Over the years Christianity has failed to adequately define the terms it has used, and this has created some confusion in our understanding of their meaning. Terms like LIFE and DEATH when used today lack any real definition, and therefore they do not relate to Spiritual Truth with any sense of reality. In spite of this, Christians speak of these things as if they are fully conversant with their meaning. After all, surely anyone can tell the difference between a body that is DEAD and one that is ALIVE. The one is capable of moving and functioning as a person, while the other is still and lifeless with no power to move.
No one would argue with the above definition, so how can there be any confusion in this matter. My answer is that there is no confusion, if we are speaking only about the PHYSICAL aspects of LIFE and DEATH. However the definition used above creates a great deal of confusion when we consider what the Scriptures have to say on the subject.
In view of what we have stated above regarding life and death, tell me, what did Jesus mean when he said, "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?" Jn 5:24.
Jesus also said, "If a man keep my sayings he shall NEVER SEE DEATH." Jn 8:51. Paul speaks about Adam, saying "By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and DEATH BY SIN, and so DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for all have sinned."
If we apply our natural definition of "DEATH" to these verses we become completely confused. How can the Bible declare ALL MEN ARE DEAD when in fact they are still alive? And if they are still alive how can they pass from DEATH unto LIFE? These are the questions we will seek to answer with the help of the Holy Spirit.
It is obvious that we must redefine the meaning of these words in such a way that they will remain true under all circumstances, both natural and spiritual. Only then will be remove the confusion which hides the TRUTH revealed in the Scriptures. Let us seek the WISDOM that comes from above and the LIGHT of God for an understanding of these important things.
To discover the TRUTH about DEATH we must look at the first reference in the Bible where it is mentioned. Genesis 2:16-17. "And the Lord God took the Man and put him into the GARDEN OF EDEN to dress and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 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."
Upon reading these words many people have remarked that Adam did not die the day he ate of the tree of knowledge, at least not according to their current concept of death. Scripture records that Adam lived for over 900 years before he DIED. The problem here is the same as we mentioned in the introduction. Our definition of DEATH is not accurate, but is simply the opinion of the natural man who does not understand the things that be of God.
The command given to man by the Lord God was not a LAW in the legal sense, which would result in an arbitrary penalty if it was violated. According to Church theology, DEATH was introduced by GOD as a punishment for sin. Unfortunately this is the concept Christendom has accepted and so right at this fundamental point the GOSPEL has been distorted. As a result SIN is considered a legal matter being a violation of Gods LAW and so now we are concerned with the PUNISHMENT, which Theology says is ETERNAL DEATH.
This Theology takes it upon itself to declare that because the LIFE God offers is ETERNAL, therefore the alternative which is DEATH must also be eternal. Hence is born the doctrine of eternal damnation in a burning hell, which was first taught by the Catholic Church, during the dark ages and then embraced by the Protestants.
The whole concept of SIN has defamed the character of God and pushed MAN into an abyss shrouded in darkness from which there is no escape. The Greek word for SIN in the Bible is HARMATIA, and is a sporting term that means, MISSING THE MARK. How ever this word could be considered a LEGAL TERM is beyond me. If an archer shot an arrow and missed the target they shouted HARMATIA. No one would consider the man to be punished for his failure with eternal hell. Paul gives us an accurate definition of SIN in Romans 3:23, "All have sinned . And . (In doing so) HAVE COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. They FAILED to hit the TARGET, which is THE GLORY OF GOD. You see beloved, there is no LAW in the legal sense, INVOLVED IN SIN.
Now I am stressing these things to show you how the mind of MAN has distorted and actually changed the very words and intent of GOD. Where in the world can anyone find the doctrine of an ETERNAL DEATH in a burning HELL from this whole account of what people call the "Fall" of man in Genesis,. The very words them selves are a contradiction , an ETERNAL DEATH. They imply that these people must first possess a life that is eternal in order that they might be able to eternally DIE. How confused can we become? The clear words of scripture are,
"THE DAY YOU EAT THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, IN DYING YOU WILL DIE." (Literal translation)
Can anyone please tell me where this ETERNAL BURNING HELL is hidden in these words. It is obvious that what ever God was saying here about DEATH is incomprehensible to the majority of Christians, because they do not understand what DEATH really is. Paul makes the statement that the "Wages of SIN IS DEATH," Rom 6:23, not eternal HELL. Notice Paul uses the word WAGES and not PUNISHMENT. The word in the Greek actually refers to a soldiers LUNCH!
Let us sum up what we have discovered so far regarding the issue of DEATH. Whatever this thing called DEATH is, must be demonstrated in the events surrounding Adam in the garden of Eden, where he partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. We do not need to seek answers in history thousands of years later after DEATH actually came into effect. Instead of DEATH being a PUNISHMENT it is actually a RESULT of the termination of the KNOWLEDGE flowing between the CREATOR and the CREATURE in that stream called LIFE. In its place there is now another KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM based upon DUALITY, the source of which is the HUMAN MIND. Life for us functions as a correspondence with the environment by which we discover the relationship to our circumstances and their ordered arrangement.
Adam used the MIND given to him by the creator to explore alternatives to the KNOWLEDGE STREAM which flowed to him constantly from God and constituted his LIFE. But the MIND of MAN now being deprived of its true source of knowledge, which is GOD, institutes another knowledge system based upon GOOD and EVIL which it develops quite apart from any divine input. This knowledge is a comparison system based upon opposites which are set against each other allowing man to make his own judgments all of which are RELATIVE and none are absolutes.
What are the effects of this "new" knowledge system on man? First of all I consider myself to be an entity quite separate from God, and not a direct result of CREATION, all of which is GOOD. Gen 1:31. I now conceive my origin to be EVIL and consider myself to be a sinner. This now separates me further from God as my MIND declares me to be a fugitive and alienated from his presence. My desire now is to hide from God, seeing him as my enemy seeking to destroy me. My failure to achieve the standard of "Goodness" I consider necessary to be accepted again by God, fills my heart with dread because of the awful consequences I believe God has appointed for all who sin.
