RULING AND REIGNING WITH GOD
December 11, 2020
I sort of got off on a political tangent at the end of last week’s Coffee Break in talking about the focus in our society on death or the threat of it. Think about the two weeks or so just preceding the election on November 3rd. The media was using the threat of the virus to shape the thinking of people in the outcome of the election. Because the Biden campaign was focusing on the virus as the fault of the Trump administration it became an easy way to associate people’s think with the threat of death as it related to Trump. Fortunately, the Lord had another plan in mind, and it didn’t work.
Anyway, let’s get back to our real focus for today. We were talking about Adam and Eve.
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. 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 ever-more — 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 pas-sage.
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 understand-ing) and exercising faith and absolute confidence and trust in the reality of who Jesus is, and the price that Jesus paid on our be-half.
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 frm 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 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 him-self 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 what John says of Jesus in Matthew )
Matthew 3:10: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(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)
Acts 13:29: And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
I Peter 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
(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)
Acts 10:39-40: And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
Acts 13:30: But God raised him from the dead:
Galatians 3:13-14: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
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 mankind from the moment that Adam ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
There was a fundamental under-standing 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 for ever: 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.
I still have a fair amount of territory to cover with this topic. Our society is so ingrained with the expectation of death as a natural outcome to our lives that it fills every fiber of their existence.
I said this earlier, and I will say it again! Insurance companies gamble with you on this expectation. You gamble that you are going to die. They gamble that you are not — at least when “normal life spans” have been achieved. I have little use for insurance and insurance companies, in case you hadn’t noticed. Anyway, I’ll get off that!
Let’s take a look at a few of the proofs of our deliverance from the sentence of death throughout the Word.
Colossians 2:13: He re-animated us con-jointly with Him: and at the same time obliterated and wiped totally clean the decrees of judgment and accompanying sentence of death that had been written against us. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? OK, then consider these next few verses from what Paul wrote to the Romans:
Romans 6:3: “Don’t you realize that those of us who have been baptized — immersed — into the Anointed One and His Anointing have been baptized into His death?” (RAC Translation & Amplification)
Romans 6:4: “Therefore, and as a consequence thereof, we are buried and put into the grave through baptism so that our old man sees death. It follows, therefore, that in the same way Christ was raised up from the dead by the visible Glory of the Father, we also should walk and live renewed and refreshed (with His breath) of life.” (RAC Translation & Amplification)
Romans 6:5-10: “For if we have been planted together, germinating as seeds in the likeness and form of His death, we shall also spring forth in (and with His) resurrection; Knowing this, that our old manand coprrupted DNA is crucified with Him, that the body (of law) of sin might be annulled and destroyed in order to free us from having to serve and be under the Law of Sin and Death.
For He who has died is freed from sin (and the laws which determine that which is sin). Now if we are truly dead with Christ, we believe and know that we shall also live with Him:
Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death has no more authority, dominion, control or power over Him. For when He died, He died killing off sin and death once and for all: and by virtue of the fact that He lives, He lives in and for the destiny and purposes of God.” (RAC Translation & Amplification)
Starts to become real, don’t you think? The problem is that, in spite of our living in a death culture, we still have to grasp the significance of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Here’s what Paul wrote to the Hebrews.
Hebrews 9:27-28:In spite of the fact that that man was destined for death [because of Adam’s sin] at one time, and following after death, the final tribunal of justice:
It remains that Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, offered Himself up on the Cross to take on Himself the sins and trespasses of many (that is, all those who would receive His death on their part) once and for all time canceling their appointment with death; and for those that expect His return, He will appear once again, not carrying the sins of the world, bringing health, fullness, prosperity, salvation, protection and safety. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
I don’t want to bore you with all of the proofs in the Word that bear out Jesus’ cancelation of death for us, but you need to read and remember all these, over and over and over again until they are locked solid in your mind and spirit. This is too important to us, and a necessity if we are going to function in the authority that Jesus has given us over death.
Let’s stop here and we’ll pick up on this again next week.
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Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76502
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