Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-13 / Philippians 3:13-15 / 2 Corinthians 11:4 / Hebrews 6:1-6
Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.
Eph 4:13 is referring to the knowledge about the Son of God or the knowledge of who the Son of God is. The religious world has its views and you are exposed to it when we communicate with the world through the TV, radio, or through our backgrounds (how we were raised). More of the church world has a different interpretation of the Word of God. For example, some believe Jesus and God are the same person. The Jews believed the eldest son was equal to his father in that he will inherit all that the father has.
Most of the church world has an opinion about Jesus.
First, Jesus and the Father are the same person (No, Jesus is the Father’s only begotten Son). We need to be able to explain to any man what we believe 1 Pet 1:15. Second, many believe God is a spirit (John 4:24 the only verse that says that. You then connect that verse to all of the other verses about God and not use that verse in isolation. Therefore, God must be a spirit being).
Jesus and God the Father are not the same person. I don’t teach that God is a Spirit to mean he does not have a body. What we believe starts with whether or not we believe God is a Spirit. We must teach the same thing and mind the same thing. Although I say we must teach the same thing, we must also make sure the church doesn’t take on a cult like spirit.
A perfect man
Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13). A perfect man here means until we become spiritually mature. Unless we believe God is a man (i.e. has a body), the gospel will not lead us to spiritual maturity.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded (Phil 3:13-15). We know when we are being spiritually mature when we’re able to put certain things behind us. Spiritual maturity shows up in how you live and in your anointing in the service. Verses 7-8 Paul said all the things from the old life are as dung when you compare them to the goal of eternal life. We can make great strides but at the end of this life, we leave all these things behind. We leave the houses, our wealth we accumulated, cars, etc. In verse 14, Paul calls this our goal. Our goal is the prize of the high calling. This is the highest calling. Many are called but few are chosen (anointed leaders).
The highest calling is to become like Jesus and reign with him (Phil 3:20-21).
This will occur when he changes our vile bodies. We can be so wrapped up in our ministry and become lifted up in pride and get off course. Do not get so involved in church work and forget about going to heaven. All who look for this goal are becoming spiritually mature. A wrong interpretation of Jesus will hinder you from becoming mature. The Jesus who is going to come and change your body is whatever Jesus you have believed in now. One thing that prevents a child of God from coming into this mind, which is the unity of the faith, are errant or wrong interpretations of who Jesus is.
The Jesus who is going to change my vile body to be fashioned like unto his glorious body must be the same Jesus that I think he is right now. If he is not, that doctrine will not encourage you to look for him to come back. If he is not, we are preaching another Jesus (2 Cor 11:4, Gal 1:8). We must have an understanding of Jesus’ natural body from his glorious body. Many teach “another Jesus.” (2 Cor 11:4) We believe in the Jesus who is coming back again and we will be “fashioned like unto His glorious body” (but I have to believe He had a glorious body, then a natural body and returned to a glorious body). This is what we are looking for. If not, you will put the emphasis on the wrong things. The disciples thought he had a natural body, but they realized after he was raised from the grave that he had an immortal body.
Before Jesus’ resurrection, he was a human being in a natural body. We know this because he had a need to pray. Jesus had a natural human body for 33 years. When He was risen the disciples realized He had an immortal/glorious body (John 20-21). He was a human on earth. He prayed. Babes pray for and about natural things. As you become spiritually mature, your reason for praying changes. Perfect saints pray for other reasons. The perfect saints pray prayers that have depth and they pray through. This gives the success over the devil. We are not having much success over the devil.
We should pray strong, spiritual prayers.
I can tell, when what I am praying is what I’m concerned about right now. This is not spiritual prayer. We need to come to the place where we pray strong prayers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). Many times our prayers are prayers of concern, worry, need; the things that trouble us. We should pray for our glorious body. These are deep prayers. Deep prayer is when I go beyond my concerns and pray for my body to be changed and fashioned like until Jesus’ glorious body. We can’t get to deeper things in prayer because of distractions. The reason for this is because we need to learn who Jesus is. If you question who Jesus is, then you question where Jesus is and you question where God is.
