Great White Throne
Revelation 20:11-1511 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Before we look into what the great white throne is and its purpose we need to be clear on what the book of Revelation is.The book opens with the words “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”
Revelation comes from the Greek word apokalupsis meaning to unveil or manifest.So the book of Revelation is all about the unveiling or manifestation of Jesus Christ.Everything written in this book is about Jesus Christ; there is nothing in this book that does not speak of Him. It is the unveiling of the mystical body of Jesus Christ from head to feet. Our Lord being the head of the body and us being members of that same body.This whole body is simply called Jesus Christ.
This can be seen in Ephesians 3:14-15 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
So when we read this book of mystery we should be reading it with a singleness of purpose and that is to see Jesus Christ. When we read of the judgments spoken so often within this book, we should be looking at how those judgments reveal Jesus Christ. What I mean by that is that the judgments written in this book are for the express purpose of manifesting Jesus Christ to and in us. They are not written to condemn men but to unveil Christ within us. Thus when we read about the judgment of the great white throne which judgment is the second death we should be looking at how that judgment reveals to us and in us Jesus Christ.
The book of Revelation goes on to say “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”. To some it is a future experience, to those who have died and gone on to be with the Lord this experience is already passed, and to us it is a present reality. For this is a book of the unveiling of Jesus Christ which is, which was and which is to come. Every judgment written in this book has already happened, is happening right now and will happen in the future.Ecclesiastes 1:9. That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 10. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new''? It has already been in ancient times before us.
People look at the great white throne judgment and see only a future judgment of a lake of fire and brimstone. Now it is true for some this judgment is a future event yet to happen but for us this judgment is happening right now and for others this judgment is already past. The scriptures are very plain that the book of Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ which is, which was and which is to come. Can we say in all honesty that those men of generations past never had an unveiling of Jesus Christ, of course we can’t. Men like Abraham and Moses most assuredly had Jesus Christ revealed to them. And how could they have had Him revealed to them unless they had gone though the fiery judgments spoken of so often in the book of Revelation?
The scriptures themselves show us in Gen.19:24 and Lu.17:29 the judgment of the great white throne being sent out from the Lord, and that judgment came and will come when the son of man is revealed. Ezekiel 38:22-2322 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Can there be any doubt that the great white throne judgment of fire and brimstone is for the unveiling or manifestation of Jesus Christ? And can we not see that it has happened in the past, is happening right now and will happen in the future? To believe otherwise would be to say that Jesus Christ was not made manifest to people like Abraham and Moses.
The Unveiling or Manifestation
There is a very revealing scripture found in Luke that states.Luke 2:25-3225 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
The word see here is the Greek word eido which means know.The word eido means to come into full knowledge of or to know perfectly.We see this in Jesus’ words to the Jews.John 8:55-56
55 Yet ye have not known ( this known is the Greek word ginosko and carries the meaning of understand or perceive) him; but I know (eido)him: and if I should say, I know(eido) him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know(eido) him, and keep his saying.
To put that in our language Jesus said to the Jews.Yet ye have not understood Him; but I know Him perfectly: and if I should say, I do not know Him perfectly, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I do know Him perfectly, and keep His sayings.
Thus the promise to Simeon was that he would not come to know death perfectly until he had known the Lord’s Christ perfectly.It is the unveiling or manifestation of the perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ to us that brings about the death of the old man and we cannot know the death of the old man until we come to know Jesus Christ.
Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.A light to unveil or manifest the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.Jesus Christ is the light that manifests to us our old man (Gentile) nature.
Brothers and sisters the unveiling or manifestation of Jesus Christ comes by way of the CROSS. Every judgment given in the book of Revelation is a part of that same cross Jesus bore. This includes the great white throne judgment which is the second death.There is no judgment that is given unto men that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ did not bear.
One of the malefactors had a great insight into this, we read inLuke 23:39-40
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (judgment).
The cross, the cross, the cross, there is no other judgment that our saviour faced but the judgment of the cross. It was upon the cross that He paid it all, it was upon the cross that death is swallowed up in victory. There is no other judgment whereby men are judged but by the cross seeing that we are in the same judgment.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
Token which comes from the Greek word endeigma means evidence or proof. Persecutions and tribulations are evidence or proof of the righteous judgment of God.It has been said by many today that Christians will be raptured out of this world and will not have to go through the great tribulation, but Jesus states: John 16:20-21 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish (tribulation), for joy that a man is born into the world.
