Things eternal

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“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Is. 57.15

This message deals with living in time and in eternity. Those who live their lives mostly contemplating the future and/or the past squander their time. And those who wait for only an eternity to come, live, as it were, behind a locked door while holding its key in their hand. Part 1. focuses on living in time while seeking to live in the absolute present, that part of time between the future and past. Part 2. will focus on knowing and living in eternal things, now, in the present, having a foretaste of things to come.

Part 1. Living in Time

God inhabits eternity. Can we really grasp the reality of eternity? In all honesty, man in his natural state finds it most impossible to comprehend being in a state to which time has no application; timelessness. This is, however, the very call to all believers to entertain the concept of living in eternity; no not just in the hereafter as in the eternal heaven, but to touch upon it in the here and now, having a foretaste of it. And to do this there must be a renewing of the mind, a new way of thinking. I have written of this previously, and once more speak of it because of its vagueness but extreme importance. It is written, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Cor. 13.12

Paul here makes use of an illustration to show the imperfection of our perceiving eternal things in this life. But of the utmost importance here is, to see dimly and know in part, is actually something, something more that all the world has or could ever know. It is a glimpse and taste into eternity. I would most gladly and greatly desire to see even a smidgen of dim light coming through the door of eternity, and have even a vague understanding of its nature, than to sit in the darkness of this world trapped in its time, sin, and decay. I know that one day we will see “face to face.” 

It is written:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rm. 12.2

The exhortation here is to not be outwardly caught up with and entrapped by the dark ways of the present age, but to be inwardly transfigured in view of a higher mode of existence. By higher, let us be entrapped by the promise of our opening scripture which reads, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who…” With him is the enticement. God is saying that although My throne is in the highest heaven, an exalted realm full of glory where nothing impure can have a place, yet I do receive and visit with those sinners of mankind, whose spirits are broken and humbled, who stand before Me in the grace of My Son, Jesus Christ.

Oh how our souls desire such a relationship with the living God; that we, who have lived in creation, darkness, and time, might come to know and have a relationship with the Holy One that inhabits eternity. Oh. That our minds might also be renewed to understand and ponder such exalted things.

One might ask, how may my mind be renewed? Does it start by reading the Bible more? Or by going to Church and praying more often? Of course, these outward acts of faith are encouraging, but not necessarily inwardly transforming factors. There is a window in the door of eternity that allows pure light to shine out upon us, a light of truth, a light showing the Way. It is not found in the outward acts of religion, but in the inward reality of Christ. “Your word (Christ) is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ps. 119.105

Let us not be bound up only with the historic Jesus as religion would have us do, but rather be caught up with the living Christ who, by His Holy Spirit, enters into the life of the believer and finds union with his soul. Then, and only then, one can proclaim,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5.17

A new creation! Not renewed, but new, different, a new creature with his feet upon the earth but whose mind is in the heavens.

Old things have passed away—old principles, thought patterns, and manner of life have, by faith, passed away, for you by faith have died with Christ to the elements of the flesh. I still vividly remember that phone call when my close, longtime friend Sergio Valori died. His daughter said to me, “My father passed.” Passed (away) meant I could never visit him again, see him, or interact with him in any way. My memory and thoughts of him remained, but a part of my life was now missing, absolutely gone. Just as a passing becomes absolute in the natural, it must also now be realized in the spiritual, that a part of my own life has passed away, died with Christ at the cross.

All things have become newA Christian is not one with a changed lifestyle, but is actually one who is born a new species, one adapting to both heaven and earth. He has a new life, namely, a spiritual and divine life having come alive to heavenly things; with new spiritual senses, new faculties of thought, new desires, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. It is no longer about me, my likes and dislikes or fleshly desires. It is, as my wife prayed many years ago, “Lord cause me to be offended of those things that offend You, and delight in those things in which you are delighted.”

The believer’s whole tenor of action and conversation is new, and the believer lives as it were in a new world, one that now encompasses the Kingdom of God. The believer finds himself surrounded in new light and standing related to God and Christ in a new manner, since he is now created anew in Christ Jesus.

