One of the tragic reasons divorce is prevalent in our times is because marriage as God designed it has been so devalued and underappreciated.1 Divinely instituted marriage is unique to the realm of mankind and is far from anything like seriously dating, or “going steady or together” as unmarried relationships were termed in my youth. Its sexual intimacy because of righteousness is also more satisfying than whatever pleasure is derived from the mere physical, self-gratifying acts of the sexual revolution’s resultant “hook up culture.” Though marriage is for mortal human experience by God’s design,2 it fully pictures what is exclusively eternally divine in the concept of oneness.
To be clear from the outset, after each human soul God loves, evil has vigorously targeted for ruin everything God brought into being to bless his mortal creatures to include marriage. For staggering in the announcement of man’s creation is how by a Creator God in voice expressing plurality: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;’” (Genesis 1:26a, NKJV). Born again Bible students see in this verse the presence and unity of the One, triune God from eternity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit affirmed by Moses (Deuteronomy 6:4) and later, the Son and Word made flesh (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3, 14, 14:7-11)--acting together to create man.
The triune God is the original unity of One and until man was created, the only such unity! The unity of God is an absolute marvel for all ages as each of the three Persons with different roles and responsibilities that make it up equally share the unique divine nature and character while operating together in voluntary, Selfless harmony (John 5:16-23, 10:30-39, 14:15-31). Created in the image and likeness of God, man was designed to enjoy the intimacy of oneness relationship with God and the eventual female version of himself (Genesis 1:27, 2:18-20). When God created and brought her to the man, he immediately understood the fact she had come out of him (Genesis 2:21-23).
There can be no greater display of mortal human unity than God actually reaching into the physical body of Adam to take a part and from it, lovingly fashion his companion--two from one! Now, marriage is God putting the man and the woman back together in a oneness union of correspondence that incorporates their two spirits, souls and bodies purposely made to unite for physical intimacy (Genesis 2:24-25). Like God, the two persons with different roles and responsibilities would operate in nature and character as one.3 And not only was their physical intimacy to be mutually pleasurable, but from it God designed that children would result from the cooperative joining of their bodies.
Enticing man to sin was intended by Satan to first ruin his oneness relationship with God, then his wife (and subsequent children) in the respective spiritual and physical death God had announced would be the outcome of disobedience. Thus, along with man, marriage and family has been under assault from Eden (Genesis 3:1-13)! What the fallen angelic enemy of God and man did not count on was the depths of His love such that He would seek to save His fallen creature and restore our ruined oneness relationship; taking it to its ultimate, eternal end as the Son of God, Jesus Christ later prayed to have become a reality (Genesis 3:14-15; Matthew 18:10-14; John 3:10-17, 17:11, 20-26)!
Marriage as a living picture of divine oneness is so sacred the Lord Jesus figuratively refers to Himself in parables as a “bridegroom” (Matthew 9:14-15, NKJV). If the Lord is a Bridegroom (Male), then who is His bride (female) but all of those that have trusted in Him for salvation; those eagerly and wisely waiting on His return to be married in a celestial wedding ceremony (Matthew 25:1-13; John 3:26-30; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-14, 21:9).4 The apostle Paul portrays the Lord as the saving Bridegroom who pays the bride price for His betrothed He expects to remain pure and faithful to Him in oneness until their wedding (1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Ephesians 5:25-33); a cleansing purity He accomplished at great Personal cost (Psalm 22:1-21a; Mark 15:15-35; John 19:28-30)!
Not only did Christ sacrifice Himself to save willing fallen mankind and bring us back into oneness relationship with God, but also a man with his wife in the mortal experience of oneness in marriage as divinely designed. As God makes clear through the prophet Malachi, oneness in mortal marriage was the divine intent from the beginning not just for the experience itself, but also for "godly offspring!" Too, oneness is the reason God is not pleased with a man mistreating his spouse and hates the painful violence of divorce (Malachi 2:13-16, NKJV). Salvation wrought by Christ provides the means through Holy Spirit renewed minds and hearts for two otherwise selfish persons to come and stay together as one in marriage with much forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35; Ephesians 4:31-32)!