Unless we go through the righteous judgment of God how is Christ to be formed in us and us formed in Him?It is stated Acts 14:22 22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Brothers and sisters unless we experience the righteous judgment of God we can not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Concerning the righteous judgment of God Paul states in Romans 8:36 that we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter and are killed all the day long.The righteous judgment of God kills the old man nature in each of us. Paul states:2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction (tribulation), which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Thessalonians 1: 6-8 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who are those that trouble us? A mans enemies are those of his own house. It is our old man with the carnal mind and all the lusts of the flesh that trouble us, for the carnal mind is enmity against God and is not subject to the laws of God neither indeed can be.
When do we see this tribulation started?
When the Lord Jesus is unveiled or made manifest in a flaming fire.It is the unveiling or manifestation of Jesus Christ from the judgment of His presence that the everlasting destruction of our old man is enacted. From His presence and from the glory of His power. Therefore we are both destroyed (the old man) and saved and redeemed by the same righteous judgment of God enacted by His presence and His power, which power is the cross. 1Co.1:18
Exodus 6:6"Therefore say to the children of Israel: `I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
2 Thessalonians 1: 9-10 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Many read the above scripture as the everlasting destruction to be away from the presence of the Lord, but that is not what the above scripture is saying at all. It is saying that from His presence and from His power as in His presence and in His power. Not away from His presence but in His presence. We can see this very clearly in Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Psalm 139:7-87 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Can we not see by these things that the great white throne judgment which is the lake of fire and brimstone, the second death is the unveiling or manifestation of Jesus Christ by the power of His cross in our lives? Will be explained in fuller detail in the section on fire and brimstone.
John 12:30-33 30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
NOW is the judgment of this world, this He said signifying what death He should die.Do we not see that the judgment of this world is by the cross, for was it not by the cross that He died?
If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.Brothers and sisters it is not some mystical lake of fire that judges and purifies man and draws them to Christ, it is the mystery of the CROSS working in our lives that judges and purifies and draws us to Him. The great white throne judgment of fire and brimstone is the cross for this He said, signifying what death He should die, NOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS WORLD.
Understanding the old man
To understand the second death one must come to the understanding that they have an old man nature, and how it is that the old man is dealt with.
Scripture states:Genesis 2:77 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Many believe that this is speaking of how natural man was created. They believe that God took dust from the ground, breathed His spirit into the dust and that this union of dust and spirit is the make up of man who is then called a living soul.
But is that what God said?Let’s look closely at this scripture.And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.It says plainly here that God formed MAN of the dust of the ground before He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and before MAN became a living soul.
Now we know that man is made up of spirit, soul and body. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This man of dust already had a spirit, soul and body, for is not man made up of spirit, soul and body?And if this man of dust spoken of here did not already have a spirit, soul and body can it be rightly called man?Cannot we understand by this that man was already created? And that God is doing something other then creating a natural man here?
Brothers and sisters God is not creating a natural man here as in the creation of the first man Adam, but He is shaping man to be in His image and likeness here.We read in Genesis 1:26-27 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The word created here comes from the Hebrew word bara and formed from Genesis 2:7 is the Hebrew word yatsar. So why does the scriptures use two different words if they are both dealing with the creation of man?
Because the man being formed in Genesis 2:7 finds his fulfillment in Gen.1:26-27 in being created in the image and likeness of God.
Yatsar comes with the weight of something being squeezed into shape as a potter molding the clay. Genesis 2:7 is telling us the process of how we are being formed into the image and likeness of God, it is not telling us how natural man was created, but it is telling us how the spiritual man is being created. I will go into further detail on how we are being formed into His image and likeness in the next section of this article called fire and brimstone, for now it is enough to show Gen.2:7 is not speaking of the creation of natural man.
The old man is the man of dust, the flesh man or the man of sin, a living creature/beast man that lives unto itself, this is that MAN we are/were before God breathes the breath of life unto MAN.
Let’s look at just some scriptures for each point above to show what man was before God breathed the breath of life upon man.
Man of dust.