Present Time

Our opening scripture contained the thought that God inhabits eternity: He is from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning or end, who only has immortality in and of Himself; angels and the souls of men, though they may live on and do not die, yet have a beginning; only God is from eternity to eternity; He inhabits one undivided, uninterrupted, perpetual eternity, to which time is but a mere point. A point, like a period that is used to mark the end of a sentence, exists by having a location only, but has no dimension (such as width, length or depth.) Such is the measure of time to God. It has a place in creation but has no dimension.

The entire point here is to live our lives contemplating eternal things in the now, or at least as close to the absolute present as one can come in this life, by the Spirit. The past is often difficult to negotiate as it holds many precious memories, yet also painful and regretful memories as well. “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I make new things” Is. 43:18-19. We cannot and should not forget the past, but we must not dwell upon it, nor entertain it to extreme; doing so would become detrimental to our well-being.

Contemplating and planning for our future is essential. However, to live in the future is not: to continually anticipate the next thing, the next event, the next happening—always planning, thinking how to approach matters, scheming, and formulating plans. Some can only enjoy the present moments for a short period, and then their minds race forward to what is coming next. Jesus cautioned, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Mt. 6.34

In the natural we could dwell upon what could happen in the future but with no guaranties. There can be no certainties for future planning. We even hire “advisors” to give us the best possible guess involving things like financial planning, weather patterns, likelihood of war, crop production, and so on. But, in this life nothing is for sure. We make our plans and wish for the best.

Spiritually, we are relieved of this worry. The Bible uses the word “hope” when considering our true spiritual future. In defining faith, Hebrews 11.1 reads that faith is, “the assurance of things hoped for…” To hope is to expect or anticipate the promised outcome. “Wishing” has no place in anticipating our spiritual futures, for it is written, “For all the promises of God in Him (Christ) are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Cor. 1.20 Having no doubt of matters like the perpetual working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, of surely being raised to life in the resurrection from the dead, and the promise of the new heaven and earth, the believer is free to dwell upon the present in all spiritual matters of worship, fellowship with God, deliverance from sin, and spiritual growth and maturity.


It is now, in this moment, in the present, that we must become spiritually minded and embrace the eternal things of God; for in doing so we find the workings of God, transforming our lives. What are these eternal spiritual things? We must begin by considering the following scriptures, and in doing so note the importance of the word “things:”

“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4.18

If then you were raised with Christ, *seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col. 3.1-4

My goodness, things, things, things. What are these things? “Things” are placeholders, they temporarily hold the position of other, unspecified objects or entities. The precise object or entity is not yet designated. Let us now try to further our understanding of spiritual things.

We are constantly reminded of earthly things. They comprise all our waking hours, from sunrise to sunset, whether eating, working, learning, interacting with others, or just simply watching TV. And, it is in this earthly existence we experience our complete realm of our emotions and feelings. But, what about spiritual or heavenly things? The heavenly things exist outside the realm of the natural; beyond our doings, feeling, and our senses. Heavenly things are invisible, intangible, and eternal; for instance: life, character, peace, resurrection, heaven, worship, holiness, fellowship, etc. They are true and need to be a part of our new reality, spiritual identity.

Spiritual things may be spiritually imparted. Paul wrote to the church of Rome, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.” Rm. 1.11 Some may initially think the apostle is speaking here about “miraculous” spiritual gifts such as outlined in 1 Cor. 12: prophecy, tongues, wisdom, and miracles, to name a few. That may be so, but I believe that in the context of the passage, non-miraculous spirituals would equally be included here. The emphasis is all that which flows from the Spirit of God into the believer, an impartation which includes such things as spiritual light, knowledge, peace, comfort, hope, and certainly the fruit of the spirit.

Eternity is not everlasting time. Time came out of eternity as a part of creation. Time flows by like a river; eternity exists as a lake always surrounding, always present. Let’s probe deeper into this thought of time and eternity.

