Archive | April, 2020

Life and Immortality

4 Apr

Do we really have to die?   What if the requirement to die was already fulfilled?   What if we are perpetuating a powerless force that is only propagated because we believe it to be so?  What if ALL of the Curse was really accommodated and removed from us by Jesus’ comprehensive crucifixion on the Cross?  What if the timing to overcome the final enemy death, has always been waiting on our discovery of its “abolishment”?  Interested?

This is likely too big of a bite of steak to chew… not to mention, swallow.  So, let’s start with something more believable.

(About 4 years ago I published ‘What if we don’t have to die?’ To read that post click here.)

Time Magazine’s theme in February 2015 was emblazoned on the front cover, with a picture of a baby and the caption said, “This baby could live to be 142 years old.”  The premise is largely predicated upon the breakthroughs of science, medicine and our environment.  Lest we think this is just wishful thinking, consider that even in the last hundred years our life expectancy has increased from 50 to 80 years in North America.  That’s 30 more years of life to live… a 60% increase in just one century!  What would you have thought if someone had exclaimed, “I can lengthen your lifespan by 60%?”  Would you have believed them?  I doubt it.  And I doubt if anyone living in the early 1900s wouldn’t have believed.  But it happened!

Now, let’s take this long-life speculation and see if there is anything in Scripture to corroborate it.

“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” … “For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” – Isa 65:20, 22

Hmmm.   So, it looks like the reality of living beyond 100 years of age is not just the figment of someone’s imagination, after all.  In addition to modern expectations, this longevity was prophesied several thousand years ago.  And it hasn’t happened yet!!  Which means, of course, that it can happen… and it WILL happen.   So, what are we waiting for?

Whittling this ‘steak’ down to bite size

So, what if it’s true, what do we need to know in order to open up this incredible possibility?  Let’s start with one of the instant kneejerk reactions, “But what about the verse that says…”

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…” – Heb 9:27

Seems like a pretty solid verse, but then what will we do with this verse?

“For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” – Col 3:3

Did you notice that for the believer, you have ALREADY died… and your life is NOW hidden with Christ in God?  This reality is not waiting for your ‘ticker’ to stop.  It’s a current reality.  So, if we can believe it and embrace it, we have already accomplished Heb 9:27.

And just as an aside, if we’re going to be sticklers about men having to die (their ‘ticker’ stops) one time, then what are we going to do about people that you and I know who have died two or three times… and then been brought back to life by medical or supernatural means?  This will challenge our stickler perspective… and lets us know that there must be a broader meaning to this verse than we originally thought.

Death isn’t the door into eternal life, Jesus is! 

I am the DOOR. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” – John 10:9

Did you catch that?  We can go IN and OUT through this Door.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6

Here’s what Jesus did to break the ancient death syndrome?

 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it in all its fullness.” – John 10:10

“As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; (this is the pattern) and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the heavenly man.” – I Cor 15:48-49

“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE FROM the law of sin and DEATH.” – Roms 8:2

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Roms 6:23

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” – I Cor 15:53-55

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” – Roms 8:29

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ…” – Roms 5:17

Since Adam, the inescapable consequence of death has reigned in all facets of humanity.  Even though Adam’s consequence was powerful… very powerful… this verse says that the abundance of grace we’ve received through Jesus is MUCH MORE powerful than the consequence of Adam’s offense!!  So how powerful was the sentence of death through Adam?  Almost no escapees!  Well, through Jesus the liberation unto LIFE is EVEN MORE powerful and pervasive!

“that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Roms 3:19

Think of it.  If we’re to be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS of God, then that must certainly include His immortality.  And how many other attributes of God are we still lacking in our experience? Hmmm.  Looks like we’ve accepted a subpar reality… way below God’s intentions for us!

Jesus’ strong statement against death

When confronted with Martha’s unbelief after Lazarus’ death, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26 NKJV

Look at the contrast: In the first sentence, Jesus acknowledges life AFTER death.  Then He states that those who “live (are alive… haven’t died) and believe, shall never die”!  And then, just to make sure that she really heard Him, He asked if she believed this.  It seems that He’s imploring her, “Please believe Me.  Partner with Me!  Whoever believes Me will not have to die.  We can break this death stronghold that has had its power over mankind for 4000 years!”

