RULING AND REIGNING WITH GOD
December 18, 2020
This whole topic of death cancellation is one that is hard for many Christians to swallow. Even though it is so clear throughout the Word, the death culture is deeply embedded in our culture and our mindsets. It takes a real leap of faith for us to accept this, and having done so, it next becomes the transforming and renewing of our minds in order for it to become life to us.
Here’s what Paul writes to the Philippians.
Philippians 3:13-14: It isn’t as though I’ve already been able to seize for myself and get ahold of a full and complete revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection; and what I have attained to is far from a matured and seasoned understanding or revelation: but I am in total pursuit of that revelation that Jesus Christ has put before me, has destined me for and purposed in my life.
My brothers and sisters, despite that which I do have in revelation, I consider myself as having a long ways to go; nevertheless, this is what I do, am doing, and will do:
Forgetting all of the past: my knowledge of the Law, the life I once had, the esteem of my erstwhile brethren, my former marriage, and all I possessed — and it is erased from my consciousness and pursuit, having been relegated to oblivion — and stretching my mind, my thoughts and my purposes toward that which Christ has for me, I vigorously pursue the goal of that full revelation, and the mark, that knowledge of having achieved that high and completed calling of God — that same revelation of Jesus, and the dynamic and explosive, creative power which manifested in His resurrection from the dead. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
Are we good, so far? Try this one on!
I Corinthians 15:51-57: Let me give you something that you can see with your spiritual eyes — a thing which has been hidden from natural discernment which I now reveal to you; we are not all headed for death and the grave, but we will — all of us — transform.
In an “atom” of time, in that same split second that the eye blinks, at the sound and reverberation of the final sound of the trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound a blast (both literally and figuratively), and those who are dead — both literally as corpses, and as flesh and blood with the sentence of death hanging over them —will be roused and awakened with all decay in their existence eradicated for all eternity.
What has been decaying and subject to decay must, of necessity, cease for all time; where we have once been mortals and subject to death, disease, sickness and weakness now changes so that we become immortals (restored to that image and likeness we were first created for).
Therefore, when this perishable existence now transforms into an unending, immortal existence, then we will see brought to pass the old saying that was written, “Death (and dying) have been engulfed and consumed by conquest and victory — totally vanquished.”
“Oh, death, where is your poison; where is the power of your pin prick?”
The poison and pin prick of death is sin — offenses against God: and the dynamic force of sin is embodied in the Law. But, thanks and grace be to Father God who totally vanquishes sin through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Therefore, my dear and beloved brothers and sisters, be absolutely steadfast, settled and immovable, always excelling and super-abounding in the labors and direction of the Lord, knowing without question that your toil, your pains, your trouble and your weariness is not wasted, empty and in vain in the Lord. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
And, finally, for today, Paul’s statement to the Colossians.
Colossians 2:13-15: And you, having become a corpse because of your errors and lapses towards God— both intentional and unintentional — along with the fact that you were living outside of the Covenant, has Jesus reanimated with Himself, brought back to life and canceled the sentence of death hanging over you, having forgiven you of all transgressions,
Obliterating all of the laws and ordinances that were written against us so as to define sin in us, and everything that was written to define us negatively; He removed all impediments against us and nailed them to His Cross.
And, having divested Himself wholly and completely [of all possible influence] of archangels and demonic authorities, as well as controlling individuals operating with demonic power, Jesus loudly and triumphantly publicly put on a show of His victory over them. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
And here’s a variation on the translation of verse 13:
“He re-animated [us] con-jointly with Him; and at the same time obliterated, demolished and wiped totally clean the decrees of judgment (and accompanying sentence of death) that had been written against us.”(RAC Translation & Amplification)
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 our 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!
Let’s shift gears now, and move on the the principle of Eternal Judgment.
Isaiah 4:3-4, KJV: “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”
In order for us to properly understand the concept of judgment and see what Paul was making reference to in his letter to the Jewish Christians, we need to first define the words that are translated “judgment.”