1 See the March 24, 2019 post, Restoring Marriage As God Designed, under the category, The Cause.
2 In three of the four New Testament Gospels the Lord Jesus Christ plainly teaches that marriage is a mortal human experience for this present age only (Matthew 22:23-
33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40). Understanding this, Christian married couples should count every moment together as a precious gift from God and enjoy this
solely mortal experience to the fullest! Read the June 26, 2016 post, Right Thinking About The Afterlife, under the category, Instruction.
3 The Lord leads me to write more fully about His putting male and female with their different roles and responsibilities back together in marriage as one in my book, The
Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 For those Christian men especially that still wrestle with how a mortal daughter of God could also be literally destined to be an immortal, eternal son, consider how we
mortal and eternal sons of God are also figuratively called the “bride” of Christ to be married in a wedding to live thereafter as His eternal “wife.” The intent of God in
both the former and latter instances is the real familial closeness and glory of spiritual oneness that transcends mortal body types! See the June 19, 2016 repost, Eter-
nal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
While no one earns the salvation of God, surely our Christian sisters have a sweet deal with Him in that after continuing faith in Christ, immortal glory is theirs for simply submitting to His will to be helpers to their husbands as child bearers in all love, holiness and self-control (1 Timothy 2:15). If they do nothing else in a lifetime, they have well pleased God in carrying out this assignment alone. But alas, faithful men and women in gratitude to, love and zeal for the Lord always want to do all that is possible in service to Him within the boundaries of His order and gifting to please Him as Tabitha and Phoebe in the New Testament demonstrate (Acts 9:36-41; Romans 16:1-2)!
Tragically, many contemporary professing Christian females in the sinful defiance of worldly feminists, selfish ambition and lack of self-control are out of divine order and disqualify their works however great in human eyes that might otherwise please God through pursuing authority over their husbands along with other adult men in His house. They in unbelief and disobedience impetuously act before the time God has prepared for all of His eternal sons as immortals to reign with Christ over every created thing and therefore, receive their reward now while bringing judgment on themselves with the men who enable their sin (Genesis 3:1-13, 16-19, 4:3-7; Numbers 12, 15:30-31; Matthew 6:1-4; John 14:15; 1 Timothy 2:8-14; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 2:18-29).
This is part two of a three part celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth! While there is some repetition, for additional supporting content I recommend the reader refer to my May 2014, “The Body Beautiful”, Pt. 1 and 2 along with the more recent May 1, 2016 “Natural Bodies By Divine Design” posts under the same category as this and all the blogs that follow on the topic of immortality.1
Originally Published May 2013
The promise of immortal glory through faith in Jesus Christ is to say the least, mind-boggling but not inconceivable. Truly, who could imagine that all of the wonder and complexity of the human body could come from simple dust? Yet, here we are; eternal creatures made on purpose for God's purposes from dust (Genesis 1:26, 2:7)!
In outfitting man for this present mortal age, God created him a natural body from the earth from which it was taken; by divine decree that same body returns to the dust upon death because of sin (Genesis 3:17-19). Nevertheless, the natural body of man is a marvel of divine design and creation. For example, made in His image and likeness, the God who speaks, hears and sees, gave man a mouth to speak, ears to hear and eyes to see (Exodus 4:11; Psalm 94:9). As surely as men have come to learn that “form follows function” as a principle of building and industrial design, so, the Creator of man designed his natural body to fulfill functions tied to His will and purposes.
Keeping with the earlier example, it was the express divine will that man speak, see and hear in order to interact with God, the creation and soon to come, others of his kind (Genesis 2:8-19, 3:6-13)! Of course, God's image and likeness as well as purposes for mortal man designed in the functions of his natural body are much more than those three abilities. In chapter two of my book, The Strong Man Of God, Back To Basics, the Lord leads me to re-state plainly from His Word that Adam as the first and only man stood before Him a total, perfect creature. If it had not been for the divine will that man be many, Adam would have stood alone before God as the only man forever!
