KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
by Eve (copyright 1994)
MATTHEW 16:19 "I Will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
All Scripture in this volume is taken from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.
1) He Who Overcomes .............................
2) Repent And Believe .................................
3) The Heart ...............................................
4) Removing The Sin Nature ......................
5) Perfection, Promises And Prosperity .......
6) From Mortal To Immortality .................
7) The Kingdom Of God ...........................
8) The Keys Of The Kingdom ......................
9) Perseverance ..........................................
HE WHO OVERCOMES
Jesus says, he who overcomes will receive rights, gifts and authority. He will acknowledge your name and you will inherit many things:
He who overcomes:
REVELATIONS 2:7 ... "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."
REVELATIONS 2:11 ... "He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death."
REVELATIONS 2:17 ... "To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."
REVELATIONS 2:26 "To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations--"
REVELATIONS 3:5 "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels."
REVELATIONS 3:12 "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name."
REVELATIONS 3:21 "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne."
REVELATIONS 21:7,8 "He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
1 JOHN 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
REPENT AND BELIEVE
Jesus clearly states to repent and believe in the gospel [the good news] in order that you may be received into the Kingdom of God. And, not only believe in the gospel but to become rooted and grounded in the Word, to fully understand what the Word says and be a doer of the Word. No other gospel are you to believe or accept, but the gospel that Jesus and the Apostles taught.
The gospel [Word]:
MARK 1:15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
JOSHUA 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; mediate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
2 TIMOTHY 3:16,17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
HEBREWS 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
ROMANS 1:16,17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Do what the gospel [Word] says:
JAMES 1:22,23,24,25,26 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it -- he will be blessed in what he does.
You will reap what you sow:
MATTHEW 13:23 "But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown."
Let the Word of God dwell in you richly:
COLOSSIANS 3:15,16,17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
ROMANS 10:8,9,10,11,12,13 ... "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile -- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
JOHN 5:24 "I tell you the truth , whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
About any other gospel that is different from what Jesus and the Apostles taught:
GALATIANS 1:8,9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
1 CORINTHIANS 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
After the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus started to preach repent, turn from sin.
MATTHEW 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
LUKE 13:5 ... "But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
LUKE 5:30,31,32 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'? Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
LUKE 15:10 ... "I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
The heart is the center of intellectual (the faculty of understanding and reasoning), moral (the principles of right and wrong in conduct), and spiritual (that which is not physical) life.
Jesus says these things makes a man unclean:
MATTHEW 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."
The Lord weighs and knows the heart:
ROMANS 2:5,6,7,8 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
PROVERBS 21:2,3 All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
LUKE 16:15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
Your heart reveals your treasures:
MATTHEW 6:19,20,21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The heart can store evil or good things:
LUKE 6:45 "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."
MATTHEW 12:34,35,36,37 "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Set your hearts and minds on things above:
COLOSSIANS 3:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature; sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
REMOVING THE SIN NATURE
In the New Testament Jesus repeatedly stated, that any thought or action not motivated by love is sin. God sent his only begotten Son to save us from sin. Through faith our sins are forgiven and by the grace of God. We are not to abuse this gift by continuing in sin.
The sin nature:
GALATIANS 5:19,20,21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
God sent his only begotten Son to take away the sin of the world:
MATTHEW 1:21 "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
LUKE 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
JOHN 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
1 JOHN 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
Jesus gives two commandments to follow:
MATTHEW 22:37,38,39,40 " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
JOHN 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
MARK 12:30,31 " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
The entire law summed up:
GALATIANS: 5:13,14 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: " Love your neighbor as yourself."
1 JOHN 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
Saved by Grace:
EPHESIANS 2:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the craving of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith --and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
ROMANS 3:21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,31 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished -- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Continuing in sin abuses the gift from God, which is His grace:
ROMANS 6:1,2,3,4,12,13,14 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Jesus speaks of the severity of sin:
MARK 9:42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50 "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. Where " 'their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' Everyone will be salted with fire. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."
Spiritual act of worship:
ROMANS 12:1,2,3,4,5 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
ROMANS 12:6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
ROMANS 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
PERFECTION, PROMISES AND PROSPERITY
Through God's grace you may achieve a state of excellence or perfection. Being children of God will open doors to God's promises, blessings and prosperity.
JOHN 15:5,6,7,8 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
Strive for perfection:
MATTHEW 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
ROMANS 13:10,11,12,13,14 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the day time, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
2 CORINTHIANS 6:16,17,18, 7:1 ...For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you and you will be may sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
PHILIPPIANS 2:14,15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
COLOSSIANS 1:21,22 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
JAMES 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
Promises of Christ given to us from Jesus:
MATTHEW 6:23 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
MATTHEW 7:7,8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
LUKE 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."
JOHN 14:12,13,14 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
God's precious promises:
given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:12,13 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
EPHESIANS 1:3,4,5,6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
MATTHEW 6:25,26,27 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
PHILIPPIANS 4:4,5,6,7,19 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Tithing and prosperity go hand and hand. Tithing is the seed and prosperity is the crop which you reap.
