Concurrently at a Visible Location as well as an Invisible Location

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, to the sanctified at Ephesus, to those believing in Christ JesusEphesians 1:1

1887 The seated Christ  Vasily Polenov

1887 The seated Christ Vasily Polenov

When God created the heavens and the earth, the scriptures, I believe, are talking of all things both physical and spiritual (Genesis 1:1). It is informing us that God created the earth and the entire cosmos, things both seen and unseen. The word, “heavens,” in that verse is plural. There is the heaven that we can see and explore, i.e. the stars, the galaxies, and our own tiny solar system, all of which we sometimes refer to as, “up in heaven.” There is also the heaven that we cannot see. We are talking, in the context of the invisible heavens,of the realm of the spirit, angels, demons, God Himself and His throne room. When Paul talks of the invisible realm he is talking of a world where there are principalities and powers, and different ranks and steppes of power and authority, both good and the bad. One is a physical cosmos that we are physically sensitive to knowing about and another is invisible where we require revelation, faith and understanding to develope our knowledge of (Ephesians 1:10.1:20. 2:6. 3:10. 6:12.). Paul tells us that there are at least three heavens (2 Corinthians 12:2). I have never heard a satisfactory explanation that defines the apostle’s terms for “three heavens. Our eyes and ears, as well as our sense of touch, taste and smell tell us all about the physical. We know nothing of the spiritual realm until God Himself reveals it to us.

Our physical senses assure us of all things physical. Our spiritual senses awaken us to the reality of the realm of the spirit.  All true believing Christians are in two places concurrently. We are here in Ephesus, or London, or Los Angeles or wherever, and we are “in Christ,” well positioned in another invisible universe. We are intended to develope our understanding and experience of the invisible world as Christians. Revelation of the spiritual world and Jesus Christ’s position in it saves us eternally from sin and anything not of God, and continual feeding on increased revelation concerning Him keeps us within the parameters of what we have been saved to. That is the modus operandi of revelation  that fuels faith and develops progress in the Holy Spirit.

Everything we know about the physical world is learned by our physical senses. This knowledge, learned through the academic world of our physical sensibilities has taken us to the moon and back, and one day, will undoubtedly take us further. We are all well acclimatised to the explosion of knowledge in the last couple of centuries. Knowledge discovered by searching through our bodily senses and using our minds to sharpen those senses. That is how we know the physical world. In that sense we are, if you will follow my cryptic words, “At Ephesus.”

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Because of the finite nature of our knowledge discovered through the physical senses and our thoughts, the status quo of our knowledge is constantly expanding. There are, therefore, no absolutes used by man in the meaningful issues of things like: Why are we here on earth? Why was earth created? What is the true origin of the life force in all living beings? How and when did the motion of stars and planets originate? What happens when people die? Why? Because none of our physical senses have the facility, ability or capability to see into all the invisible world and the spiritual cosmos that is as real and as concrete as what we can see, touch, and feel. Man’s status quo of knowledge when I started to type this sentence has expanded and increased greatly before I get to type the full stop to end it.

We have discovered so much in the physical realm by empirical research and development, but when attempting to apply the same physically scientific approach to the invisible spiritual world, we flounder; and so, billions of people consider such a quest as impractical, unnecessary and even irrelevant. “If we cannot see it, touch it, smell it, hear it or taste it, you Christians must obviously be making it up.” When people become tied by their “physical knowledge,” they start to reject any other source of knowledge that cannot be tested in a laboratory and test tube. And so we have the evil trait of the demonic attitude of “unbelief.” Faith is a choice, as is unbelief.

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Christ seated on a stone after the flogging.

We conclude therefore that such knowledge gained by the senses is severely limited, even if it takes us out of the solar system and to another galaxy. However, revelatory understanding and knowledge puts us in a place to grasp the infinities of the invisible world. When men and women have grasped this revelation of God, even though they were, like us all, finite beings, it has inspired people to build educational systems, huge industrial discoveries, as well as Chemical, Mechanical and Biological breakthroughs.

I may not be using conventional well worn paths of language in these lines, but I am referring to nothing else but orthodox Christianity. True Christianity is purely God’s revelation opened up to believing people who after “glimpsing the invisible,” seek to walk in obedience to all the ramifications of the revelation. The basic substance of God’s revelation to man is all contained in scripture, but there are extrapolations from the same scripture that can be safely inwardly digested to cause exploration.

The Bible comes to us as a revelation from God. The demand of the Bible and the Christ of the Bible is unreserved and absolute obedience. It needs to be trusted for its conceptual content and acted upon. That is faith. Faith is the most powerful force in the universe. The revelation must be believed. God’s integrity hangs on the truth of His revelation to us.

