THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

Every person who ever lives and dies will be resurrected one day. Soul will be reconnected with body. The majority, however, will then undergo the second death…

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RESURRECTION CONNECTION

We were never meant to die. God did not create us for death to overtake us. Nevertheless, due to His foreknowledge, He knew Adam would inevitably choose incorrectly and open Pandora’s Box. He knew Adam would sin.

And He made provision for it. Still, it was not inevitable that Adam would choose incorrectly. This man had the best Teacher. He was prepared for any and all events. He was warned. Adam, the first man, a type of Him who was to come, knew everything he needed to know and had an exemplary record of obedience and wisdom until that one fateful day in the garden. Though certainly tempted on that day, as he likely was any number of times before, he was never deceived. He knew full well what was going on. And when he decided to sin and break fellowship with his Father it was only because of one reason: He chose Eve, the first sinner, over God.

At that point perfection ended. Then the ultimate plan of God kicked in. The last Adam would have to come and fix what the first Adam did. Paradoxically, somewhat, the last Adam would also die. But unlike the first Adam he would not stay dead. And He arranged things in such a way that whoever applies His perfect sacrifice for sin to their own life will not stay dead either.

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” [John 5:28-29]   

Thus we see that souls will be reunited with bodies. And just as sin caused a disconnection between Adam/Eve and their perfect garden, so does it also cause an inevitable disconnection between body and soul. In essence, because of personal sin, every human soul is eventually separated from its body. The animate is disconnected from the inanimate. One part goes to the grave and the other part goes to a nebulous netherworld of which we don’t know much about.

But there is more to this resurrection story.

THE DEATH CYCLE

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]

They surely did die. But they were still walking around. From without, at a certain distance, one could not have ascertained a change. But from within, Adam suddenly felt a coldness, a spiritual draft as it were, a cold wind blowing upon his innards. He was suddenly empty. He was lost. He didn’t know which way to turn. What had happened? He couldn’t think. His brain no longer worked as it did before. He was a mere fraction of his former self. Eve, feeling the same, clung ever closer to her mate, but neither felt the slightest bit of relief. Something had gone terribly wrong.

Scripture reveals that the human being is actually composed of three principle parts and not only two. Adam and Eve had died but remained animate, meaning that there remained an animate life force within them that was still alive. What, then, had died? And this is where the entire human question gets really tricky really fast. From Adam’s original perspective, before he sinned, he possessed some form of higher strength, ability, and intelligence. He was also a spiritual being because he communed with God. He was actually born of God:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]   

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]

Hence, Adam was originally, by this world’s standards, not a normal human. Of course, this world’s standards are based on a worldwide sinful consensus created by people with a sinful perspective whether they know it or not or know they are sinners or not. I would think that the vast majority in this world would agree, however, that the very idea of actual communion and communication with God is perceived as the haunt of the weird and the wacky. It gets laughable when one considers the fact that most Christians in the world also hold this view. They never talk to God and nobody they know in their awesome circle of friends and associates talks to God. Therefore, the notion of talking to God is strange. But God talking back is even stranger.

Anyway, getting back to the narrative, Adam was created of the Spirit of God. He had the same spirit within that God has, or that God is. God is a Spirit. When He breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life He wasn’t just exhaling air into Adam’s lungs but was filling Adam with His very Spirit. Sound familiar? Also, when Adam was formed, before receiving the breath of life, was he simply an inanimate slab of beef lying on the ground? Or was he already animate the way all other creatures are animate? How is it possible to create a human being without animation? Babies are conceived in the womb, in the very beginning, by the connection of an animate seed with an animate egg. Both of these pulse with life and animation. Each must be alive. Therefore, Adam must have been alive once the Lord formed him but the life he possessed was a lesser form. At that point he was the crown of Creation but was essentially the same as all other earthly creatures. When he received the Spirit of God, however, he became both a person of this lower world and also a person of the higher world. He became a spiritual man. Again, Scripture clearly states this:

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. [Romans 5:14]