A sense of "nakedness" causes me to seek for a "covering" that will give me at least some respectability before God. This results in a multitude of religious ideas which divide humanity because no one can agree as to which idea is actually right. Wars are fought on the basis of these divisions, and nations divided, simply because there are no absolutes apart from GOD.
All this and much more is the D-E-A-T-H into which humanity was plunged when Adam partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL. Our focus upon KNOWLEDGE is our explanation of both LIFE and DEATH is declared in Scripture. John 17:3 says, "THIS is LIFE ETERNAL to KNOW THEE the only true GOD and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." DEATH is connected with a knowledge system that originates IN THE MIND OF MAN and not in God. This elevates man to "GOD STATUS" being the author of his own knowledge system through which he discovers his identity and the reason for his existence, none of which is based upon TRUTH which is hidden from him. It is obvious this "knowledge" is set in contrast to the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, resulting in an estrangement from GOD which the Bible calls DEATH. This DEATH in turn changed mans relationship to everything in his life, even to the point where he actually creates another "world" functioning in reverse, where "THE EARTH RULES OVER THE HEAVENS."
I feel it is important for us to look at the other side of this "coin" to discover what is LIFE before we proceed further with the subject of DEATH.
WHAT IS LIFE AND HOW DID IT BEGIN
To adequately cover our subject of LIFE we must go right back to the very beginning in Genesis 1. The chapter begins with the words, "In the beginnings (plural) God created the heavens and the earth." Now we know that the natural mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit, because they can only be Spiritually discerned. So we must look beyond the physical words themselves if we are to know what the Spirit is saying to us here. The creation was divided into two parts, the first being the HEAVENS, which is the translation of a Hebrew word which means LOFTY or ABOVE, and the EARTH meaning FIRM or substance.
The HEAVENS were created first because it is the INVISIBLE SPIRITUAL realm that has the authority to rule. Then there is the EARTH, the natural visible realm over which the Heavens rule. These two realms go together as you cannot have one without the other. This dual aspect of things applies to all of creation including man, for MAN is more than simply a body of flesh which we can see and touch. We know there is an invisible part of man which we call SOUL or SPIRIT and this includes what we call LIFE which is a force that energises our body and sustains our existence.
The next thing we are told in this unfolding of creation, is that the EARTH had no FORM and it was empty. This is most significant and we need to understand why it is so. The reason for this lack of form is declared to be the DARKNESS that was upon the face of the deep. Darkness is that which HIDES things from view. Even with perfect vision we can see nothing if we are in the DARK. So the SUBSTANCE part of the universe, lacked FORM because there was something that was hidden by the darkness that covered it. What was hidden was God who dwelt in the HEAVENS, the creator and sustainer of all things that exist. So the lack in form was the fact that GOD was not visible to that which He had made. To rectify this situation, the SPIRIT which is GOD moved upon the face of the waters, which refers to that deep consciousness in everything that has life.
God spoke and said, "LIGHT BE and LIGHT WAS." This provided the illumination needed for all of creation to "SEE" the form it should take, which was hidden in GOD. If God had not created that light, nothing that was created would ever have discovered its true form. That light was the very radiance of God Himself which is the SOURCE of all pure Light, knowledge and understanding.
And God saw the light that it was good and separated it from the darkness. So the LIGHT brings understanding and revelation to the natural physical realm, without which everything "above" it, is incomprehensible. Paul makes it clear in Romans 1:20 that the "Invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal POWER and GODHEAD or DIVINITY, so that they are without excuse."
Everything in nature takes its form from God the creator. He gave form to the herb of the field, and to the trees. Nothing was left to determine its own form according to some idea it may conceive within itself. In the case of the TREE God determined its propagation by putting the SEED within the fruit. Of all the flora and fauna in this wonderful world, there is never an argument as to what it shall be, for God has pre-determined its form according to its seed. Within the SEED of the Acorn God has fixed its form and nothing you or I can do will prevent that seed from producing an ACORN TREE.
As we look at the giant Kauri Trees in Western Australia beholding the majesty of their form, we are a witness to the power and divinity of God who determined that it should be so. As we gaze at the intricate colours and shapes of the fish that inhabit the great oceans of the world, we are witnessing the power and divinity of God who determined their form. However it would be impossible by simply studying the "forms" found in nature, to understand God.
Gods involvement in creation goes far beyond the question of FORM. LIFE in all its intricate manifestation is also an attribute of God. The unseen force lying within every seed, causing it to shoot upward and take root downward is what we call LIFE. What is it that is within every animal teaching it to reproduce? What is the invisible force that drives the birds to build a nest at a certain time of the year? What guides the migratory birds across thousands of miles of land and sea to return to a certain place in order to breed? What tells the turtle after many years to return to the precise beach where it was hatched in order to lay her eggs? All of these things and much more are the result of the thing we call LIFE.
Life is much more than the process of breathing or the pumping of a heart, it involves a sense of being or consciousness, which is established in every individual LIVING CREATURE. There is no confusion in nature as to their individual identity, or its form, nor the purpose for which it was created. Latent within every creature is the total blue-print of its LIFE, form, behavior and reason for its existence. When a puppy is born, no one has to tell it, what it is supposed to be. It is fully conscious of the fact that it is a DOG. No one has to teach it to behave like a dog, or to bark for its behavior is imprinted in its LIFE.
Some may consider that these almost self evident facts do not need to be recorded, but I am persuaded that these things have been taken for granted without our due recognition. Also I believe very few people see GOD in all of creation. The truth is that what we observe in all of creation, is like a great symphony being played by an orchestra, and some where, invisible to the naked eye there is a MASTER CONDUCTOR with baton in hand, giving ORDER and cohesion to the production.
Just think about it for a moment! EVERYTHING that has LIFE in all of creation is totally dependent upon the GOD who created it, not just for its existence but for its FORM, its IDENTITY, and its destiny. Do you really understand what I am trying to express in words? I am not just speaking about the initial creation in Genesis Chapter 1. But every single animal, bird, fish, reptile, insect etc. is today and every day totally dependent upon that unseen force which we call LIFE, in order to preserve the harmony of the universe.