Faith changes people. Faith exercised and fed sprouts more faith and becomes a creative and, at its finest, an indestructible and unstoppable force. Faith originated in God when He declared, “Let there be…” and there was. When we get to grips with these statements and the multitude of biblical revelatory data on the same theme, it breeds more revelation to the believer. Taking the bible seriously, and negotiating with its message truthfully causes revelation to explode volcanically into our spiritual understanding and vision. We have revelation. Revelation causes human growth, development, creativity, and quality of life. It starts in the spiritual and impacts the physical as it motivates the whole being. We are human beings, not just souls, spirits and or bodies. God saves us hook line and sinker, and speaks to us to ride on the invisible roads, perceived rail lines, and discerned vast oceans that populate the realm of the spirit.

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All beings that exist in the spiritual realm are aware of the physical world. Most beings that exist in the physical cosmos are not aware of the spiritual universe. Angels and demons can see us and relate to us, even when we are ignorant of their relating or even their existence. Often their relating to us is unknown, unperceived, and unbelievably ignored by us. They relate to mankind because we are spirit in a physical body. The beings that are solely spiritual wilfully impact the physical, fully knowing and aware of what they are doing. The human beings who are focussed only on the physical, impact the spiritual with everything they do, even though they are ignorant of anything spiritual. Angelic beings, when sent on divine errands, leave their normal environment outside of time to enter our time space world to minister to human beings and their circumstances. The Bible tells us that angels are, “ministering spirits sent out to minister those who are heirs of salvation.”  The devil comes with his hordes, “seeking whom he may devour.” He is, however, virtually locked into this time space world and I believe, like billions of people, does not really have any sense of his future or ours, apart from sheer destruction. We are in a time space world, but not necessarily locked in it. Christ is our entrance into the destiny we were created for. Jesus Christ is in no way locked or restricted by time or space.

When a person chooses to follow Christ by God given faith, there are angels in heaven that rejoice about it (Luke 15:7 and 10). So the act of the human spirit, though dwelling in the physical time space world impacts the invisible world. The invisible world of angels knows all about us because of the infinite love, knowledge and empathy Almighty God carries toward us.

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Painting entitled, “Christ in a Suit”

The great issues that physical science cannot resolve, are resolved by the revelation of Christ and His word. In the revelation of scripture we discover why man was created, why people suffer, why evil suffocates humanities creativity and righteousness, why people die and where sickness comes from. To receive the revelation, and then to temper its force by injecting physical science to qualify our grasp of its content usually dims, dilutes and utterly devalues what has been revealed, reducing it to a scientists definition of a mentally required man made placebo that lacks credibility.

Revelation from God causes man to be more creative. Seeing the invisible often causes believers to have great ideas. Invisible ideas crown man’s motivation, engender creativity, and make him conscious of an invisible light that guides inventors on. Divine revelation opens the human mind to all sorts of glorious concepts that the Old Testament (as well as the New) are full of. This is the sort of revelation Saul of Tarsus received on the road to Damascus. We are referring to a sure and certain knowledge of the invisible God through the invisible Holy Spirit to the invisible human spirit. To walk with God in faith and in obedience to the revelation concerning Him has eternal impact and ramifications of devastatingly awesome benefit for mankind as a whole. A person’s eternal welfare is completely redirected simply by faith and trust, conceived in his invisible heart, in the concrete rock solid invisible revelation of Jesus Christ. God knows those that are His. God sees, hears, and senses a person’s faith. It may be invisible to us, but to God it speaks loud and makes itself known. The Spirit of God locates faith easily.

For that reason, the Christians Paul wrote to were, “at Ephesus” and “in Christ.” Two locations simultaneously.

But the description of how to locate them is expanded further. Paul writes to “the separated or sanctified at Ephesus” and “the ones who believe in Christ.” This is where the invisible world status of a person “in Christ” impacts their physical world status. Because of the revelation believed in and taken by faith in what Christ has done and in who He is, a Christian is actually noted in the invisible world as being “in Christ”. The destiny and status of the person who walks by faith in Christ has the same status and standing in the invisible world as what Christ has. To the believer this takes the breath away. To the unbeliever it sounds like a joke simply because we are talking of the unseen, and what the unbeliever cannot see is neither here nor there.

If we are acknowledged as being “in Christ” in heaven, we are therefore in one sense “separated” from the world in the physical cosmos.  I do not mean seperated from the physical globe that we refer to as the world, but the social and spiritual river of people’s opinions, beliefs and attitudes that we refer to as “the world.”That world is hell bound, no matter what the extravagant and astonishing breakthroughs give us in the realm of sense knowledge. Sense knowledge has no morality intrinsic to it. Divine revelation is founded on the integrity, purity and morality of God Himself.

Some of the many copies of the “Ephesian” letter do not have the word Ephesus included. They read: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God to the saints at … and those in faith in Christ.” (Where I have inserted three dots, the manuscripts in question just have a blank space.) This has led scholars to the conclusion that Paul sent this letter as a circular to all the churches in Asia, and that the place name was filled in prior to it being given. This suggests the legitimacy of any reader, at any place on the globe, inserting their own place name and receiving it as a letter for them personally.

It is the reception of  and faith in the revelation of the invisible transaction that took place in Christ’s substitutionary death that situates a person as being “in Christ.” This means Ephesians was written to you.

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