Time is defined as ‘the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.’ The word “present” is used here in its definition, but in all reality time lies either in the future or in the past. We anticipate the future in thinking of things yet to come; we remember and reflect upon the past as those things that have passed by. Even though we talk about the present, it is never really here. Whatever is coming immediately passes and becomes the past; there is no continuum for the present, it is only our nearest to the future and past. What we humans think of the present is never really here, in that we can never remain in the present period of time. With each tick of the clock time comes and goes and does not remain in a state between ticks. You might anticipate reading or listening to my next words, and as soon as you hear them they are in the past. Thus time cannot be frozen; it must pass on.

However, in eternity events do not come and go, but simply exists, they “are.” Eternity is like existing in an everlasting present. When Moses asked God His name, He simply said, “I AM who I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’ ” “I Am,” the self-existent one, the eternal one. Can you see, God never was as in existing in the past, nor can He will be, as existing in the future, God is eternally in the present. I wish to know this God not in terms of history, or as the One that one day will come again into the world, but to know the God who is now, the great I Am.

“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” 2 Cor. 5.16

Jesus Christ came in the flesh, was crucified, died, was buried. His earthly life came only to pass. We know Him now as the Resurrected One, the One who now inhabits eternity. He ever exists in the ever present, the absolute now. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6.2 Now is implied in each of the following, which is but a sampling of the eternal God’s relationship with man.:

“Draw near to God (now) and He will draw near to you (now).” Jam. 4.8

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am (now) there in the midst of them.” Mt. 18.20

“Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also (now) intercedes for us.” Rm. 8.34

“Behold, I (now) stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will (now) come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev. 3.20

Of course I added in parentheses the word “now” to each of the Bible verses, to emphasize the ever present accessibility to our God and Lord.

A Foretaste of Eternity

Eternity is not an extension of time but a condition different from time. Things eternal presently exist as much as they ever have or ever will. From the time of our birth until now all we have ever known is the time that marches on, things come and go, people are born and they die. However, now, today in Christ, the believer has a foretaste of eternity—by faith. The above Bible verses have shown that God, in relation to man, is ever present, any hour or minutes of time. But in addition to immediate fellowship with God, there is a foretaste of eternity to be realized in each of our lives:

“…once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.” Heb. 6.4-5

To taste of a thing means, according to the usage in the Scriptures, is to “experience,” or to “understand” it. The expression is derived from the fact that the taste is one of the means in the natural by which we ascertain the nature or quality of something. The proper idea of this passage is that the believers had learned of and “experienced” the heavenly gift—something of the eternal. Salvation does not come at the end of time, but is experiential in the here and now, the actual present.

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rm. 6.3-4

In re-reading this verse, as one must do repeatedly in order to grasp its great significance, one can understand that a believer in Christ has entered into His eternity. Time is irrelevant in Christ. As Christ died on the cross two thousand years ago, our old soul nature, being now at the present in Christ, died with Him; and as He was buried, the flesh nature of our old man was also buried; and finally as He was resurrected from the grave, we now may experience a resurrection in newness of life. All of this, and much more, is but a foretaste of the glory to come.

Though there are many more scriptures of this nature to consider, we will make this one suffice for now. I believe an understanding of the present intermingling of time and eternity is being established.

Scripture specifically relates eight spiritual “things” to being eternal, all of which the believer may understand and come into a foretaste; they are: Eternal Life, Eternal Spirit, Eternal Salvation, Eternal Power, King Eternal, Eternal Glory, Eternal Purpose, and Eternal Inheritance. We will look at these more closely in Part 2. of this message.


Part 2. Knowing Things Eternal

 Scripture relates the following eight spiritual “things” to being eternal: Eternal Life, Eternal Spirit, Eternal Salvation, Eternal Power, King Eternal, Eternal Glory, Eternal Purpose, and Eternal Inheritance. Let’s begin by looking at eternal life.