Adam was a type of the Lord Jesus. He was not simply a soul man but a spirit man. Some animals are what we might term soulish and some are more soulish than others, such as dogs and horses. These animals have a higher propensity toward communicating with human beings. These kinds of animals can relate so closely to humans they can actually love people and people can love them. We can see then, that just as animals can communicate with people and vice versa, that humans can communicate with God and vice versa. But why is it the case that most people do not communicate with God? Is it not for the same reason that Adam and Eve could no longer communicate spiritually with God after their fall into sin? Once they sinned, the only remaining communication with God was on a merely soulish level. This descent from the spiritual realm to the soulish realm is what happened right after they ate the fruit.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:7-14]

And that, my friends, is the entire human story in eight verses. It plays over and over again every day in this world as the only song on a 24 hour radio station. Translated, it becomes:

“I’ve messed up!” “I keep trying to fix it but I can’t!” “Now I’m afraid of God!” “I must hide from Him!” “It’s that woman’s fault!” “The devil made me do it!”

The preceding is not spiritual communication (Duh). These people go from having a close loving relationship with God involving who knows how many in-depth conversations and wonderful fellowship to actually being afraid of God and wanting nothing to do with Him. They were far too fearful to have any relationship with Him. Their entire concept of God changed. This is what they passed on to everybody else until now. Their spirit within them died and Adam and Eve became mere soulish individuals likely finding it far easier to communicate with animals than with the Lord. Every human is initially infected with the same attitude.

When humans die physically in this condition further separation takes place. Where there was once in Adam’s case a perfectly intact person composed of spirit, soul, and body, there eventuates after the first death only a mere fearful soul floating around in an undefined nebulous netherworld likely in the heart of the planet (See Matthew 12:40). The soul’s separated body is decaying somewhere up on the surface. The soul’s spirit had never been alive to begin with. And if that soul’s body died while the soul was in sin then the time will come when the soul will die also, completing the celestial strikeout.

But before being called out by the celestial Umpire some final business will have to be attended to. God will resurrect that person’s body and rejoin the soul within it. Then that person will stand before God in judgment. Then that person will suffer the second death by taking a one way trip to the hot place. So much death! Sin is a killer! The spirit dies, then the body dies, then the soul and resurrected body die together.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]  

SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION

There had to be a way to fix the mess Adam and Eve created. Logically, it would simply be a matter of creating a way for the human spirit to be regenerated. But how does one go about doing that unless the candidate involved agrees with the process and submits to it? Every human on the planet is composed of body and soul but also possesses a “dead” spirit somehow existing in seed form. There must be a way to reactivate this spirit. There must be a way to bring it back to life. In the beginning God breathed His own Spirit into Adam. Eve was then created from a part of Adam and also possessed a living spirit. How must God go about trying to implement this plan for anyone else, as a kind of Garden of Eden do over? Wouldn’t it be logical to simply breathe the breath of life into anyone willing as He did with Adam in the beginning?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” [Luke 11:13]

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]

So you see, God wanted to give His Spirit and reanimate our spirits but the only way to do that was to first become one of us so He could have a pure Spirit originating from His humanity to give. The Spirit of God must first become resident in a human being before it can be transferred to other human beings. The Holy Spirit is therefore the form of God’s Spirit that can safely become resident within people. The Holy Spirit is obviously still very powerful but also able to reside within relatively fragile human bodies. (Think of the way electricity must be transformed down to a safe level before entering our dwellings and electrical devices so it will not cause harm.)

Regarding the chosen candidate who must be the last Adam, there was obviously no human being in existence who qualified for such a Spirit-through-humanity mission so God would have to do it Himself. The process of God becoming a human being and living a life without sin would thus allow Him to share His Holy Spirit. Remember, the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Unlike everybody else, His human spirit was always alive, animate, and active. Also, the Lord Jesus had the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34).