This means that a female version of man was not an imperative for him to exist. However, since along with ruling the divine mandate was for man to procreate, God chose the method to be cooperative effort by man as male and female (Genesis 1:27-28). Not back to the dust, but from man's side did God take living bone to purposely construct his female version; a "helper comparable to him" for him, which greatly pleased Adam (Genesis 2:20-23, NKJV)! Very important to emphasize in this is the fact that the female version of man is man for she was taken out of him and bears his glory in accord with the will and purposes of God in this mortal age (1 Corinthians 11:7-9).
Moreover, since every facet of man's inner person is masculine in the image and likeness of God, so equally is woman's. Truly, Adam prefigured Christ who is God in the flesh (John 1:1-5, 14-18; Romans 5:14; 1 Peter 1:17-21)! God sanctified the relationship of the man and his wife as marriage. Within it, they in their equality of person but complementary division of roles and responsibilities are put back and work together as "one flesh;" one whole man to His glory (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)! God perfectly divided the makeup of the man with his wife as seen in their respective dispositions influenced by and shown in their bodies. Thus, their gender differences are a matter of divine chosen emphasis "fleshed out" in each by form, genetics and hormones (Psalm 139:14).
The mortal lives and relationship of the man and his wife in their natural bodies became temporary as has already been stated because of sin and death. Sin corrupted their original perfection introducing conflict, pain, perversions and divorce. Their bodies reach a peak of maturity in function then decay sets in until apart from disease and calamity, death arrives (Psalm 90:1-12). The Bible is clear that death eternally severs the marital relationship (Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Religious men tried to test the Lord using levirate marriage to discredit resurrection and Him if He endorsed it. The Lord first affirms marriage and procreation are for this mortal age only (Luke 20:27-35).
The Lord goes on to teach that the resurrected, immortal sons of God are "'equal to the angels,'" (Luke 20:36, NKJV). Being equal to the angels speaks not only to the reality that they do not die, but also to the function of their bodies (Psalm 104:4); by divine design they cannot procreate. For this reason, there are no angels that are female and none that will be human in the resurrection since femininity is a special construction of God tied to procreation. Our bodies will necessarily undergo change to fit their form to God's planned stage two functions ultimately in a new, eternal creation (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The Strong Man Store has available a four message audio CD series, Christ’s Resurrection, Death’s End the Lord led me to proclaim as another resource on the topic
of the coming resurrection to immortality.
It is four years later and I am now watching the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. To the praise of my Lord Jesus, the important truths He led me to share in the following edited 2012 blog during the London Games still apply. Truly, the motivation, discipline and actions of athletes in the Olympics and all sports competition well serve as excellent analogy for the Christian race and will do so until there is no such thing as athletic competition! How appropriate this repost is as a final, short wrap up word of encouragement to the faithful in all the Lord caused me to write about and who wait for immortal glory as God’s consummation to the great salvation He has worked for us in Christ Jesus.
Originally Posted September 2, 2012
Watching the London Summer Olympic Games, I was struck by the diligence the athletes showed first in training for four years and then in the exertion of competing in their areas of specialty. These men and women do all of this for medals that will fade. The same sort of thing now plays out on football fields on every level around our nation this fall as teams work together to win the prize of trophies, rings and bragging rights in a championship season. As Christians, we are taught in Scripture that we are running in a race that we too are to run to win (1 Corinthians 9:24).
As the Lord leads me to teach in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, such a race requires the disciplined mind set of an athlete (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). It also must be run in accord with the rules (God’s, not man’s) lest we be disqualified in shame (2 Timothy 2:5). Finally, surrounded by a very great “cloud of witnesses” that has finished their own, our race is to be run with endurance since it is a marathon, not a sprint (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV). Truly, for this race is not about speed, but only faithfully finishing the race marked out for us. As we run, we look up ahead to our Lord Jesus the pacesetter who displayed the perfect motivation, discipline and faith as the key strategic action in His race; crossing the finish line to victory and immortal glory (Hebrews 12:2)!