1. Eternal Life

Jesus said, “And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” Mt. 25.46

This is a most magnificent yet ominous scripture to consider. The unsaved will enter eternal punishment, which is not annihilation but an everlasting loss of well-being. Oh how terrible. Everlasting! But the saved enter into eternal life, which is opposite to spiritual death. Eternal life is more than just vitality, it is the ability to relate to our God and Lord and to others in a continuum that is not limited to age or death or circumstances. Eternal life operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond any measure of time. Eternal is independent of time. It is an altogether different realm than time.

Eternal life does not focus on the future time per se, but rather on the particular character and quality of the life in which we are living. Thus, believers live in eternal life right now, and may experience this quality of God’s life even now as a present possession. May we all begin to have our minds open to understand and comprehend the unique quality of God’s own self-existing life at work in the believer—in you and me. Now please contemplate this… eternal life is already a present possession of the believer. Note in the following scriptures the Gk. present tense of having, in our present day, eternal life:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” Jn. 3.36

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” Jn. 5.24 And,

“He who has the Son has (the) life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have (the) life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 Jn. 5.12-13

The Final Aim. Knowing this spiritual reality frees one from the state of unknowing and fearful struggling as to earn God’s favor for heaven, or to someday gain eternal life. These are not mature thoughts. We may live our lives now, this day, in confidence towards the future and begin to focus our lives on weightier matters; away from striving for salvation to having so great a salvation working in us. For example,

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Eph. 3.20 and “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2.13

We must now seek the working of God’s own life in us, to bring to maturity a family of many sons and daughters fashioned after His Son. Romans 8.29 states, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Conformity to the image of Christ that we may be like Him, not merely in spirit, but also growing in nature and character.

So, the final aim, the highest standard, is the ever working of the life of God in us, transforming us, “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” Eph. 4.13 –initiated now in this lifetime, and consummated upon His return with the resurrection of our mortal bodies.

2. Eternal Spirit

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb. 9.14

It is a fact that Christ was “made alive (quickened) by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3.18); that God “gave not the Spirit by measure to Him” (Jn. 3.34); that “the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him” (Lk. 4.18); and that He “by the Spirit of God” cast out devils (Mt. 12.28). However, IT IS THE SAME ETERNAL SPIRIT IN CHRIST AS IN THE BELIEVER:  Note, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” Rm. 8.11 This is an overwhelming thought. Suddenly, the thought of salvation looms so much larger. The earthly presence of God that was once found in Moses’ Tabernacle, then later in Solomon’s temple, is now found “in” the believer. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Cor. 3.16

Believers today live in a new age, with a new covenant—the time period called the New Testament. It is characterized by Christ baptizing all believers in the Holy Spirit, a higher baptism than water. John the Baptist testified of Christ, “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mk. 1.8 In this baptism each individual becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit, and in addition, this baptism joins all believers equally into His mystical Body (1 Cor. 12.12), which is the Church, with all His marvelous workings.

How our minds and manner of thinking must be renewed, as we begin to think outside the box of religion and contemplate eternal spiritual reality (truth.)

3. Eternal Salvation

“And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Heb. 5.9

We have already been addressing this in some detail. Because this salvation is eternal, time becomes inconsequential. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2.8 By this marvelous mystery we look back, in our past, upon the salvation of our spirits at the instant of regeneration. Peter wrote, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” 1 Pet. 1.23

In the present, it is the Holy Spirit that works “in” the believer towards the salvation of his soul: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2.12-13 Now, in this moment, we are being changed “from glory to glory.” 2 Cor. 3.18

The future of the believer is gathered up in hope. Now hope is not wishing, but it is expecting, anticipation of something yet to come. It is written that were saved in this hope, and we do not see this hope now, but we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. What is this hope, and what is the object of our hope? That which will ultimately come to all believers is glorious, which is…the resurrection of our mortal bodies unto immortality: “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” Rm. 8.23 

