Tag Archives: tree of knowledge of good and evil

What if: You don’t have to die?

27 May

As a teen I loved science fiction.  I loved to think of possibilities beyond the norm.  So I’m naturally intrigued with this subject… but this possibility seems to be more than a science fiction adventure.

Question: Did Jesus lift off ALL the curse from us?  Or just part of the curse?  Does some of the removal of the curse have to wait for some date in the future in order for us to avail it?  And just so we know what we’re referring to, here are some of the consequences Adam experienced (Gen 3:16-24).

You die – because you ate of the wrong tree
Women – husband shall rule over you
Pain in childbirth
Ground is cursed
You shall till the ground
By sweat of your brow
Among thorns and thistles
Till you return to the ground – die
Driven from the Garden of Eden

Again, we believe Jesus came and lifted off the curse, but now that we’re getting down to the nitty gritty, we may question whether it applies to ALL of the curse.  So, is the lifting off of the curse determined by future sovereign timings, or the conditional actions of man, or ???

So next question: Do we have evidence that any practical aspects of the curse have been lifted off in our modern day?  I think we can find a few

Childbirth pain – I have a Christian friend who has had 11 short & painless home births.  There are several books published by women who have pioneered similar beachheads of faith and experience.
Women under rule – The world’s reversal version is called ‘women’s lib’.  God’s reversal version/pre-Fall helpmate status in Christian marriage.
Cursed ground – Watch the Transformations videos by George Otis, to see convincing documented proof of redeemed land, sea and creation.  The earth responds favorably to righteous rule (Rms 8:19).
Sweat/work – Some have established track records of supernatural provision and those new beachheads of faith are being successfully exported to others.

So some of what we thought were immutable consequences of the curse, are actually reversible and redeemable.  Hmmmm.

OK, then what about death?  Does a man have to die (heart stops beating)?  If death is arguably the most serious consequence of the curse, then was Jesus’ work on the cross significant enough to conquer the sentence of death for all of us.  If we can determine it so, we would have ‘legal footing’ to create a beachhead of faith to overcome deaLiveForeverth.

We know that death is the “last enemy” – I Cor 15:26.  That implies that there is a time when death will be no more.  Are we waiting for a sovereign timing in the future… or has that work already been done on the cross when Jesus said, “It is finished”?  Is He just waiting for daring believers to defy the status quo charade that death has held over us since Jesus?

And just to prove that it is possible to not die; for the record, there were at least two men in OT Scripture who never had to experience death – Enoch and Elijah.  But, almost automatically Hebrews 9:27 will pop into our minds (“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this, the judgment”) as a proof text that we must die.  But, if we take this literally, what shall we do with Enoch and Elijah who didn’t die… and the people who have died 2 or 3 times, after being resurrected from the dead?  And what about our theology that says we’ve already died with Christ?  Does that satisfy the Adamic death sentence over you and me?

Since we know that there are some victories over the curse, let’s look at other spiritual breakthroughs in the last few centuries.

Rediscovery of: “the just shall live by faith” – 1517
Mass baptism of the Holy Spirit – 1905 approx.
Assurance of salvation by faith… not by works or travailing – 19xxs
Healing by ‘faith healers’ only — 40-50s
Prophets/Evangelists can give words of knowledge – 50-60s
Teachers made the Word come alive – 70s
Everyone can heal – 80s
Everyone can prophesy – 80-90s
Apostles reemerge in the earth – 90s
Supernatural provision available – 2000s
Church begins focusing outside of the building – 2000s
Upgrades in theology…

God’s identity is better than we thought – 2010s
Our identity is improving in our own eyes – 2010s

Seeing this, I’m sure we can expect that many more status quos will be broken.  Many of these (above) were and still are, staggering breakthroughs of faith which have revolutionized large sectors of the body of Christ!  Indeed, a few walked in these breakthroughs before they become available on a wholesale basis.  But some desperate pioneers paid the cost to make a discovery, herald that discovery… and release that position of faith to the globe for wholesale outpouring… thus changing the world.  So, big paradigms and status quos do get broken.