Consider this verse in the Old Testament in a couple different versions…

“In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” – Prov 12:28 NIV
“In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death.” – Prov 12:28 NJKV

Does it get more clear than that?!

And now, take a deep breath before you read this…

He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has ABOLISHED death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.– II Tim 1:10 NASB

Did you catch the magnitude of that passage?  Jesus ABOLISHED death and brought life and immortality to light”.  Death is a goner!  It has been rendered toothless… powerless… banished!  There is no hiding of this truth because Jesus has shone a spotlight on life and immortality.  Now He’s waiting, hoping and eager for us to SEE it.  He hid this truth in plain sight!  It was given to us before time, then revealed through Jesus, and since then it’s been waiting… just waiting… just waiting for you and me to SEE it and believe it.

Even death itself will be destroyed!

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death…” – I Cor 15:25, 26

Death has been ABOLISHED and is now waiting to be destroyed… by us… by our faith in His word!  Remember Jesus’s question to Martha, “Do you believe this?”  The death of death itself will actualize when we believe!

So, when was death destroyed?  When Jesus put all of His enemies under His feet.  When was that?  At the Cross!  And now when does the death and abolishment of death begin to manifest in us… where does death begin to enter into its own death throes?  It starts in our faith-filled “believing” minds!!!  Jesus abolished death on the Cross and in His Resurrection… now the old constructs of our minds must be demolished so that His LIFE can be experienced.

So what if we’re trying to actualize something that is only meant to be spiritualized?

For certain, this immortality issue has a strong spiritualized application.  Living forever with our Lord has been the blessed hope of all saints throughout all time.  But if we say that everything has to be spiritualized, we’ll run into problems with other aspects of the conquering graces that we believe in.  For instance, should we spiritualize references in Scripture about healing?  Are those passages intended for us to believe that we’ll only be ‘healed’ after we die?  If that’s true, then there’s no hope for experiencing healing in our physical body now… and I don’t think any of us wants to go down that road.  But if we’re determined to only spiritualize immortality, we see how it could rob us of our treasured realities in other areas.

Don’t we have to be a ‘super saint’ to experience this? 

The truth is WE ARE something special!!!  If we weren’t so jaded with outdated tradition, devilish societal norms and erroneous mental constructs, we could break free.  If our eyes could only see the way God sees us.  You see, if any man be in Christ, he IS A NEW CREATION…. the old is past!

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he IS a new creature (he is of a new order): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – II Cor 5:17

“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” – Roms 8:20-21

So why do people still die?

I believe that inside the cells of our DNA the outdated record of death (from Adam) still haunts us… it badgers us from inside our DNA.  Unrenewed memory patterns are like old ghosts of the past.  The ‘memory’ of the “abolished” law of death still lingers in the ‘memory banks’ of our body’s cells.  And in addition to the internal ‘haunting’, externally the long perpetuated but outdated realities of death scream unceasingly at us from every layer of our society.

Declare war on the record of death

Apprehending this revelation will require that we set ourselves to destroy our alliances with the record of death.  We must hunger for the Truth.  We must embrace upgrades from the Word of God.  We must tear down old strongholds in our mind and the faulty confessions of our mouth.  This requires diligence over our speech.  We must determine to speak only what the Word of God says about our identity and reality.

Everyone knows, our confession creates our ‘world’… and our confession comes from our inner world of thoughts.  Thus, it’s vital that we renew our minds and require that they conform to God’s Word.  Here it is, concise and straight forward.  How do we get transformed…?

Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” – Roms 12:2

Has anyone ever told you that the Greek origin of the word ‘transformed’ is the very same word that describes Jesus at His transfiguration?

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” – Matt 17:2

Look it up in your Strong’s Concordance!  The word ‘transfigured’ in Matt 17:2, (transfiguredG3339 μεταμορφόω metamorphoō) is the exact same Greek word that is used for ‘transformed’ in Romans 12:2!  So now we can say with all boldness…

Be transfigured by the renewing of your mind!