Psalm 103:1414 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Romans 6:66 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Ephesians 4:2222 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
1 Corinthians 15:5050 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Man of sin
2 Thessalonians 2:3-43 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
There are over 700 scriptures in the old testament alone that show man is nothing but a creature/nephesh. I’ll only give a couple here to show that the scriptures place no difference between man in his original state of creation as a man of dust then that of any other beast God created.
Genesis 1:2424 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Genesis 12:55 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls ( nephesh ) that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
Genesis 14:2121 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons ( nephesh ), and take the goods to thyself.
Exodus 12:1616 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man ( nephesh ) must eat, that only may be done of you.
2 Peter 2:10-1210 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
Jude 8-118 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Can any doubt that these scriptures all deal with man? And that it is the nature of the old man, the man of dust, the flesh man or the man of sin, a living creature/beast man that lives unto itself that must be destroyed.
This brings us to how the old man is destroyed in each of us.
Fire and brimstoneTheSecond death.
Genesis 2:77 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Now we have always read this scripture (me included) as to how MAN was originally created. And I believe we have been understanding it all wrong.This is not speaking about how man was originally created, but rather it is speaking of how God is making the MAN he originally created into His image and likeness.
Now when God formed MAN He formed MAN from the dust of the ground.Now this MAN God formed from the dust of the ground already had a spirit, soul, and body. He is the flesh man or the old man or the man of sin, a living creature/beast man that lives unto itself, this is that MAN we are/were before God breathes the breath of life unto MAN.
Now Gods breath is the brimstone (Is.30:33) spoken of in the second death and here it is called the BREATH OF LIFE. Now why would that which is seen as part of the make up of the second death be called the breath of life?
To understand why a part of the second death is called the breath of life let’s look at the meaning of the word BREATH.It comes from the Hebrew word n\eshamah which is rooted in the Hebrew word nasham which means to destroy but also carries the weight of a woman in travail. When God breathed the BREATH OF LIFE unto MAN it was for the destruction of the MAN that he was by birthing in the MAN of dust Jesus Christ. It is because of this MAN became a living soul.
Now living soul and living creature come from the same Hebrew word nephesh.The MAN of dust was a living creature/nephesh, living its own life until the BREATH OF LIFE was breathed upon him. Once the BREATH OF LIFE which is the birth/manifestation of Jesus Christ in the MAN of dust, MAN became a living soul/nephesh or a new creature in Christ.
We see these very same thoughts brought out by Paul.Romans 8:18-23 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Can we not understand by the above scripture that it is the birth/manifestation of Jesus Christ in us that we are delivered from bondage of corruption?
Revelation 2:11 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
The first thing to notice here is who Jesus is addressing. He is addressing the churches and if those in the churches do not overcome they will be hurt by the second death.The next thing of note is that he that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.Now I know many read the above scripture to say that the overcomer does not go though the second death. But that is not what that scripture says, it plainly say the overcomer is not hurt by the second death.
We can see this inIsaiah 33:14-1514 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? 15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
Who is it that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly who dwells with the devouring fire and everlasting burnings but those who have overcome.
Think of how Noah went through the judgment but was not hurt of it because he was safe within the ARK.Think of the 3 Hebrew children who went through the fire but were not hurt of it because of the FORTH MAN.And how when the FORTH MAN was made MANIFEST how they were taken out of the fire.
We all experience the judgment until Jesus Christ is MANIFESTED.
So then what do we know about fire and brimstone from scripture?We know that brimstone is the breath of God Is.30:33.We know that fire and brimstone comes from the LORD out of heaven Gen.19:24.We know that He/God will magnify and sanctify Himself by fire and brimstone Eze.38:22-23.And we know that fire and brimstone IS the second death Rev.21:8.
So by these thing we know the fire and brimstone IS of God and is not strange fire or any other kind of fire, it is God Himself and His breath of life which is our inheritance which inheritance is the birthing/manifestation of Jesus Christ IN us.
Matthew 13:24-30 24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn/garner
The first thing to note is that this is speaking of the kingdom of heaven, and we know that the kingdom of heaven is within us. So this is speaking of those things that happen within man.Now you will note that God sows good seed ( His word) in man and a enemy comes along and sows tares among the wheat. This is the enemy putting his thought and ideas into man trying to blend his thoughts with the words of God. Tares look like wheat but have no life in them.
Now at the time of the harvest God will separate the tares from the wheat.( His words from the words of the enemy) and All the bad seed will be taken out of man and burned up in the fire, but the wheat ( Gods words) will be gathered into His barn/garner.