LUKE 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
GALATIANS 6:7,8,9,10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6,7,8,9,10,11,12 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 CORINTHIANS 8:7 But just as you excel in everything -- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us -- see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17,18,19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY
Through faith we are transformed from the sin nature to the sinless nature. In this sinless nature we look not to death but to being changed to a spiritual body like Christ.
A message from God:
1 JOHN 1:5,6,7,8,9,10, This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
Living an ideal sinless life;
1 JOHN 1:15,16,17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
1 JOHN 3:7,8,9,10 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
1 JOHN 5:18,19,20 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true -- even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Be imitators of God:
EPHESIANS 5:1,2,34,5,6,7,8,9,10 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
EPHESIANS 5:15,16,17,18,19,20,21 Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Devote yourselves to prayer:
COLOSSIANS 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
3 JOHN _:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
Honor your body it is a temple of the Holy Spirit:
1 CORINTHIANS 6:18,19,20 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
ROMANS 8:5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation -- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
Natural body and spiritual body explained. Adam was given a natural body and Jesus, the last Adam was given a spiritual body.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:44,45,46,47,48,49 If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:50,51,52,53,54 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed -- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
MATTHEW 22:30 "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Heaven is a place of supreme happiness, the permanent dwelling place of God and the heavenly host. In Genesis God walked in the Garden of Eden. God said, "I will live with them and walk among them." In Revelations an angel shows the Apostle John, the New Jerusalem, a heavenly city formed by God for his people.
GENESIS 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In the Garden of Eden:
GENESIS 2:8,9,10,15,3:8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four head waters. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,...
2 CORINTHIANS 6:16, ...For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
The new Jerusalem, God's city for us:
HEBREWS 11:16 ... they were longing for a better country -- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
JOHN 14:2,3,4 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going"
HEBREWS 12:22,23,24 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant....
REVELATIONS 7:9,10,14 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. ..... "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
REVELATIONS 21:1,2,3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
The new Jerusalem described:
REVELATIONS 21:11,12,13,14,15,16,17 It shown with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia *[1400 miles] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits *[200 feet] thick *[or high], by man's measurement, which the angel was using.
*[Brackets] are English terms of measurement.
REVELATIONS 21:18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
REVELATIONS 21:27, 22:1,2,3,4,5,6, Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down to the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
The [Keys] to the Kingdom of Heaven spoken of in parables by Jesus. The disciples ask Jesus why he speaks in parables:
MATTHEW 13:10,11,12,13 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'"
1) Parable of the sower.... He who receives the seed [the gospel], understands it and keeps it in his heart will be fruitful:
MATTHEW 13:18,19,20,21,22,23 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke, it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown."
2)The parable of the weeds... He who hears, understands and keeps in his heart, the gospel [good seed] and abides by God's Word is promised the Kingdom of Heaven:
MATTHEW 13:24 "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field"
MATTHEW 13:37,38,39,40,41,42,43 "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."
3)The parable of the mustard seed... Jesus when he preached the gospel [mustard seed] the word spread, many came and those who heard resided in the Lord's Word:
MATTHEW 13:31,32 "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
4) The parable of the yeast... The yeast is a single ingredient added to a larger ingredient to give it life. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ [a single ingredient] we [the larger ingredient] were given victory over sin and death:
MATTHEW 13:33 "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
5) The parable of the hidden treasure... A man finds a treasure hidden in a field [salvation], with joy he gave up all other things to have it:
MATTHEW 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."
6) The parable of the Pearl... The merchant found a pearl of great value [salvation] and he sold everything he had to obtain it:
MATTHEW 13:45,46 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
7) The parable of the Net... On Judgement Day the heavens will open [like a net let down into the sea], all will rise and stand before the Lord and the righteous will be separated from the unrighteous:
MATTHEW 13:47,48,49,50 "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
In Summary, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are, supported by Scripture:
1) Hear and understand the gospel, God's Word and keep it in your heart continuously without wavering!
JOHN 8:51 "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
JOHN 14:24 "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me"
2 TIMOTHY 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2) Abide in God's Word as written in the gospel, remain faithful , endure all things as you wait for Jesus to return!
1 PETER 4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
MATTHEW 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
1 JOHN 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
3) Do not become separated from the Word!
JOHN 8:31,32 ... Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
1 PHILIPPIANS 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ...
1 PETER 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
4) Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, that God raised Jesus from the dead, according to the Scriptures and you will be saved!
ROMANS 10:9,10 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
ACTS 2:22,23,24 "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
5) With joy give up whatever it takes to have [obtain] Salvation!
EPHESIANS 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
1 PETER 2:1,2,3 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
2 TIMOTHY 3:14,15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned... and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
JOHN 3:5 ...Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
6) Be righteous, because on Judgement Day the righteous will be with God!
MATTHEW 25:41 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'"
ROMANS 6:13,14,15 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
1 PETER 3:10,11,12 For "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
Pursue steadily in the course you have begun, in the continuance in a state of grace of the elect of God:
JUDE 8:17,18,19,20,21,22,23 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear -- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.