christ. And it was foreordained that this truth would exclusively be revealed through Paul’s apostleship. Paul was given the revelation regarding the heavenly ministry of Christ, which introduces us to a new creation. The Body of Christ, with its heavenly position, is the focal point of God’s plan and purposes for the dispensation of Grace. There-fore, it is our responsibility to make known the exceeding riches of His grace. In addition to being blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, we have a heavenly hope and calling.
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.” The dispensation of the fullness of times is the counsel of His will regarding the eternal state. In eternity God is planning to sum up all things in Christ, both in heaven and on earth. Notice that the distinction will remain between heaven and the earth throughout eternity.” But there’s also an ominous omission here: Philippians 2:9-11: 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here, as in Ephesians, the “things in heaven” is clearly the Body of Christ that will be seated with Christ in glory. And the “things in earth” is a reference to the redeemed prophetic saints who will rule and reign with Christ upon the new earth. However, it is a solemn thought that those “things under the earth,” the unsaved of all ages, aren’t included in God’s plans and purposes for eternity. When the unbelieving world is cast in to the lake of fire, they are forever removed from God’s presence and the glory of His power: II Thessalonians 1:9. May God help us to have a greater burden for lost souls.
According to the exceeding riches of His grace, reservations have been made in the name of Christ for every member of His Body. “In whom, we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ:” Ephesians 1:11,12.
“When a saved soul goes to heaven surpassing all the angels, archangels, and principalities and powers, and takes a place ahead of them all, I don’t doubt they wonder at it all. “That’s what is going to happen to you and to me. We are going to take our places beyond all the angels and pass them all by. Heaven is populated. It must be, there are millions and millions of angels and they all have rulers over them. The moment a soul saved from sin, who’s washed in the blood, departs this earth he goes past all the cities of the angels, and past all created beings, until he takes a place with Christ in the heavenlies, above all.”
(6) Verse 13: 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,This passage is confirmation that the Holy Spirit plays an essential role in the eternal security of every believer. The moment we have taken Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ, sealing us there for eternity. We are not sealed with a mere circular impression as on a legal document. Rather the Scriptures clearly teach that the Holy Spirit Himself is the seal that secures us in the Body of Christ. Years ago my mother sealed jars of jelly with wax; the jellies were sealed by her, but with wax. The wax was the seal. Thus, according to Ephesians 1:13, believers are sealed “with that Holy Spirit of promise,” the Holy Spirit Himself keeping us safe forever.
During biblical times when a ruler would fix a seal to an object it was done to secure his decree, thus making it irrevocable. After the other two presidents persuaded King Darius to make a declaration against petitioning any God the King was forced to place Daniel in the lion’s den, sealing it with his own signet. The record informs us that the sealing with the King’s signet was done, “that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel,” Daniel 6:16,17. If this is true in the affairs of men, how much more so in the affairs of God. Every believer has been sealed with the Holy Spirit, and this proclamation of God can never be reversed, we are safe and secure in His everlasting arms.
(7) Verse 14: 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. God has left no stone unturned, for here we learn that the earnest of the Spirit is the pledge or the down payment until the transaction is completed. To place earnest money down in Paul’s day, as well as in our day, meant three things:
1. It was a It was a down payment which made a contract binding.
2. It represented an obligation to purchase.
3. It was a foretaste of what was to come.
When purchasing property it is a common practice to place a certain amount of earnest money down. This makes the deal binding and obligates the buyer to purchase the piece of land according to the terms of the contract. So it is with God. He has given us the earnest of the Spirit (the indwelling Spirit) as a down payment, which means He now has the obligation to honor His Word to complete the transaction. Thus, when the trump sounds God will claim His purchased possession, ushering us home to be forever with Him: I Thessalonians 4:17.
The world can fall apart around us, but “if God be for us who can be against us?” In a world of uncertainty and chaos, the believer can rest assured that he belongs to the Lord, who is able to keep him until the day of redemption.
One of the many benefits of understanding the doctrine of eternal security is that it removes the fear of ever losing our salvation. Instead of finding ourselves twisting in the wind, wondering if we have gone too far in sinful behavior, we can rest in the truth that, by His grace, we are still safe and secure. With the distraction of ever losing our salvation removed, we can devote all of our time and energy to carrying out the commands of Christ to the praise of His glory!
(8) This last one is taken from Romans 1:7: 7To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Here we see all believers are called to be “saints.” The Greek word for “saint” means “holy.” God makes unholy people “holy” when Christ Jesus becomes their Saviour. Believers are called “saints” or “holy” ones 37 times in the KJV of Paul’s epistles. It is “living” people who are called “saints” not “dead” people. All of Paul’s epistles are addressed to “living” people. So all who are part of the Body of Christ in this age of grace today are living “saints.”
These are only eight of the spiritual blessings we enjoy in Christ; but there are many more! I hope you will take the time to read and study all of Paul’s epistles and dig out more of our spiritual blessings in Christ.
Have a good day; Maranatha (Lord come)