Like the apostle Paul who saw the end of his race drawing near, we are only concerned to finish well knowing our works wrought in Christ will follow us and the prize of unfading crowns with immortal glory await (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Indeed, in the race of eternal life, physical death is not a disqualifying obstacle, but the finish line unless Christ returns first! And so, we run; experiencing all of the many kinds of challenges, hardships, afflictions, trials, setbacks, tears and longsuffering others endure to win only the temporary prizes of mortality. Many of them overcome by their challenges, hardships, afflictions, trials and setbacks and lacking endurance, drop out of the race.
However, we press on running our race looking for the Lord’s “well done” and after all adversity caused suffering endured in faith, perseverance and His strength, “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus;” the salvation and immortal glory even admiring holy angels desire to know more about (Matthew 25:21; Romans 8:18; Philippians 3:8-14, 4:13; 1 Peter 1:3-12, NKJV)! Therefore, let every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ our Lord run your race to win and collect the eternal prize to the glory of our God (Revelation 19:5-9).
Not just the possibility, but the reality of human immortality was powerfully unveiled by Jesus Christ when He unlike anyone before Him, rose permanently from the dead! And because the Father has glorified Him and exalted Him to have all authority in Heaven and earth, He now controls death and the realm of the dead (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:18). As a result, those that put their faith in the Gospel about Him for salvation are promised to be raised to immortality and glory like Him (John 11:25-26, 17:5, 22). The promise realized will entail sweeping changes in the human experience to that time including male and female as they have been known physically in their mortal bodies.
This is the conclusion of a three part celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth!
Originally Published June 2013
"But someone will say, 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come,'" (1 Corinthians 15:35, NKJV)? These questions appear to reflect the mocking tone of those rejecting the possibility of resurrection at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:12). Still, the apostle Paul's answers are genuine, revelatory and authoritative.
First, concerning the body of the resurrected, Paul rebukes the evident unbelief in God’s power and wisdom any person has that ask such questions by calling them “foolish.” He then draws upon the scientifically verifiable reality of a plant seed to illustrate how it first dies before what is contained in its core can spring forth alive. Also, the form of the seed is not the same as the living plant that grows out of it. The dead seed and living plant both have bodies given to them by God. Similarly, our present bodies die and are buried. Our resurrection bodies spring forth alive from them but are not the same as the bodies that died in God’s will (1 Corinthians 15:36-38, NKJV).
The great apostle reminds us that the outer forms of things are not the same all throughout creation. As purposely intended and designed by God the flesh of men, land animals, fish and birds differ from one another. There is also the God designed and breath taking difference between the celestial bodies in the night sky and the unique form of the earth. Among the celestial bodies of the universe star differs from star and our sun has a very different form than the moon. In context, from these readily observable realities Paul instructs that the resurrection body of a Christian designed by God is going to be vastly different from the body that died (1 Corinthians 15:39-42a).
Our mortal bodies die and are buried; the resurrection body is raised immortal. Our dead bodies are buried in sin's disgrace; the resurrection body is raised in the glory of God's redemption and sinless perfection. Our dead bodies are buried in the weakness of sin's consequences; the resurrection body is raised endued by God with power! We now have mortal natural bodies God made from dust. However, the resurrection body God has prepared us is an immortal spiritual body; that is, a body composed of indestructible spiritual substance while also possessing material properties as we saw earlier in the resurrected, immortal body of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:42b-44).
The differences in the natural and spiritual bodies God has made for man are tied respectively to Adam and Christ. The first man, Adam, was created by God "a living being" with a natural body from dust. All sinful mankind has come from his natural body and bears his image. Christ is the second and final Adam from Heaven! After His death, burial and resurrection in the cause of saving those who will believe in Him, He became a "life giving spirit" imparting eternal life to His followers. We are currently being transformed inwardly to bear His image. At the resurrection, our natural bodies will be transformed to conform to the masculine likeness of Christ's own glorious, immortal spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3, NKJV)!