Wow, that opens up a completely new dimension of possibility and reality, doesn’t it?

How about dealing another blow to our outdated understanding of “it’s appointed unto men to die once”?  Consider that there are at least two men who never died… even once!  Elijah and Enoch.  What are we going to do with our ‘die once’ belief now?  They didn’t even die once.  And these men were in the Old Covenant.  They didn’t have the work of the Cross and the Ascended Life available to them, like we do.  So how did they do it?  How did they escape death?  What would you say, if I told you that… your faith can keep you from dying?

“It was faith that kept Enoch from dying.  Instead, he was taken up to God, and nobody could find him, because God had taken him up.” – Heb 11:5

How’s that ‘chunk of steak’ coming along now?  Are we whittling it down to a manageable size to possibly begin to tolerate the idea of not dying… and who knows, maybe even desire to believe it?

Times and Seasons

Each of God’s ‘times and seasons’ have had specific emphasis’ and His intent was to usher the masses into the unique reality that He was highlighting.  Now one could say, that if the crowd isn’t experiencing it, then it must not be possible.  And yet there have always been individuals who didn’t let ‘times and seasons’ restrain them.  Actually, most breakthroughs in the natural and spiritual have come because of the desire and tenacity of some lone pioneers.

But is it Biblically allowable for individuals to experience a powerful reality of a facet of God that has not yet been revealed ‘wholesale’ to the world?  Yes!  I call these people ‘ahead of time’ people.  Here are a few examples…

“have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come – Heb 6:5

Enoch never experienced death (An OT saint experienced immortality)

David experienced the New Covenant realities around the Ark, hundreds of years early

Abraham – “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” – John 8:56

Mary ushered Jesus into His first miracle at the Cana wedding ahead of time. – John 2:4

The Syrophoenician woman elicited a miracle from Jesus ahead of time – Matt 15:21-28

Jonah reluctantly preached to Ninevah and spared that city 800 years ahead of time of the Gentiles – Jonah

Have there been any radical new spiritual breakthroughs in our day?

Someone might say, “I thought everything God did was already done and made available back in the Bible days.   Can you show me where a major spiritual breakthrough has happened in modern history?”

Well, first you’re partially right.  Jesus accomplished everything on the Cross and definitely made it available to us.  God’s part was done.  The Bible says Jesus “sat down at the right hand of God”.  The symbolism of ‘sitting’ denotes that something has been completed and that one is resting from the matter.

But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time, He waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet, because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are being sanctified.…” – Heb 10:12-14

What is Jesus waiting for?  I believe He’s waiting for you and me, His saints, to discover the grand-ness of what He accomplished for us.  As we discover it, our faith begins to rise to the occasion and we begin to ‘possess the land’ of that revelation.  Here are a few huge breakthroughs into the completed work of the Cross that occurred in just the last century.  By and large, these breakthroughs were not experienced (or even believed to be available) before the turn of 1900.  But because of a few tenacious saints, these realities in God became realities in man… and they are becoming more common each decade.

Assurance of Salvation – Prior to the 1900s (and currently still believed in some mainline Christian streams) one couldn’t be confident that they were saved and ‘going to heaven’.  Thanks to many who heralded the Truth in the middle 1900s, we now have a solid faith that a sincere believing heart and confession of faith will save us. (Roms 10:9-10)

Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Since Pentecost, very few people experienced and spoke in tongues.  But in 1905, a very large spiritual door was opened at Azuza Street in Los Angeles.  Now there is a common grace for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and many millions have experienced it.

Prophetic – Pre-1950s, evangelists were the only ones who prophesied.  In the 80s we began to understand that “you can all prophesy”.  Now it is more commonly believed and practiced by many.

Healing – Pre-1950s, only the ‘faith healers’ could heal.  But in the 80s we heard that we could all administer healing.  Now there is a common grace and faith for healingmany administer healing.