Now, back to death… let’s look at Adam before the Fall.  Did he have to die before the Fall?

“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” – Gen 3:22-24

“Returning to the dust” can mean only physical death.  There would be no point to this aspect of the curse unless there was the possibility of no physical death before.  All Adam and Eve had to do was eat of the Tree of Life in order to live forever in their natural body, so God had to drive them from the Garden.   

Ok, so are there other Scriptures to fan the flames of our quest?  Take a look at these passages.

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

O death where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?  For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Cor 15:56-57

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. – John 5: 24

Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. – John 6:47

This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. – John 6:50

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  – John 6:51

This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever. – John 6:57-58

And now He has revealed this grace through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the gospel – II Tim 1:10

This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.  For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, – Ps 102:18-20

Truly, truly, I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death. – John 8:51

Do we have to relegate these to only ethereal spiritual-realm applications?  Although some of these passages can and should be applied to escaping spiritual soul death, some of the language seems to give credence to overcoming physical death.  Is God waiting for someone(s) to mine His heart and His word to find faith to overcome death?  Is defying death ‘legally’ available in God’s heart for us?   OK, let’s try another approach.

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This happy man needs a drink of Ps 103:5 & 42:11

… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Ps 103:5

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 my people will live as long as trees.– Isa 65:20, 22

So not only did men live longer in early Biblical history, but this passage clearly states that somewhere in the future men will again live longer… much longer.  And if they live longer… could that mean they may not have to die at all?

Is it possible that this ‘mountain’ of a giant has illegally squatted on God’s people for way too long and is about to get “removed and cast into the sea”?  The pioneer in me wants to conquer this ‘mountain’ just like every other mountain I’ve ever seen in the natural!  My pioneer blood is pumping now!  

So what if we don’t have to die?  Which one of us is going to be the first to conquer this mountain?

OK, that’s all the fun I can handle for now.  🙂

— MLH

Published at: http://wp.me/p23r7p-Gb

For another inspired voice on this subject, listen to Justin Abraham in this 1-hour audio entitled: Life and Immortality

Insights into the lives of Adam and Enoch… and beyond

24 Nov

Adam

God said to Adam in Gen 2:17   “…in the day that you eat thereof (the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you shall surely die.”

We know that Adam ‘died’ spiritually on that day, but how should we handle the issue of his literal death.  Did he die in the very same day that he ate of the tree?  Well, let’s consider II Pet 3:8, “for a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.”  So evidently, with God, a thousand years is a day.  With this in mind, then Adam did die in the very same day in which he ate of the tree, because he died at 930 years old… just seventy years before his ‘day’ was over.

Adam and Enoch

Adam, who died at 930 years old, was about middle age (only 622 years old) when his great-great-great-great-great grandson, Enoch was born.  Surely Adam must have occasionally visited his children and grandchildren which of course included Jared and his newly born son, Enoch.  It’s not hard to believe that when Enoch was quite young, Adam would hold his grandson on his lap and tell the most spellbinding stories of how he used to walk with God in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden… so mystifying and irresistible to this young boy.  I can hear Enoch say, “Tell me another story Grandpa.”  Adam likely fueled Enoch’s inquisitive mind even further by telling how much fun God had when Adam named all the living creatures (see Gen 2:19-20).  In more serious discourses, Adam described God’s voice… and His ways… and His heart.  Enoch’s increasingly discerning questions and unusual bond with Grandpa made Adam reach ever further back into his ‘file cabinet’ of dusty memories.

One day as Adam began to recount another of these distant but treasured encounters, a long dormant and nearly forgotten longing began to stir… a longing for the days of one-ness that he once had with God.  Through the fog of time and sin-induced separation,  he had stumbled upon this rare ‘awakening’ – almost as if it was from another life.  A ‘door’ in the Spirit had been opened.  Ushered by God Himself, Adam revisited those surreal days before the concept and consequence of sin had ever entered Adam’s mind… or the earth.  His heart was now inflamed with all the sensory and visceral delights of a time before sin.  Words came more slowly now… but more pregnant with passion and unction… and quite possibly through tender tears.  He felt the anointing… the actual presence of God… just like he had remembered.  So right… so real… so wonderful!  All the passions of his heart were ignited and fully ablaze… burning and yearning… longing for life in Eden… for his innocence… and for Abba.