Now, the apostle Paul makes it overwhelmingly clear that what the Lord first led me to write in my book is accurate when he writes, "flesh and blood (the natural body) cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption," (1 Corinthians 15:50, NKJV, emphasis mine). Our natural bodies are not fit for what is planned for us as eternal sons. Hence, God reveals a previously unknown fact through Paul that not every Christian will taste death, but "we shall all be changed" in an instant at Christ’s return (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, NKJV). The dead are raised immortals first. Then living saints are transformed into immortals and all take flight (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)!
At this point, we that are receiving such knowledge by faith ought to join Paul in his celebratory victory shout of praise and be encouraged to remain "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" assured it is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:54-58, NKJV)! Not only are we to be joyfully laboring to proclaim this good news of salvation, resurrection and immortal glory through Jesus Christ, but "the hope of glory" ought to inform every part of our present, mortal lives; enabling our heavenly perspective on all things and Christ-like living now (Colossians 1:24-29, 3:1-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
The stirring John Legend written song, Glory, he and rapper, Common, perform with a little help from a choir as the theme of the movie, Selma, has risen up in my heart again in the present version of the ongoing black American quest for racial acceptance. Well captured in the song and the current news images of students passionately protesting long tolerated systemic patterns of racial mistreatment in American society, its campuses and streets is the deeply troubling pathos involved in continuing to fight the many centuries long battle that cannot seem to be finally won. Even so, as the song asserts, the fight continues to be won at last when the Glory comes.
Glory is a fitting close to the film biopic, Selma, that chronicles the challenges and adversities slain Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dealt with to safely and peacefully complete a march over the Edmond Pettus Bridge into the now famous Alabama city in 1965. Such marches were the cornerstone of King’s purposeful strategy of nonviolent resistance to America’s legally sanctioned racial discrimination against blacks that also involved students peacefully sitting in at segregated eating establishments across the South. The marchers and protesters stood up carrying in their hearts the long held aspiration of our slave forefathers for freedom, equality and justice.
Recently seeing tears on some faces of University of Missouri black students as they sang, prayed and expressed themselves vocally to protest incidents of racism they felt were ignored or not considered important enough by school officials to investigate coupled with the sometimes very angry marches of those that protest under the banner, “Black Lives Matter,” caused me to easily and compassionately empathize with them. Transported to my childhood a generation ago when the activities of the Civil Rights Movement unfolded in real time on my family’s black and white television screen, I too began to tear up at the sadness that this seemingly easy to resolve struggle continues.
While I do not find every single sentiment expressed in Glory biblical, I nevertheless, greatly appreciate Legend’s recognition and incorporation of the predominant Christian faith of our people going back to slavery. Also, his song includes the fight for what should be common human decency as just, an encouragement to peaceful protest, respect for Jesus Christ as victorious after a public crucifixion and of course, the exclusively Christian hope of His glorious return to make things right as themes. In my mind, these themes enable the song to be an appropriate final anthem for the struggle to a generation forced to face the reality this fallen world will not of its own do right.
Indeed, since Legend’s song invites the wisdom of the elders into the continuing struggle in this generation, I step up. I qualify to do so now after nearly sixty years of experience being black and having the requisite mental and emotional battle scars from wounds suffered in the struggle with secular white as well as professed Christians that practice racism. First, understand as God has judged and declares in His Word, all human beings are sinners unwilling and unable to line ourselves up with His perfect standard (Romans 3:9-20). Nevertheless, God in love, grace and mercy has provided deliverance and help for the willing in Jesus Christ (John 3:16-21; Romans 3:21-26).
