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What is a spiritual entity?
Copyright © December 8, 2017
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4.1). The church of Satan and the church of Wicca are guided by spiritual forces, but not of God. In this lesson, “spiritual” refers only to spiritual entities of God, of which there are two.
The Bible teaches that a spiritual entity is eternal and heavenly (like heaven). A spiritual entity is either an individual who—unlike the lost person who is a temporal, earthly entity only—is born again and filled with the spirit of God or an assembly of such persons which the Bible calls a church.
As to the individual, we read in John 3 that to enter the kingdom of God, the spiritual realm, one must be born again, born of the spirit. A born-again believer is therefore a spiritual being. He will be an ideal earthly citizen. God predestines him to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8.29). A born-again believer in Christ has been made alive spiritually, regenerated, a new creature in Christ Jesus.En1 The law was not made for such a man since he, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is directed by the Holy Spirit.Id. The New Testament gives many commands for the believer.En2
A spiritual man serves the Lord only, not the Lord and the world or the god of this world. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16.13).En3 By serving the Lord Jesus Christ, a believer will be an ideal citizen of the world.
Before His death, burial, and resurrection, God the son called out His apostles, walked with them, assembled with them, taught them, comforted them (Jn. 14.16), and answered their questions. After His resurrection and before His ascension, He told them to wait at Jerusalem where they would receive power after the Holy Ghost came upon them, after they were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1.5, 8). They complied, and on the day of Pentecost, were baptized with the Holy Ghost.
After the day of Pentecost there was a transition period when new believers were not immediately indwelt with the Holy Ghost when born again; but after a time, every new believer was and is indwelt by the Holy Ghost at the moment of salvation. Before, God the Son walked with believers. God the Holy Ghost now indwells believers in Christ and connects them to their new Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are spiritual beings.
The Lord “added to the church daily” all those saved in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost (Acts 2.47). Such is the continuing order for all new believers and churches since that time. God desires all individuals who are saved to join with a local assembly of believers, a church ordered according to the principles of the New Testament.
New Testament churches under Christ were and are spiritual entities. Such churches can fall away and become apostate. See, The Biblical Doctrine of the Church. According to the example of New Testament churches and New Testament church doctrine, God desires that a church be a spiritual entity, not a spiritual and legal entity or a legal entity. A church is composed of spiritual beings, born again believers. Of course, a lost person may deceive a church, but he can never be a true member of that church even though he may be viewed as such by those deceived. See, Matthew 7: 15-20; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Galatians 2:4; 2 Timothy 3 (the apostasy predicted); 2 Timothy 5:1-5 (the faithful servant); 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 John 4:1; A church ordered after the principles in the New Testament and according to the examples of New Testament churches is a spiritual entity, a spiritual body, a spiritual organism, not an earthly organization.
- Ephesians 2.19-23: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
- Ephesians 4:16: “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” The purpose of the local spritual assembly or body is, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). The body spoken of here is the local church. Read all of Ephesians 4:1-16 for complete explanations.
- I Corinthians 12 also teaches on the this local spiritual assembly or body. 1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12.27 says to the church at Corinth, the local visible assembly, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
No where in the New Testament is any teaching or principle to be found that would lead one to believe that a church is to be an earthly, legal, temporal entity or a spiritual entity plus an earthly, legal, temporal entity. According to the New Testament, God’s order is for a church to be a spiritual entity only.En4
Ephesians looks at this issue in some depth. Go to Bible study of Ephesians for a very in depth study. For studies on other books go to Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church.
En1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.1-6).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8.1-11).
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3.5).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5.17).
See also, e.g., John 3, Romans 5.15-7.25; Galatians 5; 1 Corinthians 12-13.
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” (1 Timothy 1.9-11). The righteous man here is the born-again believer whose righteousness rests in Christ, not in self-righteousness.
En2 See, e.g., John 13.34; Ga. 5.1, 16, 25-26; Ep. 6.1-18; 1 Thes. 5.5-22; 2 Thes. 3.6-15; etc.
En3 See What God Has Committed to Man’s Trust: “Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon”.
En3 See Is a church a spiritual or legal entity?