Just try and imagine what would happen if animals were born without having a conscious identity. Or birds were hatched not knowing they had the ability to fly. What would happen if the migratory birds did not receive their ability to know where they were supposed to be at a certain season. If that divine connection called LIFE, that every living thing has with its creator was disrupted just for one day can you imagine the total confusion there would be.
At this point I would like to sum up what we have shared together concerning this important question of LIFE. We have discovered that LIFE involves far more than breathing and being able to move.
LIFE involves a continuous connection between the CREATOR and the creature, through which is transmitted constantly, all the inspiration, ability and knowledge that is required for it to be conscious of its identity and role, and to completely fulfill its purpose for being.
All LIFE in this universe seems to have a very definite focus, which is illustrated very well in nature. The offspring of all life in the universe tends to follow the pattern that it resemble its PARENT. There is no question that this is a divine principle even for MAN, laid down by the Creator himself. Paul writes, "For whom he forknew he designates beforehand also, to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, for him to be FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN." Rom 8:29.
The interesting thing is that under a microscope, in the very early stages, the building blocks of LIFE cannot be identified as to what form they will take. But as time passes so the form begins to appear like clay in the potters hand. But the question of MAN is here being examined so let us look at this issue of CONFORMITY, as it relates to him. When a hen lays an egg and it is incubated there is no question about the form of the offspring, it will be a chicken. This is a universal law in nature and is a mirror of a much higher law involving man.
The law of nature which we can easily observe is that the "parent" will determine what the offspring will be. Now we will discover one of the most wonderful aspects of life as we see this law of nature as an ALLEGORY of a higher law involving MAN. If we can discover the one from which MAN has sprung we will be left in no doubt as to his form and identity. First we look back at our earthly PARENTS as consider this to be the source of our life, but Jesus made it very clear that FLESH can only beget FLESH, and we recognise that we are MORE than flesh and blood, so we must look further.
Jesus said a very interesting thing in Matthew 23:9, "Call NO MAN YOUR FATHER on the earth, for ONE IS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN." ( GOD).
The reality of LIFE for man does not lie in his physical body, which is proved by his PARENTAGE, for GOD IS SPIRIT. Where then is the connection between GOD and the creature known as MAN? Paul speaks of man being THE OFFSPRING OF GOD. Acts 17: 28-29. According to the law of CONFORMITY, if MAN is the offspring of GOD, then his identity is firmly established, just as the chicken is the offspring of the hen.
Let us go further and hear Paul on this matter as he speaks to the Galatians, "My little children of whom I travail in BIRTH UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU." Gal 4:19. From this we learn that if CHRIST is being formed in MAN by the operation of that LIFE principle which comes from God, then our PARENTAGE must be IN CHRIST. This is confirmed in Ephesians 2:10 where Paul says, "We are his workmanship CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS." According to the law of conformity in the normal process of biology MAN must be in the likeness and image of the one from whom he has come. The ONE who established the laws of nature is the same one who also instituted the laws of the SPIRIT, for the principle is the same.
Man in the ignorance of his mind considers Christianity to be the result of following some behavioral pattern in a vague attempt to produce righteousness. But in looking at the allegory in nature, we ask what kind of behavior would change a chicken into a duck? Would it be sufficient for the chicken to learn how to quack, and perhaps learn to swim? No beloved we do not need to be convinced that the chicken will always remain a chicken according to the law of conformity.
How pointless are the religious efforts of MAN to bring about a change that will produce a conformity to the CHRIST from which he has come. Great Cathedrals have been built and millions of dollars spent to try and give credence to the puny futile efforts of MAN as he seeks to conform to a CHRIST he cannot even see! How aptly did Jesus direct our thoughts to nature to discover the secret of LIFE, when he said, "CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD HOW THEY GROW, they toil not neither do they spin." Matt 6:28.
With nature all around us, why is it that that the question of conformity has eluded Gods people for so long. The mystery and power of LIFE functioning in nature is only exceeded when we consider that LIFE which is GOD, functioning in MAN. Do you not think it remarkable that the New Testament describes this LIFE in the language of BIOLOGY. In fact there is no other way in which these truths can be expressed.
Scripture speaks of a NEW CREATURE, a NEW MAN, a BABE IN CHRIST and we have been BEGOTTEN of God. 2 Cor 5:17, Col 3:10. We are told to "Put on the NEW MAN", and we are being changed into the same image. Paul makes it clear that this is the end and the goal of the Christian life, that the law of CONFORMITY might complete its mysterious work in us. It is a foregone conclusion that we be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST. As to the process let us consider the lilies . HOW THEY GROW!
What is the material out of which this NEW MAN is to come? Creation is often viewed by man as an infinite God creating the heavens and the earth OUT OF NOTHING, thus declaring his ignorance. Nothing can be made out of nothing. Matter cannot be created not destroyed, it can only be changed. Then you may ask, "Where did the matter come from that God used in order to make all things?" The answer is OUT OF HIMSELF!! This is taught in the Scriptures, in Rom 11:36, "For FROM him and THROUGH him and TO him are all things. For ALL THINGS originate WITH HIM and come FROM HIM. All things LIVE through him, and ALL THINGS center in and tend to consummate and to end IN HIM." ( Amplified)
Somewhere hidden in the embryo from which man is formed is something that is found in no other creature, and that is a capacity for God. Then beyond this lies its receptivity which is the element that makes man different to all other creatures. It is here in this protoplasm of life that the chamber is made ready for the expected guest who will give meaning and purpose to life. It is a fact that in the heart of every man from the primitive to the educated, there is an "altar to the unknown God."
Having been given a mind capable of making decisions and choices, MAN is distinguished from all other forms of life. Nature follows blindly the dictates of instinct probably not even aware that it is doing so. However, in the case of MAN there needs to be the revelation of the one from whom we have come, in order for us to be able to co-operate with him. Through the ages, man had lost sight of his true identity although a prophetic voice remained as a reminder that, "Lord thou hast been our dwelling place IN ALL GENERATIONS." Psalm 90:1.