Man was created a triune being, spirit, soul, and body. He will ever be spirit, soul, and body. Eternal salvation comes to the total man, making everything new, not different, but new. The spirit has been saved at regeneration. The soul is being saved by sanctification of the Holy Spirit, daily working in us. Brethren, this is the great hope for all believers: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 Jn. 3.2

4. Eternal Power

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Rm. 1.20

Of all the attributes of God, this is the one which was first revealed to man’s understanding. An understanding that there is an eternal power, and that there is not some mere blind force, or some ”spirit of nature” at work, but the power of a living God; that all creation is by a Divine design, and it is further revealed that it is of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The universe contains an exhibition of His power, or a display of that attribute which we call “omnipotence;” and, that this power has existed from eternity.

The apostle Paul prayed that the eyes of our hearts may be opened to understand: “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead ” Eph. 1.19-20

A new object of knowledge is brought forth here—knowledge of a power which works in us—a great power, a Divine power, a power surpassingly great. In the natural, I have the power to make a small dam, but do not have the power to stop the Red Sea from flowing; I have the power to move a stone but not to move a mountain; I have the power to avoid a sinful act but not the power to not be a sinner; I have the power to arouse from the sleep, not the power to arouse from the dead. But this power, the power of God working in us, is in accordance with the same power of God used to raise Christ from the dead.

The power referred to here that works in the believer does not refer to merely one thing. It is the whole series of acts of power toward believers which results from the work of our Christ, our redeemer. Believing unto salvation is not a mere act of faith, it is a spontaneous release of Divine power, resulting in a miraculous regeneration of the spirit, the inward man. There is power to keep you as the faithful Shepherd holds in His arms the small lamb. And, there will come the power to raise us from the dead and exalt us with Christ to heaven. Finally, but not ending, there will be a flowing forth of miraculous power in the creation of a new heaven and earth, on which we may eternally dwell in His glorious Kingdom.

The power of God is not latent, it is forever flowing, as a gushing spring of water in a barren land. All in need of life is drawn to the waters, for elsewhere it is a parch land where one wanders about seeking to quench his thirst, but only to find death and destruction. But then, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” Jn. 7.37 It must be understood that spiritual matters and matters of salvation are not automatic. The power of God to transform and cause to come alive is a present reality, but there is always the command to: come to the water, to open the door, to draw near to God, to seek in order to find, to ask and it shall be given.

God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in His Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to lay hold of, apprehend them by faith, in prayer, and diligence—in this the power of God is released in us who believe. And that same superhuman power exerted to raise Christ from the dead will be at work in our lives.

5. King Eternal

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.  1 Tim. 1.17

A king is one who is sovereign, who exercises power and authority without limitation. He decrees and establishes laws to live by. His sovereign power is beyond the power of others to interfere or usurp. Christ alone is the King of kings, even as it is written, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” 1 Tim. 6.15

However, it is also written, “You (God the Father) have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” Heb. 2.8 The world refuses to acknowledge Christ as King, Satan is yet His enemy, and even many in the Church, though wanting to declare Him as Savior to gain salvation, do not come under the subjection to Christ as King.

One does not negotiate with the King, for there can be no compromise. Good intentions do not fair well but fall short of His expectations and are rewarded accordingly. Obedience and goodness is always rewarded and disobedience and sin is always punished. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55.9

On the matter of being a king, Jesus replied to Pilate, “You say that I am a king,…For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.” Jn. 18.37

Note that Christ’s statement, “who belong to the truth” precedes “listens (or hears)” which follows. To belong to the truth is literally to exist in the truth. Those belonging to the truth are the citizens in the Kingdom of Christ, who first belong to Christ, and are in Christ. Then, and only then, they are in position to hear His voice and choose to obey Him as supreme authority; not only externally to learn and memorize His commandments, as the Ten Commandments listed on the walls of a church, but internally so as to say “amen,” rejoice in it; and harken to it as the will of God. Christ said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Jn. 14.15 Christ here is showing a higher order to obedience, for obedience to the laws of God is religion at its best, but obedience to the will of Christ through love is genuine and Christianity at its finest.