Now herein is the time of the harvest.
Matthew 3:11-12 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner/barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The time of the harvest is the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, and it is by this baptism of fire that throughly purges his floor and gathers the wheat into the garner and burns up the chaff.
So what happens to man when God breathes the breath of life into man?The breath of life which is the birth of Christ within us produces a CROSS.
So let’s look at the Cross and the second death.
Romans 6:2323 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What death is being spoken of here?Is it a natural death?Or is it speaking of the second death?If it is speaking of a natural death then when we die we have paid for our wages and there would not be any need for future judgment. For the wages of sin is death.I do not believe that this scripture is speaking of a natural death but rather it is speaking of the second death.Most if not all christians know that Jesus died on the cross for our sin , paying by His death the wages of sin.Now as we know the wages of sin is death , and Jesus Christ paid these wages in full for us.We also know that the way Jesus paid for sin was by dying on the cross.So the wages of sin is death by way of the cross.The second death and the cross are one and the same thing , for if Jesus ( and He did ) paid the wages for us and the wages are the second death and Jesus paid the wages on the cross , the cross and the second death must be the same.
Now if the second death is not the cross then Jesus did not pay the wages of sin for us.So just what does the cross/second death do in ones life?The cross/second death totally destroys the sin nature in each of us.
Many have said no one ever comes out of the second death , no scripture states such a thing.They have yet to realize Jesus not only died the second death/cross for us but He was also resurrected out of this death.Which brings me to the second death & the cross.
Second Death&The Cross
What is the second death? Many believe it to be the death of death and to this I would agree, as a matter of fact this death of death is a key to understanding the second death.The scriptures do not say much about it, the only thing we know for sure is that it is fire and brimstone and the ungodly are thrown into it.
The very first occurrence of the second death is stated in Gen.19:24 were we read how God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. This fire and brimstone is stated to have come from the LORD out of heaven. Now some may ask how can the second death be acquainted with the God of all living, for He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.So then because death is associated with the God of all living, then there must be by this association LIFE out of DEATH.
If you read in Is.30:33 you will see that the LORDS breath is a stream of brimstone.Genesis 2:77 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Here we have life from the breath of God, whose breath is brimstone. So then we have two things here, the breath of God and life.
Where do we find LIFE out of Death? The cross.
Where do we find the death of death? The cross.
The cross is the lake of fire and brimstone ( second death ) , for God has only given one event that reconciles everything to Him. For those who teach reconciling by way of the second death, I ask but two questions.What do you think you are teaching?Did you find another way to God via the second death or is the second death the cross?For it is by the life of the cross that all things in heaven or earth or under the earth , be they principalities , powers , visible or invisible they are all reconciled by the life of the cross.
Colossians 1:16-2016 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Here we see all these things reconciled to God by the life of the cross.So then were do we see the death of death?
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 54 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. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Can any doubt that this is speaking of the life of the cross manifesting itself in us.?Is not the death of death then victory though the cross.
Now can this life of the cross be manifested in our lives now , or must it wait until after we have died a natural death?
Romans 8:10-1110 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken ( give life to ) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
2 Corinthians 4:11-1211 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
It is not a natural death that brings life, that would be pure foolishness, but it is the death of the cross, that we might walk in resurrection ( quickening ) life, even in our mortal flesh.This is for the overcomers , and it is a calling given to all , it is not some form of elitism , I am called to be an overcomer and you are not, thing. Many will heed this call “today” , many will heed it after there natural death, but all will heed it in the end for God will be all in all.
There will be a people in this age ( if we are indeed the age spoken of ) that will have the fulness of the Godhead indwelling them just a Jesus had.For the scriptures tell us Jesus is coming back for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle.
Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
There was only one other that was without spot or wrinkle, Jesus Christ, and He will sanctify and cleanse His church that they my be ONE.
One other point I would make is that the cross is not some stake Jesus was nailed to but the life He lived and the death He died that we might also be partakers of His life ( the cross).
Now our focus is or should be to go on unto perfection though the further workings of the cross in our lives, that though that work we might give life unto others.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
3 point in one scripture
1.it says when we were enemies. Past tense.
2. we were ( past tense ) reconciled to God by the death of His Son. The whole world being reconciled here. But that’s not the end of the work of the cross in mans life for the scripture goes on to say.
