January 23, 2015
We're going to run long again today, so without any prologue, let's get underway.
Hebrews 6:1-3, KJV: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”
Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, death has been a mandated part of our existence as their descendants. The human genetic makeup has had death ingrained in its DNA. Death, and the very preparation for it has become the core of our culture. Without actually considering that this is the reason, we look at foods from the perspective of what will make us healthier and live longer.
Many folks pick and choose their automobiles predicated on how safe they will be in them. The news media is filled with news and events that all surround how we live and/or how we will face death. Most news, whether on TV or in the newspapers, or on the radio, or in magazines has a death element to it.
Then there’s this:
We buy life and health insurance because we are betting that we will get sick and/or die before the actuarials predict. On the other hand the insurance companies are betting that we will live and stay healthier longer than the actuarials.
Our thoughts and our speech are filled with a mindset and comments that incorporate death in one way or another. Despite the promises that Jesus made and the Covenant He provides, Christians plan for death. The body of Christ has, for the most part, lost sight of the Covenant that provides health, strength, and — not only loooooonnng life — but deliverance from death.
The previous foundational truths that we have considered: (1) Repentance from dead works; (2) Faith toward God; (3) Baptisms; and (4) Laying on of Hands are nearly as difficult for Christians to grasp and lock into their mindsets, their spirits, their way of thinking, and their behavior patterns as is the fifth foundation: Resurrection of the Dead.
Resurrection of the dead takes on a two-fold perspective. The first is one that most Christians can accept because it is off in the far, far future. It is something that takes place after one has died, stood before the judgment seat of God and found innocent of sin. They are then raised to life in the realm of the Spirit.
There’s another aspect of this line of thought that says we are already dead in our sins — dead spiritually. The acceptance and acknowledgement of Jesus’ as the Only Begotten Son of God having suffered and died for our sins is our redemption from that sin and the curse of spiritual death and separation from God that the sin brings. Everybody good so far with this? What gets lost in this one-sided view is that Jesus did not only die on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He laid the axe to its root and was resurrected from the grave by Father God!
Mankind was NEVER designed to die in the first place. When Adam and Eve were first created, they were created in the image and likeness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Two words occur in the Hebrew text which clarify this: tselem (translated: image), and demuth (translated: likeness). The word, tselem, actually conveys the sense: someone who exactly resembles in appearance, an exact replica. The word, demuth, literally means: an exact model; alike in characteristics and makeup. Hence we were made to be just like Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Our breath was Father’s breath. Our life-span, eternity! Our character and makeup: interdimensional, having the ability to function in both the heavenlies and in the earthly realm.
For two thousand years Adam and Eve lived in the Garden, walking and talking with Jesus, enjoying the fellowship, receiving revelation, being given the ability to decree and declare the very nature and makeup of the various living species — animals, fish, birds; i.e., everything that walked or moved upon the face of the earth. Death was not a part of their makeup.
Adam and Eve never knew what death was, except that God had said to them when they were first introduced to the Garden, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16b-17)
Death was something there was no reference for in their paradigm. The animals didn’t die. The birds didn’t die. The fish didn’t die. They were all reproducing and filling the earth, according to God’s command. Once they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the dying process was set into their DNA, and just as God had spoken, they died on the day they ate thereof, 930 years into that third day. At the same time, with sin's contamination, death became a part of all creation.
From that moment, the human race and the human genome has been contaminated with both death and the fear of death. For that reason, even for Christians, the concept of everlasting life, or life for evermore — never mind resurrection from the dead — have been contaminated by the Fear of Death as well as by the traditions and religious philosophies that have been bred into the life of the body of Christ. In order then to get a real grasp on the foundation of resurrection from the dead, we have to go back to the Word Himself and see what Jesus said, what He taught, and what He did.
John 6:38-40, KJV: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
This is the first and most basic element of resurrection.
Jesus is making it abundantly clear that everyone who sees Him — the Greek word here is theoreo, which means: to discern, to see and know, to perceive and ascertain — and believes on Him (and here the word in the Greek text is pisteuo, which is the word for faith, the exercise of faith meaning: to put full faith and credit in, to entrust and to commit without reservation) will have zoe life (the God-breathed life) aionios: existing throughout the eternity of the eternities.
Then Jesus says this: And I will raise him up at the last day. This is perhaps one of the most unique and revelatory things Jesus says in this passage.
The Greek word used for the phrase “raise him up” is the word, anistemi, a contraction of two Greek words, ana (up) and histemi, a prolonged version of stao, which has some meanings and applications which give real understanding to what Jesus is saying. Let me illustrate first with another statement that Jesus makes:
John 5:24, KJV: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
This word, “passed” comes from the Greek metabaino which is: an instant transition from one place to another. Again, we have the picture of hearing (hearing and understanding) and exercising faith and absolute confidence and trust in the reality of who Jesus is, and the price that Jesus paid on our behalf.