Should you ever have the opportunity, do a word study in the Bible on the word “obedience.” Its importance is overwhelming. But for now, allow the words of the prophet Samuel to suffice:

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Sam. 15.22

All the world is under governments usually headed by presidents, prime ministers, kings, chiefs, or dictators. Some believe, as do I, that many of these “heads of government are simply pawns, being manipulated in the hands of very powerful, wealthy groups seeking a wider, more worldly domination. I believe this comes into line with students seeking to understand end-time prophecy. Laws are enacted to control its citizen as seen fit by its leaders. Today there is gross darkness in the world. It has taken me nearly 80 years to finally have my bubble burst of hoping for honesty, integrity, and true benevolence in these governments. What I see today is gross corruption, deception, immorality, deceitfulness, conspiracies, and an insatiable quest for power and wealth. There is no hope for these to change or suddenly “see the light.” I have no solace in earthly kings, but only pray to be able to peacefully live my life and serve with all my heart, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” Jesus Christ. (1 Tim. 6.15)

6. Eternal Glory

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Cor. 4.17

In this verse our light affliction is being compared to the weight of glory. Literally, a weight of glory in excess and unto excess (or exceedingly exceedingly). The whole passage denoting that the glory to come exceeds the power of words to attempt to tell it. 

The passage refers here to the splendor, magnificence, honor, and happiness of the eternal world. In this most interesting passage, Paul has set an emphatic contrast between the trials of this life and the glories of heaven. It is most profitable to contemplate the view which he had of them. He goes on to write,

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rm. 8.18

Revealed in us. Note that this glory is not to be revealed “to” us, but as in truth “in” us—literally meaning penetrating into us; it affects us, illumining and transfiguring us. This glory is in part conceived as having already begun inwardly but then becoming apparent outwardly in all splendor and grandeur. Hebrews describes this present “in part” glory, “who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.” Heb. 6.4-5 This is but the believer’s foretaste of the heavenly—to have our understanding enlightened, to taste and experience the savor of things of heaven, and to know the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

But then, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor. 15.52 The resurrection is the induction into eternal glory. It will be having a new immortal body fashioned after the resurrected Christ. (1 Jn. 3.2) It is living on a new earth and new heaven, and living in the light of the presence of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. It is having function and purpose in the Kingdom of God. (Rev. 21-22) All things have become new.

7. Eternal Purpose

“…according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3.11

The designation “Christ Jesus” (not simply Christ), suggests that what we are experiencing today is the realization of the purpose of God; In that the Son, who was with God from the beginning, being the Christ, the Anointed One, became the One who was sent to fulfill the purposes of God, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1.14 The Christ, the Son anointed by the Father was sent into this earthly realm to fulfill His purposes in the earth. He became flesh in the person of Jesus.

According to the eternal purpose is otherwise translated, according to the purpose of the ages. How often man presents himself at the center of God’s plan for salvation, i.e., to redeem man from hell and bring him to heaven. But God’s purpose for the ages is so much larger, that in the end the Godhead is satisfied, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all first to have an inheritance in creation, and then man receiving an eternal inheritance for himself.

Jesus began unveiling the purposes of God focusing upon each and every individual: “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Jn. 3.3 and “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jn. 3.16 Here, “one” and “whoever” implies each and every individual person; you, me, all others have the opportunity to enter into the eternal purposes of God.

But then Jesus unveiled more clearly God’s eternal purpose which is more encompassing than saving individual souls for His Kingdom. He said to Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build My church.” Mt. 16.18 Suddenly salvation now involves a corporate man, a unified expression of the Body of Christ. This meaning, that He was to build His Church, not upon Peter (Gk Petros) but upon the rock (Gk. Petra)—a play on words indicating that the church will be built upon the fact that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God; the One in whom the eternal purposes of God will find their fulfillment.