3. we shall ( future tense )be saved by His life. There is much work yet to be done by the cross in our lives , the reconciliation was just the starting point for all men.Paul speaks of it here.
Hebrews 6:1-2Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
All the thing mentioned hear, the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment are the principles ( beginnings ) of the doctern of Christ. Paul tells us we are to go on unto perfection. Thus being saved by His life.
2 Corinthians 4:8-128 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
1 John 3:1-3Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
What hope? It is the hope to be as He is. What is He? the Son of God, in whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead. Brother/sister there will be full grown sons of God walking the earth in our day in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells. And this is my hope to be as He is.
Understanding both sides to the cross.
There are two sides (so to speak ) of the cross.On the one side you have death and on the other you have life.Now in the garden of Eden there are two trees which represent the two sides of the cross.The tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.Two trees but one root.The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the law, the ten written in stone, not the 600+ Moses wrote.
Now the tree of knowledge ( the law ) is a ministration of death and our school master that leads us to Christ.Now this ministration of death ( which is the law ) is the second death or the first half of the cross, which is our school master that leads us to Christ.In Revelation we see only the tree of life mentioned being seen in the paradise ( garden of Eden )of God.Why? is there two Eden’s?No. it is because the tree of knowledge, law, second death is swallowed up in LIFE. ( The second half of the cross )We are not saved from death brother/sister but out of it.
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
2nd death/first half of the cross.
Adam was already dying the first death (natural) and when he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the law) he started to die the second death.The second death is the ministration of the law our school master to lead us to Christ.
First let’s look at the statement that Adam was already dying a natural death before he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the law).Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 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. The literal translation of the phrase thou shalt surely die is dying thou shalt die.
Adam was already dying a natural death.Paul goes into great detail on this point in the 15 chapter of 1 Co.1 Corinthians 15:35-38 35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
Of note here is that which was first planted is not the body that shall be, and that what is first planted is but bare grain.Bare here is gumnos which simply means naked.And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Paul goes on to explain that the natural body (which is the bare grain) is sown in corruption, dishonour, and weakness.All these scriptures tell us that the natural body (the bare grain) must come first ,then die to be raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:45-4645 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
That which is FIRST is natural and AFTERWARDS that which is spiritual.The bare grain that was FIRST sown is not the body that SHALL BE (afterwards).
1 Corinthians 15:47-49 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
We all bear the image of the first man Adam which Paul has explain is sown in corruption, dishonour, etc. but we shall ALSO bear the image of the HEAVENLY (that of Jesus Christ).
Can we not understand by these things that Adam was already dying a natural death before he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the law)?
Now as to the tree of knowledge of good and evil being the law.
Two trees in the garden both a figure of the true. Tree of life a figure of Jesus Christ our tree of life. Tree of knowledge of good and evil a figure of the law. There is no actual tree that gives life nor is there an actual tree that gives us knowledge.
The law or tree of knowledge was the commandment THOU SHALT NOT. What is this tree that can bring death to man?Now we know that death comes because of sin RO.5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.Therefore we can see that it is sin that brings death to man , but what brings us the knowledge of what sin is? The law. RO.3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Therefore the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the law for by eating of the tree death entered into the world.Now is the knowledge of good and evil ( the law ) sin RO.7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
So we can see that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the law, for it is only by way of the law that we have the knowledge of sin.
Now we know because of 2Co.3:7 & Gal.3:24 that the law is a ministration of death and our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ.Now as we have already seen that Adam was already dying a natural death before eating of the law and that which is natural is first and afterwards that which is spiritual we can understand that the death spoken of by God in the phrase dying thou shalt die encompasses both the FIRST death in dying and the SECOND death in die.And that the second death which is mentioned is in reference to the LAW.
Now if you will bear with me for a moment longer I hope to make this a little more clearer if I can.We read inRomans 3:19 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Galatians 3:23 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Galatians 4:4-54 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 5:18 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Romans 6:14-16 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Now we can understand what is stated in Revelation 20:66 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. A thousand years is as one day, today is the day of salvation, we are to rule and reign with Christ TODAY. If we wait to rule and reign with Christ in some future time we will find ourselves being judged by the law according to our works.Those in the first resurrection are those who are led by the Spirit, the LAW no longer has any POWER over them.