Seated Together in Heavenly Places
Seated Together in Heavenly Places
Now that we are starting to understand the difference between the soul and the spirit of a man, the difference between the “spiritual” Word and the “physical” Word, the desire of the Spirit for us to receive the wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him, we can continue in Ephesians chapter two and discover where this authority and spirit man actually reside.
As humans that process things from our experiences, it is hard for us to truly realize that we are operating in two worlds at the same time. We are existing in a spiritual dimension as well as a physical dimension. The ramifications of this understanding, coupled with everything the Spirit has revealed to us so far, cannot be underestimated. It truly is the “key” to supernatural growth. Let’s finish Ephesians chapter one before we continue on to the meat of this study.
Ephesians 1:22-23: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Yahweh put everything under the authority of Yeshua and then gave Yeshua to the congregation worldwide, His body. We are supposed to be His body and, collectively, the “fullness of Him.” It is almost as if Yeshua has been split into many parts and each of us has a part of Him. And together, we are His “fullness.” When we are fully mature and grown up in Him, we become “full” of His nature, full of His Spirit, and, ultimately, like the Law that was “fulfilled” with Christ, we become “fulfilled” in Him, as well. We finally become what was originally intended.
Understanding that we are, in the spirit realm, actually His body, is going to make this next section in chapter two make a lot more sense. Unfortunately, because of ancient Alexandrian thought and philosophy that spiritualized the scriptures, many times we look at spiritual passages like this and we think that Paul is just using metaphors or analogies because we don’t have the same framework as he does to understand that he is not being metaphorical at all, but is being quite literal. After all, in 2 Corinthians 12, he says that he was taken up to the third Heaven and saw and heard things that are impossible and unlawful to express. This is the framework from which he is working. He experienced things in the spiritual dimension that he is trying to get us to understand in this dimension. Putting words to things you have seen in the spiritual realm is like trying to teach a five-year-old how to drive when they can’t even see over the steering wheel or touch the pedals! In the same way, unless we begin to use the pedals (the physical Word of God) and look out the front windshield with our spiritual eyes (using the Spiritual Word), we will simply never begin to drive our spiritual “cars” in any meaningful direction.
Okay. Now that we know that we are actually His real body in the Spirit, let’s move on to Ephesians 2:6 and get to the meat of this passage.
Ephesians 2:6-7: “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
My friends, this is not something that happens in the future. The moment someone confesses Christ and comes into covenant with Him, he is “raised up” and seated with the King in the heavenly places. Why? Because Yeshua is the Head and we are the body. It’s that simple. We don’t have to understand it or what it looks like or how it works. It is in a different dimension that we have no ability to comprehend, just as Paul says. What we do need to comprehend is that it is true. Our spirit man is right now seated with Him on His throne. We are ruling NOW IN HIM!
So what does that look like? Well, first of all, it is important that you understand that as a physical being, we lost all authority when we gave the “ring” to the serpent when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden. This act was what radically separated the spirit from the soul and caused the Living God to separate Himself from them, as well. But according to the scriptures, when our spirit man is made alive in Christ, it is given the same authority as Christ Himself had, as it is supposed to be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Even Yeshua Himself said that we would do even greater things than He did while He was on this earth.
Since we cannot rule in the spiritual realm from the natural, we now understand that there is a spirit that is attached to us: a spirit that is the real us and rules on our behalf. In other words, when the Messiah comes, we will finally become what we already are in the heavenly realm. The spirit man has the fullness of God’s authority now and is sitting on a throne now waiting for you to use the authority in this realm…NOW! When this begins to fully sink in, your spirit will jump for joy that it has finally been recognized and activated into service.
When we lay hands on someone, is it our physical authority that is commanding that person to be healed, or is it by the Spirit through faith? Most all of us have thought that we are simply doing in the physical what He says we can do because Christ gave us that authority. But the real mechanics is that the authority was given to our SPIRIT MAN who is seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Why is this important? Because you are wearing two hats. And if you don’t know that, it will be easy to wear the wrong hat at the wrong time. When you are mowing the grass, reading the Word, or doing one of the million other things that are done with your physical members, you are wearing the physical man’s hat and exercising his authority. But when you are wanting to receive or do something that does not belong in the physical man’s soul (using your spiritual gifts, healing, casting down wicked principalities, etc…), you must wear the spirit man’s hat and take on that identity. The two do not mix.