For nature, the revelation of the type to which it should conform is not necessary as nature is not required to make any decision in the matter. But for MAN it is vital that his PROTO-TYPE be revealed for him to be able to co-operate in the PROCESS that will conform him to that same image in which he was created. This revelation is like the last piece of a "jig-saw" revealing the complete picture. Man in his natural state is INCOMPLETE waiting for something but unaware of what it is. This unfulfilled state is called in the Bible D-E-A-T-H.
This revelation must come from above and therefore by-passes the NATURAL MIND which has no capacity to know God, and touches the SPIRIT which alone receives inspiration from the Almighty. It is here in the spiritual part of man that the "GUEST" arrives whose abode (John 14:23) had been made ready. This "coming" of CHRIST is the total fulfillment of the creators mind and purpose for the creature called MAN. The "Protoplasm" of LIFE is now complete with everything necessary for the creature to be conformed to his original type, which is CHRIST.
This represents the change of which Jesus spoke, when he said, "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 D-E-A-T-H to L-I-F-E." John 5:24. Now that divine connection that joins the creature to the creator is in place, through which flows the creatures LIFE, IDENTITY and PURPOSE FOR BEING, together with the power to fulfill every detail. Paul says, "When Christ who is our LIFE shall be appearing, (within us) then we shall also appear WITH HIM IN GLORY." Col 3:4. Remember, our body is the TEMPLE or MOST HOLY PLACE where CHRIST DWELLS.
CHRIST is not some super model to be held up in front of people to be admired and imitated, but is the "ROCK" from which we have been cut, and the power and LIFE FORCE which guarantees our conformity to the ORIGINAL as it came from the hand of the creator. Gen 1:26-27. Christ is the ONLY ONE who can make us to conform to the type, which is something Mohammed or Buddha or any other religious leader can not do!
How sad it is therefore that MAN so often seeks to "conform himself" to an image he has created in his own imagination, by works of righteousness, hoping to earn some merit with God. However, "No MAN by taking thought can add a cubit to his stature." Scripture makes it clear that man is not the ACTIVE player in the work of CONFORMITY, but passive as brought out in such statements as :- "We are begotten of God," or "The new man which is renewed in knowledge after the IMAGE of HIM that created him," or "Except a man be BORN FROM ABOVE he cannot see the Kingdom of God," or "Until Christ be formed IN YOU," or "It is GOD that works IN YOU both to WILL and to DO of his good pleasure." In all these and more God is seen as the motivating force.
From the above it becomes clear that the Churches narrow focus on SIN and the consequences they have attached to it, have so muddied the waters of TRUTH that man has lost sight of the creators purpose established in the beginning. Nothing that has happened to man along the way can alter or divert the will and purpose of God, that he be conformed to the IMAGE OF CHRIST.
It is important that we follow the purpose for MAN that is outlined for us in creation, and discover how these things are to be achieved. In nature, instinct dictates the will of God, not as something that is separate from him but as a means of communication which does not require a thought process. But in the case of MAN he becomes a participant in fulfilling the divine purpose.
It was Huxley who said, "The one end to which in all LIVING BEINGS the formative impulse is tending, seems to be TO MOULD THE OFFSPRING INTO THE LIKENESS OF THE PARENT. It is the first great law of reproduction that the offspring tend to resemble its parent or parents more closely than anything else." The law of BIOGENESIS demonstrates that only LIFE can beget LIFE, therefore there is no such thing as SPONTANEOUS LIFE. Thus in creation God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding SEED, and the fruit tree yielding fruit WHOSE SEED WAS IN ITSELF." Gen 1: 11.
Man was told to BE FRUITFUL and fill the earth, and in so doing the earth would be SUBDUED. Gen 1:28. Now it is perfectly obvious that this filling of the earth does not suggest simply natural reproduction which was to come later when Adam KNEW HIS WIFE, although this is a mirror of the spiritual. Most Christians today are convinced that God must personally deal with the subjugation of the earth and that this will take place at the end of this age, but this is wrong.
Let us put aside the theories of man and hear the word of the Lord. It was to the M-A-N that God said to be fruitful and MILTIPLY for in so doing the earth would be SUBDUED by "HIS" offspring, and HE would have dominion by virtue of a multiplication of himself. So the question is, "Did that MAN created in the likeness and image of God become FRUITFUL and fulfill the creators purpose?" The answer is YES!
That ORIGINAL MAN God created was THE WORD or LOGOS, according to John 1:1-3, the one who MADE (not created) ALL THINGS. He also is Yahweh the Messiah of the Old testament. We read in Gen 2:7 that his role in MAKING all things, included bringing HIMSELF into visible manifestation AS MAN in order to fill the earth and subdue it. Thus we read, "And the Lord God FORMED man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and MAN became a LIVING SOUL."
We must understand that this MAN who is called ADAM is a type or figure of another who was to come. He begins life in fellowship with his maker, naming the animals and accepting responsibility for the GARDEN which represented his inner life. It would seem to the natural mind that the hope of all creation rests with this man ADAM who is the offspring of God.
However the time comes when his mind begins to function apart from the mind of God, exploring a knowledge system that he was told not to touch LEST HE DIE. Adam ignored the warning and as a result he entered into a state of DEATH and a world of darkness. Not only did his correspondence with God cease but in place of TRUTH his MIND redefined his own identity as being DUST and so distorted his concept of God that he was now considered to be his enemy.
The whole question of being "fruitful and multiply" seemed to be doomed from a natural standpoint. However as mankind multiplied on the earth an interesting but mysterious development took place. Cain was born and became a murderer, but Abel his brother manifested a God-like quality which could not be accounted for by natural birth. Seth followed Abel as if there was some mysterious pattern emerging.