Taking the Old Testament Hebrew first, we find the word, mishpat and its root word, shaphat. The word, mishpat, refers specifically to a judicial verdict — a sentence or formal decree within divine law.
The root word — shaphat — adds more color to our definition, however and allows us to see the character of this sentence or formal decree within divine law. It has the picture of litigating or reasoning between right and wrong and either vindicating someone or judging and executing punishment. It also means to plead and/or defend.
Then we come to the Greek terms used in the New Testament.
Again we have a primary word, krima, and its root word, krino.
The two Greek words nearly parallel the Hebrew terms, but both also add to the overall picture of “eternal judgment.”
Krima is also defined as ajudicial verdict — a sentence or formal decree within divine law, but to that we add the following: condemnation of wrong, a condemnatory sentence, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others.
Krino literally means: to separate, to choose, to determine between right and wrong, to set things right.
It also means: to rule and to govern, to preside over (as the prerogative of kings and rulers) with the power of giving judicial decisions, to determine, to resolve and decree.
Let’s consider for a minute the Biblical picture of judgment from statements that Jesus made. In what is popularly referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount” Jesus draws some contrasts in judgment.
Matthew 7:1-6, NASB: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
The “Sermon on the Mount” is literally a picture of the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is addressed to those who would follow the Lord and be transformed into Him and His image and nature.
When Jesus, therefore, first addresses the concept of judgment as a divine attribute (and we know this from Isaiah’s prophecy where he refers to the Spirit of Judgment and Burning), He applies this to the believer, warning against the misuse of this attribute.
We are warned not to use the power and authority of judgment [we ARE kings and priests unto God] casually and flippantly.
When we remember that the sum of the Seven Spirits of God is agape — love — it places a requirement on us to make our judgments in love and not from a reactionary place.
In His statement to not “give what is holy to dogs,” this remark is still made within the discussion on judgment, and he describes the rendering of judgment as “holy.” Judgment, therefore, as a holy rendering of God’s decrees and “setting things right” takes on an entirely new dimension.
Because judgment is holy, this takes it entirely out of the realm of personal feeling, or emotional, reactionary responses to events which occur to us as individuals. There is NOTHING about the rendering and/or speaking of judgment that is permissible as a byproduct of personal offenses.
Within the framework of judgment and its judicial sentencing or decrees is the inherent ability to condemn. For the believer who is not in tune with the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, and is operating even slightly in the realm of the flesh (let’s insert emotional responses and reactions here), the ability to speak judgment from the aspect of condemning is almost a certainty.
All of a sudden our judgment becomes cursing, and the consequences to us for speaking or activating that judgment begin to multiply.
As a holy attribute of the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, judgment has eternal consequences. Consider some of the judgments we see throughout the New Testament:
Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 21:19: And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
John 6:51: 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.
John 6:58: 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 for ever.
II Corinthians 9:9: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
Each of the foregoing statements in the Word are judgments — eternal judgments. Each has its own unique nature. Jesus’ judgment against the fig tree caused the life to leave it such that it withered away.
The promises that Jesus makes concerning eating of His flesh are not just promises: they are judgments with an eternal character to them — and consequences that cause God’s people to sit up and take notice.
Now take a look at a different kind of judgment:
II Peter 2:1-2, 12-17: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.
Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
This is an eternal judgment which clearly states that the “mist of darkness” has been reserved “for ever” for those who speak in the name of the Lord (but NOT His onoma!) whose mouths speak lies our of their own pride and ignorance. This is both a judgment and a prophetic picture.
It foretells a judgment similar to that of which Jesus spoke when He referred on a couple of occasions to the invitation to the Great Wedding Feast, and again to those desiring to enter the realm of the Kingdom without being willing to meet the conditions necessary. (See Matthew 7:21-27, and Matthew 22:1-14)
Two weeks from now, we’ll take a look at an expanded picture of this.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, ourSunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video usingZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-onlycall, 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 76502
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