Once we recognize that the spirit man is not of this earth, is not on this earth, and is literally seated with the Messiah and has been given His authority as His body, we can begin to rule from that heavenly place and dictate from that place the will of God in the earth realm. Once we know that we have the right and authority to speak the will of God into our physical existence, then the only thing left is to KNOW the will of God. This is found both in His physical Word and is also revealed through His rhema Word, or prophetic revelation, directly through the Spirit to our spirit. This is why BOTH sides of the coin MUST be in operation. This was the power of the first-century church. They were all keeping God’s Law THROUGH their new faith in Messiah, which aligned them to RECEIVE the power of God through the inner man.
Once each believer begins to grow their spirit man and understands the “width and length and depth and height-to know the love of Christ which surpasses all (earthly) knowledge” and is “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19), THEN he can be a benefit to the body as a whole, which is what chapter 4 is all about.
He says in 4:7-8, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.’”
Each believer has been given gifts up to the measure they need to accomplish their part in the body. These gifts must be filled to full “measure;” anything less leaves the body unprotected as a whole. This fullness “to the measure” happens in the spirit man. Listen to what I am about to say. A person can have been given great gifts in the spirit for the purpose of edifying the body because the Father has chosen according to His great will to do so. And those talents can be quite advanced in the natural man and in the natural realm. But if the spirit man does not match the growth of the natural man that has developed those gifts, he is of little use to the King. Have you ever met someone that has a lot of giftings but struggles with a particular sin, doesn’t have a strong marriage, or has some other negative manifestation? How can it be that a man or a woman of God can be so gifted yet seem to be so weak at the same time? The answer has been right in front of us all along. The spirit man is underdeveloped and is not strong enough to rule the passions of the physical man. The stronger the spirit man grows, the weaker the physical man becomes. John 3:30 says it best: “I must decrease so that He can increase.” Pursuing the growth of our spirit man brings us into full maturity.
It is no coincidence that after Paul establishes everything that he does concerning the spirit man and grows it into maturity that he brings up the offices of the congregation in verse 11.
Ephesians 4:11-14: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 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, 14 that we should NO LONGER be children…”
Where are the apostles? Where are the prophets? I am not of the belief that they died out in the first century. It is my belief that if Yahweh created a blueprint for the edification of the body, and He says all five of these offices are important for its growth, and His goal and purposes have not changed, then they MUST be still a part of His growth plan for the body! Could it be possible that there are apostles and real prophets out there in calling, but we do not recognize them because their spirit man that holds the calling has not developed to the point where the calling actually breaks through and manifests itself in the physical realm? God says He gives the grace for each gift UP TO the measure that that gift needs to operate in fullness. But none of the gifts come fully developed. They are to be developed inside the spirit man, which works in tandem with the physical man. The full development of the gift is 100% dependent on BOTH sides of the coin being in alignment. Shall the Father allow an apostle or a prophet to come into full maturity and represent Him at the level of the first apostles if that person denies the validity of the Torah and the entire “front of the Book”? On the other side, shall He allow prophets and apostles to fully develop into maturity even though they may be pursuing His commandments if they do not pursue, grow, or take the necessary time for those offices to grow the spirit man in which the power of the office is housed?
So we are left with pastors, teachers, and evangelists that, by and large, do exist today, but are stunted in maturity, focusing only on the gospel and a watered-down message of loving your neighbor. This is due to the lack of growth and not being in alignment with the proper understanding of the covenant they have allowed on the physical side of the coin. It is my belief that when the body of Messiah begins to do Bible things in Bible ways, forsaking the traditions and doctrines of men and takes off after the things of the Spirit, we will see the “government of God” begin to once again come to the surface and His power flow with the power of a raging river.
In order for either side to grow, there must be a strong desire for growth. The Spirit looks for those who are seeking Him. He distributes it to those that are pressing in and want it the most. I encourage each of you to take serious time out to ask the Father to grow your spirit man into maturity. Perhaps you could start this new journey with the following prayer:
“Father, I come before you and admit that I have not pursued the things of the spirit and have fallen short of Your glory in this area of my life. By faith, according to the authority that You have given my spirit man who is seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, I accept all the spiritual gifts that are due to me, and all the grace that is needed to grow them into maturity. I declare that the enemy will no longer prevent me from growth on either side of the coin and that nothing will inhibit supernatural growth in both areas. By faith, I ask that You would give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Your Son in my inner man. I ask that You would enlighten my eyes and help me to see the greatness of Your power that is toward me and that You would reveal to me the fullness of the love of Christ. Fill me with all the fullness of God and make me to be what you have called me to be. Amen.”
Jim’s life’s desire is to help believers everywhere draw closer to the Father by understanding the truth of the scriptures from their original cultural context (a Hebraic perspective) and to apply them in faith for today.