After an explosion of evil which seemed to swamp the whole of mankind God called a man named NOAH who found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord, declaring him to be perfect in his generations. He became a Saviour for his family as God give him directions for the building of an ark. Then suddenly a heathen man from Ur of the Chaldees called Abram, begins to follow an inaudible voice, which changes the whole course of his life. Defying the natural laws of nature this man and his wife give birth to a son through whom God said all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
Isaacs wife was confounded by a great struggle within her womb as twins were born. These boys Jacob and Esau reversed the natural order again so that the elder was made to serve the younger and two very separate nations were established. In the process by some unseen force, Jacob was transformed from a cheat and a liar to become a PRINCE WITH GOD, and fathered the chosen race of people called Israel.
We could go on infinitum, but we have shared enough to discover that there is a power operating throughout humanity, in some mysterious way injecting a Godlike quality into that stream we call LIFE. Within the Protoplasm of life is a receptacle, prepared by the creator, waiting for the honored guest to arrive and take up his abode. This one who is CHRIST brings with him a manifestation of LIFE which is as mysterious as it is wonderful. This phenomena occurs right through the Old Testament but it is not until Christ the Messiah himself appears IN THE FORM OF MAN and steps on to the stage of life that the details become clear.
Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin under what could be called abnormal circumstances, for he was to become the "OTHER" man of whom Adam was only a TYPE or FIGURE. Paul explains it this way, "The FIRST MAN ADAM was a LIVING SOUL, but the LAST ADAM is a LIFEGIVING SPIRIT." 1 Cor 15:45.
In the New Testament John tells us that THE WORD or LOGOS created in the beginning BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us. He was not known as the WORD in the Old Testament but as the MESSIAH which means CHRIST or the anointing. He appeared to Moses in the burning Bush, and to Abraham and Jacob in different forms but it was the same one working the works of God through humanity. Even in the dim light of the Old Testament we would do well to, "Consider the lilies of the field HOW THEY GROW."
Jesus spoke in clear terms in the New Testament by saying, "If a man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him and WE will come to him and MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM." In order to stress the reproductive nature of this divine visitation Jesus spoke about the SOWER sowing the good SEED of the Kingdom. The word "Seed" is the Greek word SPERMA, which refers to the seed of man. As the Holy Spirit gives us understanding we discover the wisdom of God in His BEGETTING PROCESS.
Within the Protoplasm of LIFE in natural man there is a missing element, but the receptacle for its inception remains intact waiting and even yearning for that one to come who is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. Whatever may have befallen mankind along the way nothing could change the mystical desire within to KNOW GOD, for within every man there is an ALTAR to the UNKNOWN GOD! Upon that first touch of Christ who is the image and likeness of God, the "Babe" will leap in the womb of man, manifesting HIMSELF in all his glory in these earthen vessels, as the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.
Reproduction follows very strict guide lines which have been laid down by God in creation. Paul makes a very clear statement about it when he says, "AS IN ADAM ALL D-I-E, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE A-L-I-V-E." 1 Cor 15:22. In contemplating LIFE we are touching on the most mystical aspect of Christianity. This factor is partly obscured by modern theology because it has discounted the parallel nature of both the NATURAL and SPIRITUAL LAWS which we have considered in this discussion. Both were instituted by the same GOD, so that one could be observed by the natural man, allowing him to discover the pattern of the SPIRITUAL.
If we make the ACTIONS of the creature to somehow affect what is its essential being, we have ignored the Creators rules and written our own. In spiritual terms this means that if the actions of a man constitute SIN, then human theology declares that he cannot be a genuine member of the SPECIES CALLED MAN which began as a SON OF GOD. Evangelical theology concludes that his parentage cannot be GOD so must be the DEVIL. In this we have "manufactured" for ourselves another SOURCE OF LIFE complete with a perpetuation of this NON BIBLICAL SPECIES, which exists outside of GOD!!
We can point to nothing in nature that can change its species based upon its actions. If a parrot "talks" do we consider it to be HUMAN, because of it? NO, it can only be called a talking parrot. If a female dog allows a kitten to suckle from it, does this constitute the kitten a DOG? NO. That would be absurd.
Then upon what grounds can we deny the ORIGIN and IDENTITY of a MAN because he fails to live according to the LAW of God? His true origin and identity have already been established by the CREATOR who said, "LET US MAKE MAN in our image and after our likeness."
Such theology is neither reasonable, based upon known laws laid down by God, nor is it even a possibility worth considering. After we have gathered all the facts governing LIFE and REPRODUCTION, we are driven to the conclusion that
ALL MEN as a species, regardless of their actions, manner of life, knowledge or social standing are by BIOGENETICS the CHILDREN OF GOD.
Of course there will be those people who will interpret the above statement as meaning I consider everyone to be a "Christian" but this is not what I am saying. Anyone who will look honestly at the Bible must conclude there can be only ONE source from which MANKIND could come, and that is GOD. Jesus tells the people of his day, that ONE IS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. Matt 23:9.
Having established the fact of mankinds origin, we must look at other reasons for the great difference that is evident in the manifestation of life between those who know God and those who do not. It is at this point that we discover the vital difference between the life forms of nature, and that of MAN. Let me repeat first of all, that the life flowing through the humble LILY has the same origin as the LIFE in MAN. However the plant has no ability to understand, nor to approve or disapprove of the mysterious forces functioning within it. It is by its character subservient to the will and purpose of God.
However in the case of MANKIND, he has been endowed with a MIND which can evaluate and either accept or reject ideas and notions which come to him. He does this on the basis of two things, KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE. Here is the point where one person can deviate in behavior from another, based on either a LACK of knowledge or on inaccurate knowledge, together with a lack of experience.
Paul tells us that the natural heart of man is shrouded in DARKNESS, which does not allow him to see beyond the natural realm into the Spiritual where God dwells. This darkness relates to an ignorance of Spiritual things so that mans decision making is flawed because of either insufficient or wrong facts. Remember this deficient knowledge includes the spiritual realm in which God dwells. So any question regarding God cannot be accurately evaluated by the mind of natural MAN because he does not have the relevant knowledge.