To sum up, the Lord said whoever believes properly and correctly would be eligible to receive His Spirit. His Holy Spirit is a gift. How hard can it be to simply receive it? Ah, but there is spiritual battle involved. Evil entities exist to censor this Good News and keep people ignorant of it. The devil fights the process. The world makes fun of it. Fake Christianity denies and opposes it. And human flesh, perhaps the worst enemy, is all too often so caught up in pride (including the religious variety) and the promotion of oneself, though the Lord called such people “evil” (which denotes an otherwise obvious incongruity) that people are themselves often their own worst enemy. Then when one considers that the new birth could end relationships and one must make the relational choice that corrects Adam’s huge relational miscue, one can see that receiving the Lord’s Spirit can be quite challenging with reference to one’s residence in this fallen world and the resistance thereof.

You see, Adam chose Eve over God. Before he joined her in sin Adam could have simply refused. She would have been banished but he would remain sin free in the garden with God. So in order to reverse what Adam did, a person must be willing to embrace relationship with the Lord at the possible loss of every person in one’s life. One must be willing to want the Lord’s Spirit and the resultant animation of one’s human spirit more than any other relational connection. Adam made the wrong choice. We must make the right one. The Lord Jesus must always be first.

If one chooses to live for Him and believe in Him the way He said one should, his or her spirit will be resurrected from death. Again, such a spiritual resurrection is and should be a powerful experience demonstrating a great transformation. One will for the first time in his or her life become whole, composed of body, soul, and spirit with sin removed and be filled with His Holy Spirit. And it will not be some innocuous by osmosis not sure when it happened occurrence but a powerfully memorable event just as the Day of Pentecost was an event:

“It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” [Acts 2:32-33]

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:39]   

FIRST DEATH / SECOND DEATH / ETERNAL LIFE

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26] [1]

By His sacrificial atoning death for our sin the Lord Jesus makes it possible for us to be rescued from the second death and be given spiritual life. It cost Him everything to do this. It will cost us everything to receive it. This is the definition of the New Covenant. It is a covenant between two members giving their all to bring forth new life and it includes the promise of the Holy Spirit, an advance security toward our eternal inheritance.

Thus, the Ministry of Reconciliation demands the greatest love.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission

IMPORTANT NOTE: The actual anniversary date for the Lord’s resurrection this year is Tuesday, March 30. This date is Nisan 17 on the Hebrew calendar. Nisan 17 is the day of First Fruits and the THIRD day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

Posted on March 29, 2021, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. RJ, this is a rich, deep study. I’ve read it slowly over a couple of days, digesting and contemplating before moving on. I especially got stopped on the idea that very few Christians actually talk to God, or want to. I hate to admit that I think you’re right.

    It’s not my own experience, though, and I’m pleased to say that I belong to a church that. holds many prayer warriors. The Bible study I teach always spends a good amount of time in prayer, with each woman there participating. It’s such a blessing to feel the Spirit of God fill the room as we raise our petitions to the One Who desires to bless us. Many times, there are tears. There is always joy. And I just had to stop and think about that for a while, and to share it with you.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for reading and your always welcome comments, Linda. I appreciate your perspective and spiritual experience. Whenever I post, especially on the more controversial issues or stronger New Covenant teachings I am putting my work to a test with my readers. We all have different perspectives in this core group and I’m glad we all still get along so well and make such good additions here. I am blessed.

      I’m glad you are part of a good group. The reality of God must be addressed. Christianity has changed so much from the beginning. Back then, the Lord Jesus was the only overall Leader, among them first in the flesh and later in the Spirit. Everyone took their cue from Him. The elders would pray and seek Him for direction. The many meetings spread out all over were directed by Him. Everyone would yield to Him and invite His presence. I imagine the great humility expressed by them. They already had to deal with humble surroundings and lives. When they honored the Lord, did their best to obey, and submitted properly to the spiritual self-discipline required of believers, He would manifest His presence and they would be very effective in their work.

      I think we have drifted far from those simpler times when life was relatively mundane but their spiritual lives were at such a high level. They had an incredible impact on society. They supported one another and were strong and secure as a result. When attacked or persecuted they supported one another. Their unity made them all so strong. Their level of joy must have been very high.

      I have been thinking much as of late of the “Gideon process” when the Lord whittled down a big group into a much, much smaller one to weed out those unwilling to give and be their best. The Lord started His Church with such a group. Maybe that is what is still proceeding at present.

      Keep up the good work. Blessings

      Liked by 1 person

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