Obstinate white men guilty as sinners have resisted doing right from slavery because racism is not just about skin color, but guarding selfish privileges and opportunities--economic and otherwise. In light of this, consider also your generation’s wholesale embrace of the world’s sinfully invented political correctness, tolerance, multiculturalism, gender and sexual equality and how these concepts have not brought the long quest of our slave forefathers to full realization. In fact, in spite of these concepts and a very morally tolerant African-American President, your generation is still marching to protest racism! A holy God is constrained to help because so many marching are in rebellion against Him as willful sinners (Proverbs 14:34; Jeremiah 5:20-29; Romans 1:18-2:11).1
Second, understand that the resistance in guilty white men to do right and your own rebellion is not only driven by sin within, but outside forces are at work too. Ultimately, the struggle of our and all people that long for a world of love, acceptance, peace and justice is opposed by fallen angels led by Satan (Ephesians 6:12). This is why finally, the struggle will continue until the Day I am pleased to say is near; the Day when Jesus Christ, the Glory of God comes in wrath to insert Himself and His Kingdom into this world (Revelation 1:7-8, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 19:11-16)!
Wholeheartedly come back to the biblical faith of our Christian slave and free forefathers so that you will not suffer the fate of those who mistreat you and all sinners before it is too late! For the kingdoms of fallen men and angels will be destroyed, the victory of Heaven justly won and His righteous reign rolled out! 2 Those who waited on Christ living as it pleases Him (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10, 2:10-12) will joyfully stand in that Day with elect Jews in His triumphant, eternal Kingdom (Isaiah 25:6-10a).3
1 Read the June 2015 blogs under the category, Black History.
2 Read the July 26, 2015 blog repost, Final Deliverance From The Evil Oppressor under the category, Encouragement.
3 With a learner’s heart, I challenge my fellow black American readers to set aside the convictions you may have from the worldview of a victim, to consider a biblical
worldview of the enslavement and suffering of our people presented on our From Slavery To Victory Web Site; reading all the way through the brief presentation
to the Victory Page. Follow this link, https://fromslaverytovictory.org/Healing/The-Journey to be taken directly to the presentation.
Since God has purposely planned for His sons to inhabit eternity with Him to fulfill roles and purposes of His design, then this should be revealed in some measure in His Word as has been the case with His mortal plans. Truly, it is as Scripture teaches: faithful Christians on earth are now receiving a radical make over inwardly that will also thoroughly affect what bodies we have for eternity. This edited part one is the first of a three part previously published 2013 celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth!
Originally Published April 2013
Besides the creation of man by God, the permanent, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is among the greatest displays of divine power in history! Coming on the third day after His death on the cross, His spirit that had departed returned to His lifeless body and it lived a second time; no more ever able to die. While He had previously displayed the divine power to raise others from the dead, they eventually died again. Jesus Christ, however, is the first and only Person until now to die, be raised to immortality and glorified after ascending to Heaven (Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 24:26, 50-51). He wills that all of His followers have His experience (John 6:40, 17:22).
As the Lord led me to write in a June 2012 Commentary titled, Man As God Designed Him, it was the divine intent that human mortality be only temporary. The possibility of immortality through the “tree of life” was already in the Garden of Eden when Adam was brought to it by God (Genesis 2:8-9, NKJV). All he had to do was eat from it which was not forbidden until after he sinned (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:22-24)! Clearly, mortality was the divine intended stage one of human existence to allow for death as the consequence for foreknown sin (Revelation 13:8). Truly, contrary to the consequential pain and grief it has caused us from Adam, physical death is an act of divine mercy!
He who foreknew Adam's fall and planned for it, also forever dismissed the prospect of his living forever to father children of sin when "the LORD God sent him out of the Garden of Eden," (Genesis 3:23, NKJV). Thus, the original divine directive to man as male and female to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth” remained in effect as a mission of mortality in a temporary age of mortality dominated by death (Genesis 1:28, 3:16-19, 5:1-5, 8:20-9:1, NKJV). So used to the temporary routine of mortal life and death is mankind that many--including professing Christians--live hopelessly as though this is the eternally inevitable norm (Ecclesiastes 1:2-15, 2:1-24; Isaiah 22:13b, 56:12).