To use Bible language which we have been discussing, we must conclude that natural MAN IS D-E-A-D. This means that there is no LIFE connection between GOD and his creature MAN through which can flow LIFE, LIGHT and the nature and character of the one who has begotten him. Since Adam became INDEPENDANT of God, all MANKIND HAS BEEN STRUCK WITH AMNESIA. Therefore man acts as he does often committing heinous crimes simply because he DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS, NOR FROM WHENCE HE HAS COME.
BUT my question is this :- Has he ceased to be the SPECIES he was created to be, which is M-A-N. The answer is no, but he is ignorant of his ORIGIN and has no correspondence with God. As to Gods purpose for man to have dominion over all the works of his hands HE IS D-E-A-D. With regards to the likeness and image of his FATHER HE IS D-E-A-D. Man has no understanding of his role to subdue the earth simply because to all these facts HE IS D-E-A-D. This DEATH has hidden his grand inheritance in Christ, so he lives as a beggar. His "life" is vanity seeing only he was BORN and the fact that he will die.
The glorious GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS is that Jesus Christ is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. He said to all humanity who is D-E-A-D, "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE, HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME THOUGH HE WERE DEAD YET SHALL HE LIVE."
What is involved in "BELIEVING IN CHRIST" for those who are DEAD. Jesus is the Name of his humiliation, being a MAN of flesh and blood. Natural sight could not uncover his real identity as the people only saw the carpenters son, JUST A MAN. But by revelation Peter stated the TRUTH when he said, "THOU ART THE CHRIST THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD." This was the very same person who was created in the beginning, when God said, "Let us make MAN in our image and likeness." Why did people not know and understand this? Because they believed what their natural EYES told them and not what the Spirit of God was saying.
If you worship daily at your altar to the unknown God begging him for your "daily bread," let me share with you the TRUTH. What you see in Jesus Christ, how he lived and acted in concert with his FATHER is a perfect mirror of YOURSELF, for YOU WERE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS and therefore his FATHER is also YOUR FATHER. This also constitutes you as his BROTHER, because he is the FIRSTBORN among many brethren. Allow the LIGHT of God to confirm your true identity and bring you out of the bondage of DEATH, into His marvellour LIFE.
To sum up this study let us bring together the issues that are involved in the question of LIFE and DEATH. All of nature declares that ONLY LIFE CAN BEGET LIFE. Scientists have tried for years to produce LIFE but have never been successful. GOD is the ONLY source of life in this universe, not just in terms of Creation but he also is the one who SUSTAINS LIFE. LIFE if not some "THING" that we can obtain and then become its master as if it is strictly OURS. We must remember that LIFE involves a CONTINUOUS CONNECTION between its source which is GOD and the creature.
A branch broken from a tree ceases to live because the LIFE CONNECTION is broken. Jesus used nature to define this connection for us. He said, "I am the VINE and YOU ARE THE BRANCHES, he that ABIDETH IN ME and I IN HIM, the same will bring forth much FRUIT .BUT . WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING." Jn 15:5.
Jesus elaborates on this theme by saying that the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it has a VITAL CONNECTION with the VINE. Part of this "connection" involves the purging of the branch during winter when the old leaves drop off in readiness for the NEW GROWTH that is necessary to bare the NEW FRUIT.
The analogy of we being Gods vineyard is most explicit. In planting a vineyard the farmer is seeking for a harvest which will be a reward on his investment. Israel also was said to be Gods vineyard, but although the VINES were from the very best stock, i.e. Gods offspring, the harvest only produced WILD (sour) GRAPES. It is very interesting to note that MAN is the only creature that is able to produce FRUIT ON TWO LEVELS. First there is the natural FRUIT OF THE WOMB, who are our children, but when we live in divine correspondence with God we have the capacity to BIRTH CHRIST, or in other words, to bring him into MANIFESTATION.
This is achieved not through some human effort but by the flow of what we call L-I-F-E from GOD ..WHICH IS CHRIST. Jn 14:6. But of course mankind in his natural state, is BORN OF WATER which is natural birth thus making him MORTAL. This "child" may be very clever academically and physically fit, becoming successful in life by all natural worldly standards AND YET BE D-E-A-D in the Bible sense. This one will believe he was BORN and he will DIE. His existence as far as he is concerned began the day he was born, and sees his father as the source from whence he has come. He believes in God but can only IMAGINE who he really is, having no actual contact because he lives up in the SKY. So this one can pass through "life" having NEVER LIVED.
For this reason Jesus said to Nicodemus, who was a ruler of the Jewish people in religious matters, "YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN." Why is it necessary for everyone to be born again? Because that first "birth" was OF WATER by which we receive PHYSICAL LIFE which is MORTAL. However the NEW BIRTH by definition must be another BIRTHING which requires another PARENTAGE and another SEED.
First let us consider our PARENTING or our ORIGIN. Jesus himself told us not to call anybody our FATHER, because according to him THERE IS ONLY ONE FATHER and not a MILLION, and this ONE IS IN HEAVEN or the realm of SPIRIT. It is a fact that every child gets his sense of identity from their father, so if we are confused as to who our Father is, we are going to be confused as to who WE ARE. SO the TRUTH for every man is that GOD IS THEIR FATHER, for there is no other.
Now let us consider this NEW BIRTH and how it takes place. As in our first birth, the "child" has nothing to do with it. This is not a WATER BIRTHING but a SPIRIT BIRTHING. And the same ONE is BIRTHED IN EVERY CASE, and that is ONE IS CHRIST. The reason being that GOD only created O-N-E S-O-N, and NOMORE. However every other SON was IN that ONLY BEGOTTEN SON waiting to be brought forth IN HIS LIKENESS AND IMAGE.
This birthing of the SON IN US is called the NEW BIRTH and HE IS THAT LIVING CONNECTION between God and MAN bringing the heavenly genes, together with the glory and perfection of the ALMIGHTY.
It is a most remarkable thing that man was given such dominion over everything that is living. This suggests that the LIFE given to MAN must have been of a far greater quality than that given to the lower forms of life. Everything that has LIFE and moves including MAN is called a LIVING SOUL in Genesis.