While under the anointing Adam was highly ‘contagious’… and indeed the living ‘germ’ of desire was now planted deep in Enoch’s impressionable and innocent heart.  Adam had fulfilled his mission… to transfer an irresistible hunger for knowing God to his generations.  So not only does Enoch truly believe that his grandfather has literally walked and talked with God, but now, he too is compelled with insatiable desire to know this God who has awakened his awe.

Can you see Enoch’s first attempts to connect with his grandfather’s God… maybe fumbling and raw, but yet with childlike believing and a burning desire to become friends with this God who Grandpa said created all that is?  And beyond that, the way Grandpa’s eyes seem to wistfully peer off into another world… and the way he is so strangely and deeply moved when he revisits those days of yore, has completely captivated this young pioneer.  Enoch now owned it… he was hooked… Grandpa’s passion was now his passion.  He must have been consumed with ever greater marvel as he discovered that God is… and God really cares… and God wants to become friends with those who seek Him.   And Enoch wasn’t the only one who was rewarded in this epic venture.  God was too… even more.  God was most-delighted that now He was having the same koinonia with Enoch, as He had with Adam back “in the beginning”.   I believe that He found great joy in overwhelmingly rewarding Enoch’s most delightful obsession because this was the kind of friendship that He had longed for from before the creation of man.  Enoch and God’s relationship blossomed into bosom buddies much the same way John the Beloved and Jesus became the best of friends.  They withheld nothing from each other… a heart on earth and the Heart of Heaven now beat as one.

Scenario?

God and Enoch’s relationship became so intimate and familiar that walking and talking each day was as common and easy as breathing.  But each late afternoon Enoch had to say good-bye so that he could arrive back to his home before dark.  One day they lost all track of time when they got ‘caught up’ talking of all the splendors of God’s house and Heaven and they were much too far from Enoch’s home for him to make it back before dark.  So because of their unmatched friendship and because God was so fond of Enoch’s company, he offered, “Why don’t you just come on over to My house tonight?”  And thus Enoch “was no more for God took him” (see Gen 5:24).

What can we learn?

Enoch communed with God so deeply and spent so much time at the edge of the other realm that one day he just ‘slipped over’ into the Heavenly realm and never came back.  This glorious and permanent ‘slipping over’ into the Heavenly realm occurred when Enoch was 365 years old.  It may just be a coincidence (or not) that Enoch’s number of years is the same as the number of days in our calendar year – 365.  So from Enoch’s life we discover God’s personal invitation to explore that same walking and talking with God each and every day of our lives.  We now know it’s possible.

Why Not Now?

In the New Covenant Jesus gave us easy access into the Heavenlies.  Now we’ve been granted to live in both of the realities of Heaven and earth at the same time.  And since Jesus conquered hell and death, ‘legally’ (on the cross and in the resurrection) the necessity of dying has been overcome.  Could this set us up for the possibility of walking and talking with God to such a level that we ‘are not for God takes us’?  Hey, it has already happened to mere mortals at least twice in history – Enoch and Elijah.  Why couldn’t it happen again – to us?

Don’t you just love pushing on the boundaries of possibility?!  Wouldn’t you love to be a part of a company of people who roll back ‘normal’… who call forth those things which are not yet, as though they were… and who get to see God do ‘ahead of time’ things that had been reserved for the future (think Tab of David)?  I think all of Heaven begins cheering when men and women ‘explorers’ ponder the heart of God and begin to think in terms and ways not limited to tradition and the conventional… or science and the practical.  Who will those men and women be who escape the chains of this world’s ‘gravity’ and discover a new ‘normal’ in the Heavenlies… like Enoch and beyond?

– MLH