2 Tim 2:4 says “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” We should not become entangled in the affairs of this life. Heb 6:1-4 says we need to leave the first principles and go on unto perfection; we must not lay again the foundations of repentance. If you go out, you have to come back and start over. Sin-repent-sin over and over again; you have to stop that. We need to have faith in God all over again.
Some ministries place all their focus on the foundation or first principles of water baptism. Their focus is not getting ready for your body to be changed. The Holy Ghost is not in churches where people are off in their doctrine about Jesus. If you have the Holy Ghost, He should reveal to you who God and Jesus are. The Holy Ghost knows God and Jesus. If you have “another spirit” you believe the wrong thing about Jesus and God.
Heb 6:4-6 is a serious, stern warning that once we have been enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, if we should fall away it is impossible to renew you again unto repentance. Tasted of the heavenly gift means we have received gifts and have the power flowing through me. If I decide to get out, it is very serious.
Partakers of the Holy Ghost means the Holy Spirit is there when he agrees with our doctrine.
When you begin preaching another Jesus, you can think you have the Holy Spirit but it may be another spirit. Paul said it is another spirit (2 Cor 11:4). That spirit makes you think you have him. There is no scripture in the bible that says Jesus and God are the same person.
When we experience the powers of the world to come, this is the same power we’re going to have when we reign with him. The power we have now is just a taste of the power we will have when we reign with him. We’re going to convert the whole world. We’ll have power to save people in Russia, India, the USA, and the Middle East. “The power of the world to come” – we will need power to save the rest of the world when we reign with Christ. The power we have now is just a foretaste of what we will have when we reign with Christ. All have to be saved. Every knee shall bow (Phil 2:9-11) . Then Jesus will turn the world over to God (1 Cor 15:28). There will be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (Rev 21:1, 2 Pet 3:13).
Stop loving the world now!
All of those desiring an anointing should taste of the power of the world to come (Heb 6:5). I need the anointing; I cannot love the world. The love of the world hinders the anointing. Through the nine gifts of the Spirit we have tasted of the powers of the world to come. We have a fear that we cannot ever go back to the world after we start moving in the Spirit.
Heb 5:11-14 says we cannot hang on to our carnality or it will manifest itself outwardly. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Prov 23:7).
The knowledge of Christ has to be our foundation.
You do not desire to get your body changed until you know who Jesus is. St. John 20:19 shows this group is convinced Jesus is the Son of God. Peter was convinced at first until the crucifixion. Most believers will say Jesus is the Son of God, but God in their minds is an imaginary person.
Jesus knew the Father was real it was revealed to Him when He was 12 years old. St. John 6:38 shows Jesus knew God was real and Heaven was real. You will be judged based on what you claim you have so stop playing in church. John 6:38 as they believed He was the son of Joseph and Mary they could not be saved or get the Holy Ghost.
St. John 7:38 says you have to believe on Jesus as the scriptures have said. Some just pray for material things and when those things do not come to pass, you hit and miss prayer or get tired of praying. Pray according to the promise of heaven. Peter had to overlook all he heard and believe the truth. The devil tempts us just like he tempted Jesus.
Jesus had to appear to the disciples in His glorious body in order for them to believe because we’re going to have to preach this after He ascended. John 20:19-22 says the one who had to revelation that Jesus was the Christ had backslidden so Jesus had to give all of them the Holy Ghost again. Thomas had to see Him for himself or he would not believe. Be careful how you respond to things when things do not come to pass for you. Do not ask God, “Why?” and give up. You can dismiss the Holy Ghost.
Bishop Joseph White
Dr. Joseph White teaches biblical seminars throughout the year. The outlines are available for anyone to download and study from. When he is not traveling, Dr. White is teaching and preaching as pastor of Pool of Bethesda, CLGI located in Columbus, Ohio.