First of all the FORM of every creature finds its reflection in God, as in its BEAUTY, and mystery of life. But when God came to create MAN the total expression of what God is, both in likeness and image was transferred to him. This is CHRIST the SON of the LIVING God. This is the one who WAS MADE FLESH, by being lowered unto a body of flesh and blood, even though he was IN THE FORM OF GOD. Phil 2:6. In this "form" of humanity no one recognised who he was, because MAN WAS DEAD.
In the case of MAN, God is just an idea generated mainly through his imagination. This God is quite separate from himself, living up in the sky somewhere, although there is a feeling that he has something to do with us here on earth. In mans mind this God is responsible for everything that happens on the earth, the earth quakes, floods, road accidents and is responsible for sickness and even death. Many Christians believe if they do good, then God will bless them and take care of them, but if they do evil then something bad will happen to them as a punishment for their sin.
That connection is missing that links the creator together with creation. We call this connection LIFE, through which the knowledge of God is transmitted, including his mind and will so that the creature becomes an expression of the one who made him. Through this connection called LIFE, the LILY produces that glorious flower, and the fruit tree produces its fruit, but without it this world would be a total wilderness. However the LIFE connection between God and MAN his creation, allows for the transmission of not only his form and identity, but his likeness and image and even the VERY SPIRIT OF GOD, as demonstrated in Jesus Christ.
In Genesis 2:7 we read of the Lord God forming man from the dust of the ground, and then BREATHING into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIVES, thus allowing him to have dominion over the Spiritual aspect of creation and also over the physical. MAN is the only creature who has the capacity to live and function in both realms. This is a most wonderful thing God has given to us, but at the same time it can be the cause of much heart ache and confusion when that LIFE connection with God is interrupted. Without that living connection, man cannot see beyond the boundary between the Physical and the Spiritual or unseen world. Any incursion into that Spiritual realm without the Light and understanding of God can deeply affect our life, even though that which we believe lies in the darkness is not a part of reality.
All our fears and phobias are generated in this same area, and often become part of our physical life because we have no understanding of the world of Spirit. What we call the "occult" is simply the result of a strange desire that rises up in man, to "see" into that unseen world, thereby releasing the grotesque figures and frightening forms that are actually generated in the natural mind, but over which we seem to have no control. The fact is that we fear what we do not understand.
The night the disciples were alone in the boat in the midst of a storm, they saw JESUS walking on the sea, but because of the darkness that was still upon their hearts and minds, THEY WERE AFRAID, AND CRIED OUT IN FEAR! Can you imaging anyone being afraid of JESUS? YES, if he comes in a manner with which we are not familiar. Their minds said, no one can walk on water so this must be a SPIRIT, and with the storm raging they conclude this must be an EVIL SPIRIT, so FEAR fills their hearts.
Paul tells Timothy that God has not given us the SPIRIT OF FEAR. So fear is actually a SPIRITUAL issue. Some Christians live in fear of having an accident, others fear to let their children out of their sight in case they may be involved in an accident. Some are frightened by heights, others are frightened by the dark. Many fear going near a fortune teller or shops which sell ouija boards etc. ALL THESE FEARS are based upon that which has no reality at all, and the only power they have, is the power that people give to them.
ALL THESE THINGS and more are a direct result of the DEATH that is caused by a break in the vital connection with God through which flows LIGHT and LIFE, and the mind and inspiration of the Almighty to mankind. The fact is that the natural mind in its darkened state has an innate fear of the invisible world, believing it to be filled with demons and evil spirits all of which have the power to kill or at least to hurt us.
Let us forsake our vain imaginations and hear the Word of the Lord. Col 1:16. "For by him were ALL THINGS created that are in HEAVEN and that are in the EARTH, VISIBLE and INVISIBLE, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM AND FOR HIM."
We would find it hard to believe that God would create EVIL SPIRITS or demons that would oppose HIMSELF. So where did they come from? The answer is that man has created out of the DEATH and darkness of his heart, his own world, in which he now lives. It is a world of conflict and confusion, with evil spirits and good spirits, love and hate, joy and sadness, war and peace, God and the devil and life and death.
In contrast, God looked at all that he made in the beginning and said, "Behold it was VERY GOOD." Gen 1:31. So if God did not create all the conflict and confusion, where did it come from? Paul tells us that DEATH came into this world through ADAM. "For by ONE MAN (Adam) sin entered into the world and DEATH BY SIN, and so DEATH passed into all mankind, on which all sinned." Rom 5:12. CLNT.
Once DEATH entered into man, the darkness within him spawned an alien world in which man walked as a separate entity from God, and the conflict between GOOD AND EVIL with all its ramifications was instituted. Instead of this being a ONE POWER universe, it now became a TWO POWER battle, between God and the devil, and good and evil. From this concept was born a "BEING" (so called) known as the DEVIL, who man believes is the architect of all sin and evil in the world, and who has power to inflict illness and even to take our life. EVIL SPIRITS now began to infiltrate humanity causing demonic manifestations, imprisoning their subjects in impregnable dungeons of darkness and despair, often leading to suicide. Such is the power of the human mind, that today, all these things are the REALITIES in the lives of most people including Christians. It was this "alien" world of which Jesus spoke when he said, "My kingdom is not of THIS WORLD."
The amazing thing is that as the LIGHT of GOD streams into our heart and that LIFE CONNECTION is again established with us, that WORLD fades away and we step into the PARADISE or KINGDOM OF GOD. John speaks of this "NEW WORLD" in Rev 21:1. "And I saw a new (referring to quality) heaven and a new earth, for the FIRST heaven and the FIRST earth were passed away, and there was no more sea." There is no need for the EARTH to be destroyed nor the HEAVENS that control it, for neither possess any form of reality.
I am living in the same physical world as every one else, but for me there is only one power in my world and that is God. The devil was robbed of its power and authority just as Paul declares, "Having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Col 2:15. It is the CARNAL MIND that IS DEATH, and opposes God, but my mind is being renewed by the Holy Spirit so that it is no longer carnal. There is absolutely nothing in the Spirit world that causes me fear, and I do not fear having an accident, or fear that I will catch what ever virus may happen to be "going around."