When Jesus said, “I will raise him up at the last day,” He was applying the truth of resurrection in a phenomenal way.
The term, anistemi, literally means: to stand up again, to fix and establish, to uphold and sustain the authority, to restore and sustain covenant.
Resurrection, therefore, is much more than being raised from the dead, it is being moved from death — where we have been laid flat by sin — to the very life that is God’s life. It is the restoration of our relationship with Father, Son & Holy Spirit throughout the eternity of the eternities!
Death, in this sense, is nothing more than separation from the relationship we were created for and in with Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Resurrection, again in this same sense, is being raised back to that life we were created and designed for.
But that’s only one phase of resurrection. What Jesus paid for, and what Father did when He raised Jesus from physical death in the tomb, is literally the cancellation of the sentence of death upon us. We’ve quoted this passage again and again in times past but it deserves revisiting in this context:
Hebrews 9:25-26, KJV: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:27-28, Amp Bible: And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment, Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they brought sin and death into the human genome. Under the Law of Moses, it was necessary for the priests to enter into the Holy Place once each year with a blood sacrifice for the atonement (or covering over) of the sins of the people. That act of offering a blood sacrifice did not eradicate the sin, nor did it do away with the sentence of death in human DNA.
Thus, it became necessary for Jesus Christ to become the once and for all time blood sacrifice in order to completely eradicate both the sin and do away with the sentence of death. What the priests could not do under the Law of Moses, Jesus accomplished with four distinct acts:
(1) He laid the axe to the root of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (see Matthew 3:10)
(2) He was hung and died on that Tree — the same Tree that brought death to Adam and Eve. (see Acts 13:29 and I Peter 2:24)
(3) He took all of our sins, our sicknesses and diseases, our infirmities, and Satan’s power over us to that Tree and put it all to death, then laid it at Satan’s feet once and for all.
(4) Having put an end to the power of sin and sickness, disease and infirmity, He also put an end to death when Father raised Him from the dead. (Acts 10:39-40 and 13:30, & Galatians 3:13-14)
This last quote from Paul’s letter to the Galatians makes it about as unambiguous as anything can be when he writes that “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.”
So what was the curse? It was the sentence of death for sin. That was the sentence that had passed upon all man-kind from the moment that Adam ate of the fruit of the Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was a fundamental understanding among the Jews that there would come a Resurrection Day for all at some point in the future when all would stand before the Great Judgment Seat. Consider Martha’s statement to Je-sus when he spoke of Lazarus being raised from the dead:
John 11:21-24, KJV: Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
But look now at what Jesus says to Martha next:
John 11:25-26, KJV: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Martha responded in the affirmative to Jesus, but that’s not quite what He got when He was addressing a crowd of followers.
John 6:49-52, KJV: Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
But Jesus was quick to answer them.
John 6:54-58, KJV: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
In each of the preceding verses and passages, we have seen the words, “die,” and “death.” In each case the Greek word apothnesko occurs. This word literally means: to die off, to be dead physically.
What’s sad is that in today’s society, and particularly in the body of Christ for many generations, this has been read and inferred as spiritual death. After all, Jesus surely didn’t mean that Resurrection From the Dead meant that we could apply this in a literal sense! And yet, that’s exactly what the Word says! Jesus couldn’t have said it more plainly than He did when He said to Martha, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me SHALL NEVER DIE.”
Again, when Paul is writing to the Hebrews and says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” here once again, the word translated “die” is that same word Jesus used, apothnesko: physical death.
Resurrection of the Dead IS a foundation truth and principle that we must lay hold of. We have to see and understand this as much more than a spiritual event. Of course the spiritual aspect of it is critical! It is the restoration of our relationship and interdimensional walk with the Lord through-out the eternity of the eternities. But in order for it to have force NOW in this present day and time, we have to see it as Resurrection from the sentence of death.
Death cannot be a consideration for us. The subconscious belief that we must die now impedes out ability to believe that we can raise the dead just as Jesus did. And, please, don’t anyone think I’m saying that a person absolutely must believe in physical death cancellation before they can raise the dead. We have far too many examples of folks in bygone eras and moves of God who did raise the dead. But God is bringing His people beyond the old mindset and understanding.
There are current examples of people living today who have grasped this principle and have been alive for hundreds of years.
When Jesus hung on the Cross, His last words were, “It is Finished!” Blood and water came from His side when the centurion pierced His side. What was finished? Sin and death! What came forth from His side? A new birth! A Bride who would live and demonstrate His Life to the world!
We have resumed our normal Healing Prayer Call schedule for Mondays only at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call for healing is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. I also want to let you know that our Sunday gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#.
Blessings on you!
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