However, God who knows the end from the beginning permitted this routine of mortal life and death as part of His important plans for man and his salvation, for the Creator of man created him seeking eternal sons upon which to confer the inheritance of His eternal riches. Sin and death interrupted but did not finally thwart His plans. Therefore, God has been working during this mortal age to bring forth sons in the number of His will through Christ (Genesis 22:15-18; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:7-29; Ephesians 2:4-7; Hebrews 2:10-16; Revelation 21:7). Indeed, He is the "firstborn from the dead" (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:9-23; Revelation 1:4-8, NKJV).
The Lord's permanent, bodily resurrection from the dead was of monumental magnitude concerning immortality and opened a wide vista of consideration about it. While God did not reveal every detail about immortality and His future plans in His Word, there is enough information provided by the prophets, Christ and His apostles to keep us who believe joyfully thinking about it like dreamy eyed children lying in bed on Christmas Eve until the Lord returns. As with every other aspect of this eternal life we have in Christ, the redeemed sons of God are expected by Him to search out by the Holy Spirit the instruction in His Word related to our immortal future (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).
Authors down through the centuries and Hollywood more recently have either struggled to grasp or purposely took improper creative license with how Christ exited the tomb. The now false consensus that the stone was rolled away and he walked out in shining glory is popular, but not Scriptural. The New Testament accounts have folk arriving to find an empty tomb with angels in three of the four Gospels announcing the Lord's resurrection (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1-10). Why does this matter? It matters because the truth reveals that after His resurrection, the Lord stayed long enough to carefully fold a burial item, then in His immortal body, vanish from the sealed tomb as He did later seated amid disciples (Luke 24:30-31).
Clearly, the laws of physics, space or time did not limit the immortal body of the Lord as is powerfully seen too in His ascension into the spiritual dimension where Heaven is located above this present universe (Acts 1:9-11, 9:3-7; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Yet, in His immortal body, He could eat food and be touched (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29). The resurrection of Jesus Christ into an immortal body matters because it is the eyewitness anchor of the Gospel that saves those that have believed and hope in His promise that we too shall be raised from the dead into immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:1-23, 29-34). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
Far from the supposedly hope quenching gloom and doom view of Bible prophecy foretelling the apocalyptic end of this present world as we have known it even many professed Christians hold, is the gloriously bright reality captured in the phrase, “the Lord reigns,” (Psalms 93:1, 96:10-12, 97:1-9, 99:1-3; Revelation 19:6, NKJV)! These three words are exclaimed on the earth and in every other realm of existence after the victory of Jesus Christ at Jerusalem!1 Indeed, elect, mortal Israel and surviving Gentiles of His grace are urged to join the glorified immortal saints in joyful celebration of the King; singing His praises with awe and jubilation (Psalms 47, 98, 100, 150:1-4; Isaiah 12)!
As the faithful reflect from this mortal vantage point prior to the coming Day of the Lord, it is beyond tragically sad that all of humanity does not accept God’s free offer of salvation and restoration through repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For knowing the end from the beginning, salvation and restoration has been in God’s heart from eternity when He saw that man would sin. Giving His creature free will, God also saw that many would exercise it and reject His gracious offer of pardon with immortal glory. For this reason, any sadness we have now should move the faithful to proclaim the Gospel and witness Christ to unsaved fellow humanity with all the more zeal!
For truly, we of all people have known from God’s Word that deliverance from and an end to this present evil age governed by fallen angels was finally going to come. Rule over the earth or any part of physical creation was not intended for them, but man under the sovereign and righteous reign of God (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 8). However, Adam rejected God’s rule (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6)! Nevertheless, the Day of the Lord was telegraphed in His foretelling of Satan’s defeat by the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15)! Patient and longsuffering over the millennia, God first celebrates restoration of His Kingdom rule through Christ outside 1st century Jerusalem (Colossians 2:11-15).
