Resurrection From the Dead, Part 14
September 28, 2018
Many of you know that I had to visit the dentist to have seven teeth extracted. A few weeks ago, my normal dentist removed two teeth, but discovered that the infection under the teeth was so severe that she had to spend a couple hours with major removal of cysts that were growing into the bone.
The consequence of that was a decision to send me to an oral surgeon in Dripping Springs, Texas who did the major removal. Della immediately drove me to Marble Falls where my normal dentist did platelet treatment, ozone therapy and a vitamin C drip to speed the healing process.
One of the oft-used phrases I’ve heard from both a dentist and a medical doctor in the past few weeks is, “Your health begins in your mouth.” I got to thinking about that and realized that there’s more truth in that statement than meets the eye. Consider something that Jesus said when talking to the Pharisees.
Matthew 12:34a-35, 37: For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
For by thy words, thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
This law applies to our health and welfare, and it applies to our spiritual well-being.
I Thessalonians 5:9-11: For God hath not appointed us to wrath (orge: anger, indignation, vengeance), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
From the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He made it clear that He came to bring life — not death. Death, after all, had contaminated human DNA because of Adam’s disobedience, and every single person (with the exceptions of Enoch and Elijah) had experienced the unnatural — the sub-natural — curse of death.
Incorporated into the creation of the human race through Adam and Eve was eternal life. We were never created to die: we were created in the likeness and image of God, imbued with His attributes. One of those most basic attributes was zoe life — eternal existence! To emphasize that fact, God placed within the Garden of Eden the Tree of Life.
His warning to Adam and Eve was to NOT eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Eternal life was what we were created for — not some transitory period of life on earth, punctuated with sickness, infirmity, weakness, disease and —finally — dying!
The warning given to Adam and Eve was meant to preclude any possibility of death entering the human genome. When they did eat, they brought upon themselves and their seed after them the curse of death. With death, of course, came separation from God, separation from eternity, separation from fellowship, and separation from the blessing which God had declared and decreed at their creation.
Death brought a certain judgment. With that judgment came the processes of death. Every single disease known to man begins with the death of one of more cells in the human body. The judgment of death is sickness, disease and infirmity. The judgment of death is the result of choosing some answer to one of life’s problems, or the choosing of some avenue of provision outside of God’s Word.
The judgment of death is the byproduct of making ourselves equal to, or superior to God. The judgment of death, however, is not the end of the matter.
The apostle Paul put it like this — and this is our covenant of resurrection. We used this verse last week.
Even though death was and has been appointed unto men and women one time, and at the same time to face the Judgment Seat of Christ, for that reason Jesus offered Himself up on the Cross to die once and for all and take on Himself, the sins of many;
And to all those who look for His return will He appear again [on their behalf] without the accompanying sin: (their deliverance from the penalties of sin will have been accomplished; the wholeness, health and prosperity that came at Creation will have been restored to them). (Hebrews 9:27-28, RAC Translation and Amplification)
Some of you will remember my sharing of being transported in the Spirit to the crucifixion and seeing all the sins of the world, past, present and future gathered together like one huge cloud — a hurricane or gigantic tornado, if you will — and centered upon the Cross as Jesus took those sins upon Himself.
The picture at the right scarcely does justice to what I saw, but it gives you an idea of what took place. Sin has that same effect upon the world today. It brings catastrophe, destruction, disease and death. Once Adam disobeyed God’s Word and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he had sinned. In so doing the genesis of death commenced. Thus Paul makes the point that Jesus fulfilled the necessity for our death, keeping our appointment for us.
The appointment of death for the human race became ingrained into the very substance and nature of our existence with Adam’s sin. Death was the destiny of every living being on the planet. And, with death came every disease, sickness and infirmity.
Under the Law, provision was made for healing from sickness and disease. Under the Law, atonement* for sin was taken care of by the shedding of the blood of lambs, bulls and goats and offering up burnt offerings.
Under the Law, atonement for sin existed, but not remission** or erasure. The blood of animals was simply a prophetic forerunner of One whose death would forever erase the sins and finish off the death sentence for all who accepted His death.
[*The word, Atonement, is a translation of the Hebrew word: kaphar. This word means: to cover over, to pacify, to extend mercy, to reconcile or placate. It differs radically from the picture of remission as you will see in the following paragraph.]
[**Remission is a translation from the Greek word: aphesis. This word is taken from its root: aphiemi; and it means to send away, to erase, to wipe out so completely as to forget it ever existed.
A corollary Scripture is found in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”]
As the Word so clearly demonstrates, Jesus didn’t just cover over our sin, He eradicated it to such a degree that it was buried in the sea, away from even the memory of the Father. (See Micah 7:19)
Three times in the Word (see Acts3:19) we are told that our sins were blotted out. The Greek word occurring here is exaleipho. It means to wipe out, to obliterate from memory.
That means that Jesus kept our appointment with death. He removed the necessity of our keeping the appointment and in the process eliminated:
(1) the curse of death,
(2) the disease, sickness and infirmity that comes with it,
(3) and the curse of having to work for a living.
We describe this last one as “poverty.” You’ll recall what God told Adam:
Genesis 3:17-19: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in [painful toil and] sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
In simple terms, we define the word, "Blessing," as an empowerment to prosper. The word, "curse," is the inverse of the blessing. It literally means the removal of the empowerment we have in God to prosper, to bless and to be blessed. Minus the empowerment to prosper, we are left to our own devices. A curse is nothing more and nothing less than the removal of any empowerment to prosper.
That’s the curse that Jesus eradicated by keeping our appointment with death. The apostle Paul, being a lawyer by training and schooled in the Law of Moses, described our deliverance from the curse in legal and judicial terms:
Romans 8:1-2: 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.
Are you seeing it? Are you beginning to grasp just how powerful Jesus’ act was on our behalf? Take another look at what Paul wrote in his epistle to the Hebrews:
So Christ was once (hapax: once and for all time) offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We all have had an appointment with death, but Jesus kept the appointment on our behalf. So long as we accept Jesus’ death and resurrection; so long as we acknowledge Him for who and what He is, and so long as we walk according to His Spirit, a different judgment is rendered on our behalf.
The judgment after death for those who refuse and rebel against the Lordship of Jesus Christ is destruction and eternal damnation. So long as people refuse the Lordship of Christ in their lives, the judgment of death continues in their mortal beings, bringing with that judgment, disease, sickness, infirmity, disease, weakness, continual need and poverty.
On the other hand, the judgment that follows for us who accept and acknowledge Jesus’ death in our place and His subsequent resurrection, confessing Him with their mouths and walking according to His Spirit is eternal life, health, wholeness, strength, energy, vitality, blessing and a life of abundance.
The judgment that follows those who have made Jesus Christ their Lord is that if they die physical deaths they will be resurrected by the Lord.
Paul addressed this issue when writing to the Ekklesia in Thessalonica.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Most of you have heard me share my own personal experience with the Lord that took place when I was seven years of age. I awoke one morning to see Jesus standing at the foot of my bed. He began to unfold for me many things including His plan and purpose for my life.
One of the things that He said was that I would be alive and see His return. He told me that I would “not see death as men know death.” There has always been the expectation in me from that point that I would simply walk into the thousand-year reign with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have a story to share with you, but it will wait until next week. See you then.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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