So for me this is a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH wherein dwells righteousness. I hear the Heavens declare, "Behold the tabernacle of God IS WITH MEN, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God." Rev 21:3. In this NEW world, there are no tears and no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away, for everything is being made NEW.
FROM DEATH TO LIFE.
Most people have been taught that if we ask Jesus Christ into our hearts and repent of our sins we will be saved and at that moment we will pass from DEATH to LIFE. Such a statement defies all the known laws God has set in motion in the natural world regarding LIFE.. The TRUTH is that there is absolutely NOTHING any man can do of himself that will generate LIFE. The ONLY WAY to pass from DEATH to LIFE is by GRACE THROUGH FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD. Beloved hear this word, "If God does not reach down out of the realm of Spirit which is above and touch us, we will remain ..D-E-A-D."
In the same way nature reveals this very principle. The LIVING plant sends its roots reaching down into the earth and draws up the lifeless minerals, thus transforming them into living tissue. Tell me what could those minerals do of themselves in order to produce LIFE? The answer is absolutely nothing. Only LIFE can beget LIFE. For many years scientists have tried to produce life in a test tube from chemicals, but have never succeeded.
The evolutionists idea that in the long distant past certain chemicals combined to produce an elementary form of life, from which there developed other higher forms including MAN, is as valid as a three dollar note. The unassailable fact is that there must be LIFE, in order to produce LIFE. This introduces GOD into the equation as the LIFE from which ALL OTHER LIFE HAS COME. Paul declares in Eph 2:1, "And you hath he quickened, (made alive) who were DEAD in trespasses and sins." Therefore there was a time when the saints in Ephesis were D-E-A-D. Which means they had no "correspondence" or connection with GOD, and like a branch that is severed from a tree, they were DEAD.
This DEATH obviously does not mean that they were not breathing or that their heart had stopped, because they were still walking around so we must conclude THEY HAD SOME KIND OF LIFE. Let us explore the wisdom of God with regard to LIFE.
In Gen 2:7 we are told the Lord God breathed into Adams nostrils the breath of LIVES (plural.) So there is a complexity to LIFE beyond our heart beating and our lungs breathing. Most would agree that there is a PHYSICAL LIFE and there is a SPIRITUAL LIFE, just as there is a HEAVENS and there is an EARTH. Spiritual LIFE being akin to the heavens, is to RULE over the earth which relates to our physical LIFE.
What then are the HEAVENS referred to here with regard to LIFE? It is evident that there is an UNSEEN part of our being which is SPIRITUAL, and is referred to as SOUL and SPIRIT. Let there be no doubt in anyones mind about the over-riding role these two have to play in our PHYSICAL WELL BEING. Tell me, what is it that keeps your heart beating even when you are asleep or unconscious? What controls all the activities of liver, kidneys, and intestines? What organises the cells necessary to heal a wound and fits them into their correct place? What is responsible for healing a cut or sore so that after some days it is almost invisible?
The answer is the SOUL and the SPIRIT which is the Spiritual part (the Heavens) in MAN. Doctors acknowledge that some 75% of sickness is psychosomatic because it has its origin in the MIND. The mind is capable of preserving LIFE or producing DEATH. Solomon said that the power of LIFE and DEATH are in the tongue. Once "the bone" has been pointed at an aborigine he will die, even without any physical connection between the BONE and the MAN. For many people as soon as they hear that they have CANCER they loose the will to live. For this reason Doctors often delay telling some patients the truth.
I do not believe the physical body is essentially different to those who lived in Old Testament days, when their life span far exceeded ours today. However it is most evident that MAN now is far less GOD CONSCIOUS than he was even a hundred years ago. This indicates that there is far less correspondence between the SOUL or MIND and the SPIRIT. Thus the MIND of MAN exerts less "spiritual" influence from the heavenly realm, and much more from the EARTH. To sum up what we are saying, I believe the mind which affects the brain, which controls the function of the body, is moving away from the creators input, declaring its decisions and ideas to be superior. Our health now depends on eating the right food as directed by the fads and phobias of society, aided by the right vitamins as promoted by people with a vested interest.
WE now claim the "Glory" for our physique, as being the result of OUR decisions and know-how. Thus God no longer is credited with our well-being or OUR LIFE and he is replaced by the IGNORANCE of man, even though it is the cause of much sickness and premature death. How many today understand that the STRESS and STRAIN of life, in order to earn enough money to do what we want to do, is killing us. Our problems in relationships, together with anger and frustration are robbing us of our health. Pharmaceutical companies are becoming rich manufacturing the pills that help us cope with head-aches, sleeplessness at night, and the ills and sickness that beset humanity, all of which are SOUL related.
Jesus said, "Do not be distracted by saying, what shall we EAT or what shall we drink, or with what shall we be clothed, because after all these things do the GENTILES (pagans) seek. But your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things, BUT SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS will be added unto you. Matt 6:31-34.
Beloved we need to check our focus, because it seems that most of our concern is directed towards the SAME THINGS the PAGANS are concerned about, and little thought is given to the KINGDOM OF GOD. Theology has put Christ up in the SKY instead of DWELLING IN US so that we lack in our sense of God consciousness. In this remarkable statement, Paul says, "YOU HAVE BEEN MADE ALIVE," even though you WERE DEAD. Let us discover HOW these DEAD people were madeALIVE, for this is important for us to know. Paul leaves us in no doubt about HOW they were made alive. In verse 4. it begins with "BUT GOD" who is rich in mercy and love, HAS QUICKENED US TOGETHER WITH CHRIST. This is consistent with our statement that only LIFE can beget LIFE, for that which is DEAD has no power at all under any circumstances to generate LIFE.
The next question raised is, "When was Christ raised up, because Paul makes the point that WE were MADE ALIVE WITH CHRIST?" The answer of course is on the THIRD DAY after his death on the cross.