Doing my assigned Kingdom work with many tears for the lost and disobedient professed Christians along the way, I gladly leave it behind for a moment and in God’s will come to the foretold second celebration of His rule restored by Christ at Jerusalem! With His prophetic Word, faith and Kingdom vision causing me to be in attendance, I join in the celebration--shouting, clapping, dancing and singing praises to King Jesus; yes, in unrestrained joy shouting with all of my voice “the Lord reigns, He reigns forever and ever!” “All glory, praises and honor be unto Him!” Then, like David, with total abandon I dance before the “King of glory,” (2 Samuel 6:12-15; Psalm 24, NKJV)!
Subsequently, I realize again I and all of the saints around me are shining with God’s glory and explode in fresh inexpressible joy--yet, I am expressing it fully (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 13:41-43; 1 Corinthians 15:47-49, 54-57; 1 Peter 1:3-9)!2 My slave forefathers may have truthfully sung “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” On this Day, though, everyone under, on and positioned over the earth knows my joy in the Lord with all of the saints for His victory; vindicating our faith, hope and suffering in Him (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)!3 “Glory to God; glory to the ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’ who reigns and alone is worshipped forever more” (Zechariah 14:9, 16-19; Revelation 11:16, NKJV)!
As foretold, the King One with the Holy Spirit will reign in the reverence of His Father in truth, righteous judgment, unimpeachable justice that punishes wicked mortals in accord with what their sins deserve, divine wisdom, knowledge, strength, perfect fairness, impartiality and tenderness toward the meek (Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Psalm 99:4-5; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-5; Matthew 5:5). Men will be taught the ways of the Lord and from Jerusalem His law will go forth throughout all the earth. In consequence, under His rule a real, thorough and lasting peace will prevail on the earth. Men will turn their weapons into tools and study war no more forever. The ferocity and carnivorous behavior of related plants and animals will cease (Isaiah 2:1-4; 11: 6-10; 65:24-25; Micah 4:1-3)!
The King will rule over mortal men with a “rod of iron” from His glorious throne at Jerusalem; elevated in height and beauty by Him (Psalm 2:8-9; Zechariah 14:8, 10-11; Revelation 19:15, NKJV). And we, His saints, shall reign on the earth with Him in all of the same character qualities and governance as He (Psalm 150:5-9; Daniel 7:26-27; Revelation 1:4-6, 2:26-29, 5:9-10, 20:4-6)! “Glory, glory to God for His awesome vindication of His faithful; of those that endured to the end proclaiming the Gospel to restore men and standing firm on His Word!”4 If only all professed Christians today could truly believe that what is unfolding in the world--great evil, a creation in labor pains and His coming wrath--is heading toward the exceedingly better Day of God’s Kingdom restored to earth!
1 I acknowledge that I with many other prophecy teachers and authors have conveniently named earth’s final war, “Armageddon” as is the case in my December 20, 2015
re-post, Reigning With Christ On Earth, under the category, Bible Prophecy that I recommend be read along with this present post. Technically, though, Armageddon
is the hill or tel of Megiddo in northern Israel overlooking plains easily corresponding to the prophet Joel’s “Valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:1-2, NKJV). It serves as the ma-
jor assembly area, staging ground and launch point of the world’s armies with Antichrist for war against Israel and Jerusalem. Christ descends upon the Mount Of Olives
immediately in front of Jerusalem on the east and engages the enemy there delivering it while also overseeing His swift victory in the war actually raging all over Israel in-
cluding Armageddon and around it (Isaiah 63:1-6). Then my Lord the King will enter Jerusalem to great acclamation as before, but this time on a white horse and with all
knowing in absolute certainty who He is (Matthew 21:1-11, 23:37-39; Revelation 19:11)!
2 See the July 31, 2016 blog, The Immortal Bodies Of God’s Eternal Sons, under the category, God’s Creatures to learn more about the glorious immortal bodies of the saints!
3 Read the November 29, 2015 blog, When The Glory Comes, under the category, Glory To God!
4 Check out the Give Page on our Web Site to see how you can support the ongoing work of Strong Man Ministries to restore men.
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