In each of these outpourings, awakened, desperate and impassioned hearts pressed hard into God for a breakthrough.   They secured and established a beachhead of new-found faith.  Now their successes are a matter of history that many of us enjoy and they’ve become so normal that we even take them for granted.

God’s people need an upgrade in mindset

God’s people have been invited into the ‘how much more’ dreams of our Father God.  We desperately need new mindsets to liberate us from antiquated… even devilish, strongholds.  For too long those old structures of thinking have held us in bondage… preventing the power of God’s word to be manifested in our lives.  The principles (principalities) of our faith in an inferior truth or mindset will keep us from entering in.  Erroneous faith will disempower our experience of the real Truth.  But the opposite is also equally true!

According to your faith be it unto you.” – Matt 9:29

God, release the revelators!

God releases truth through the ‘revelators’ who frame-up theologically sound structures and then practice it for all to see so that others can repent (literally: change their way of thinking).  “Faith comes by hearing” and when what we hear is the Word of God, then we begin to build a Godly stronghold toward a better reality.

Repent (Metanoia – change your mind, mindset) so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” – Acts 3:19

So, is it possible to not die a physical death?

If “Enoch did not die because of his faith”, and he didn’t have all the New Covenant realities of God available to him, then I think it is more than possible for us.  I don’t have any modern-day examples to point to yet, but since when did that become the litmus test from which we determine whether something is true or not.  I believe immortality has been clearly secured for us at the Cross and Resurrection and is now waiting for brave explorers to explore a brand-new world.  Millions and billions of people are waiting on our discoveries.  They’ll one day enjoy our breakthroughs and even take them for granted because the breakthrough realities have become so normal.  And even more than that, isn’t it an amazing statement of respect and appreciation to our Father, every time we receive and walk in all that He offers us?

As we begin to see that we’re living under the ravages of The Curse NEEDLESSLY, hopefully, our soul man begins to awaken.  Hopefully, a hunger begins to grip us even unto the level of a militance to “apprehend that for which I was apprehended” (Phil 3:12).

It’s time to have an ugly ‘breakup’ with death!!!

Let’s give death an ugly breakup!  Let’s give death a ‘Dear John’ letter and send him packin’.  Death has not been kind to us.  Death has not been our friend.  Death has only robbed us of our potential for Kingdom accomplishments.  Death deserves the most certain “Bye-bye” in no uncertain terms.

Death, we say, “We’re done with you.  You have been ABOLISHED.  Goodbye and good riddance!”

Now, let’s pray

Jesus, I affirm that it is in You that I live and move and have my being.  So, I present this body and my life to You to be upgraded by the New Covenant recoding into my New Creation being.  I rescind the confessions that I’ve made which formed alliances with death and dying.  I renounce the agreement that I have made with Adam’s fallen state and the resulting curses.  I renounce my old DNA and the record of death resulting from Adam that still resonates in the memory banks of my cells.  In light of Your word, and by faith, I appropriate Jesus’ powerful liberation from the law of sin and death… since it has been fully “abolished” by and through Jesus.  I put on new life that has lavishly been made available to me.  I expect to see and experience “life and life more abundantly”.  I expect that Life to manifest fully in my whole being.  I expect to live and not die!  I expect to live eternally even as Enoch who “by faith, did not die”.  I receive all that Jesus made available to me and all that He intentioned to be my reality and my portion.  I receive it, Lord!  I receive it!  I will be among those who destroy the final enemy, death!  By faith, this corruptible is putting on incorruptible and this mortal is putting on immortality!  I am living eternally!  Amen

If you prayed that prayer

It’s vital that we begin to be judicious… and even ruthless with our thoughts and confessions and everyday vocabulary.  Tell your brain that it’s not OK to mindlessly ally with society’s out-of-date mindsets and philosophies.  We must seek out others who are reaching for and experiencing the higher life… the Ascended life.  This will be a most fun adventurous process.  We have an invitation extended to us from our King and gracious Father Himself.  He’s more eager for us to inhabit our inheritance than we are.

Any takers?  Good!  Let’s enjoy the steak and live forever!!!

—  MLH