It is to the Church that the final result of the great plan of salvation is presented, by which the glory of God was to be displayed in His dealings with sin once and for all time; and through that to have a holy, spiritual family for Himself and a bride for the Son to share in His eternal Kingdom. The redeemed Church corresponds to this plan; it is in essence the realization of the Divine idea, the revelation of the eternal purpose of God in a redeemed regenerate people.

All the past “ages,” whether it be angelic, of the Garden of paradise, of the patriarchs, of Mosaic, and prophetic, have led up to this, the Universal Church, in its spiritual reality, as its goal—the final manifestation of the eternal purpose of God.

8. Eternal Inheritance

And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Heb. 9.15

The things promised in the new covenant, is not a temporary, earthly inheritancesuch as the land of Canaan, or earthly provisions as promised in the first covenant; but is in reality the promised resurrection and eternal glory in a new heaven and new earth so promised in the new covenant. Unlike the old covenant, the new covenant is without regard to nationality (Jew and gentile): “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2.39 In Hebrews 3.1 all believers are addressed as “partakers of a heavenly calling,” which corresponds with the “eternal inheritance” used here.

Those who qualify and obtain this are designated as “called.” (See also: Eph.1.18; 1 Thes. 2.12, 5.24; 1 Pet. 3.9) The word “calling” here denotes that sovereign act of God by which He extends an invitation to people to come and partake of His grace for things eternal; certainly, even as Jesus called each apostle to lay down his life and to follow Him, He continues to call, beckon, each soul to lay down their earthly life and follow Him into the eternal. In this high calling God invites sinners to Himself to whom He is willing to bestow upon them the promise of a pardon and eternal life.

What a great and glorious hope is given to the man whom God has called to the Kingdom of the Messiah and its heavenly glory. Heaven is called an inheritance, in respect of the believer’s title to it by virtue of being born again of God and thereby heirs of God their Father to an eternal inheritance.

A Closing note

I would like to close this discussion on a personal note. I must make a vital distinction between in “inheritances.” I am at a point in life in which I have already received any earthly inheritance and have accumulated many things in this lifetime that make my life comfortable and enjoyable. I am blessed with nice homes, cars, conveniences, and even things to enjoy and have fun with.

But if Paul can say regarding spiritual matters, But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ,” (Phil. 3.7) I too can say, regarding earthly matters, “What things were gained to me, I have counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge I have of my loved ones.” Having a relationship with my wife of 60 years, my precious family now extending to great grandchildren, and with the saints with whom I have been joined in bond for many years, all far exceeds any earthly gains. And I pray with all my heart that these precious, intangible gifts to me continue on, in a knowing way, in the life to come. Love and the intimacy of fellowship triumphs all else.

And now, even as the prospects of an eternal inheritance draw near, and the glory of the excellency of this life to come, I cannot but anticipate that exceedingly above all the gains of heavenly things, all will culminate in the intimate knowing of the Father and Son in the Holy Spirit as my inheritance. It always has been, is now, and eternally will be, about the intangible and eternal nature of relationships—that which binds hearts, minds, souls and spirits together as one. As it is written,

“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure.” Ps. 16.5

Picture of Daniel DeVitis

Daniel DeVitis

Daniel P. DeVitis (Dan) has served in ministry for over 50 years. Since 1972 he has overseen a home church, Immanuel Fellowship, Shippensburg, PA, where he currently resides with his wife Petra. He was a professor of Geography and Earth Science at Shippensburg University until his retirement in 2003. He now serves as an elder in Unto Full Stature Ministries where he continues to author newsletters, write articles, and speak at leadership conferences and churches at and abroad.
Picture of Daniel DeVitis

Daniel DeVitis

Daniel P. DeVitis (Dan) has served in ministry for over 50 years. Since 1972 he has overseen a home church, Immanuel Fellowship, Shippensburg, PA, where he currently resides with his wife Petra. He was a professor of Geography and Earth Science at Shippensburg University until his retirement in 2003. He now serves as an elder in Unto Full Stature Ministries where he continues to author newsletters, write articles, and speak at leadership conferences and churches at and abroad.

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