“ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES”
“What happened the moment Jesus died” Part 2. December 2010
“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 65:20,22.
The date in my bible for this writing is B.C.698?—give or take a few years. But the message is clear as it points to great times and great experiences for God’s people. In November’s issue we highlighted the events that transpired the moment Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross. At that crucial moment many dead bodies that were asleep came to life, but remained in their graves until after Jesus was resurrected so that he became the first fruit of them that slept. Paul added this commentary to the subject we are considering. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the fristfruits of them that slept. For since by one man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: (or rank) Christ the fristfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” 1st Corinthians 15:20-23. It was therefore necessary that although many were made alive the moment Jesus died (because the redemptive price was paid in full) they had to remain or “stay put” until after Jesus arose from the dead. These were not mere spirits going the town scaring people half to death. To the contrary, they were people with glorified bodies in so much that it is said that Abraham and others were seen walking about in town. I have no idea how they were recognized for who they were, but the records suggest that they were seen and known.
There are many events in scripture that serve as precursors to the demise of death and the budding and blooming of life throughout God’s creation. Back in 1952 in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sundays we used to rush from our own worship service to catch a broadcast at 2.00 p.m. that emanated from Macon, Georgia, by the reverend Jimmy Waters, pastor of the Mable White Baptist Church. One Sunday he referred to a passage of scripture that told the story of Caleb, and Joshua, and it never ceases to give me goose bumps when I read it. He began to recall an event that occurred forty five years earlier, and how God kept him until this day.
“Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Ka’-desh-bar’-ne-a to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s forever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: (and died) and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.”
Let us remember that Caleb was not a spry twenty year old youngster when Moses sent him. He was already forty years old, and now we are looking at another forty five years being added to the story. Surely, Caleb must be a little stooped and hunched over as a result of life in the wilderness as he walked by and over the dead bodies of his kinsmen as their carcasses fell and rot in the wilderness. Of all the multitudes of people in this massive pilgrimage, God had decreed that only two would enter the promise land—Caleb and Joshua. But walking and living in the midst of death on every side, must certainly have an effect on Caleb that took a toll on his own well being. All of these assumptions may seem reasonable and logical from our vantage point, but what is the real story as told by Caleb himself? Was he a weather beaten, sun drenched and sun burned old man at this point in time? After all, he is now eight five years old and should show the ravages of time on his being.
But listen to this man’s own account of himself! “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord had said.” Joshua 14:7-12.
It seems logical or reasonable for us to conclude that for forty five years Caleb had not aged one day. In fact to think this way is to defy logic, but can we render null and void the testimony of the man himself? Did he set out to defy time and the aging process? Did he secretly discover in the desert some sort of plant or shrub that contained the “fountain of youth” that he added to his daily diet? What was the secret for his longevity and his physical stamina and durability? He answered these questioned without any hesitancy! “The Lord has kept me alive, as HE said these forty five years.” Verse 10. Thank you Jesus! Can you see what results can be attained when we take God at his word? This man had a knack for sinking God’s word into the deep recesses of his innermost being, and guiding his steps and his actions according to God’s word. Forty five years ago, when they spied out the land, Caleb saw the giants and the fenced cities, but I like this—“I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.” He saw the odds just like all the others in his party so what made this man and Joshua the only two that stood out from among the other ten? Listen to God’s own assessment of their actions and their belief or the lack of it.
“Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” Numbers 14:23,24. My Friend! To me, this is powerful material based on faith, faithfulness, and endurance. No matter how many times I have read this lesson, each time I do it still trigger goose bumps all over me. What this story drives home to me, is that this grand and great account should not be given only to the men involved and placed in a display case at the museum or at the National Archives here in Washington DC. This is not mere history, and why do we have these accounts at our very finger tips? “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Timothy 3:17.
This story of Caleb should tell one thing for sure; “Time has no effect upon the promises of God.” The Lord spoke in prophecy in one of our Sunday night services in Kingston, Jamaica, many years ago when strong opposition came from a certain individual who went about trying to set up road blocks against God’s people. Among the many things God spoke in that prophecy was this question; “Don’t you know that I the Lord will turn the world upside down in order to bless my people?” What I see in the mirror does not reflect reality and truth, because the only sure foundation we have to stand on is God’s word. Let me emphasize this truth, and I encourage you not to forget it or treat it lightly. Based upon his own testimony, Caleb had not grown old a single day in forty five years. Let me repeat his own account for good measure and for our own benefit.
“As yet I am as strong this day (at eighty five years old) as I was (at forty years old) in the day that Moses sent me: (To show that it was not a mis-statement or a slip of the tongue Caleb added) as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.” Who among us can refute this man’s personal testimony? In our recent studies we have seen how God changed the bodies of Sarah and Abraham so that Isaac could be conceived naturally and be born by natural means. Now we are looking at a man who did not grow old a single day over the span of forty five years. Are these isolated incidents meant to be treated as “once in a lifetime” events? Shouldn’t we think, and indeed believe, that these events are given to us as examples and witnesses to God’s power and his willingness to continue to perform his good pleasure in us and among us? Do we embrace these truths or do we prefer to measure ourselves against events that happen to natural “unsaved” people? People like Caleb and Sarah did not claim to be “saved” but they proved God’s power in their lives and in so doing they have become living specimen of what God can do and is willing to do even in this our day.
I believe that whether it is sickness or death, we, the children of God have been pulling heavily from our environment and culture, rather than from God’s word. That is not to say that we have not taught ourselves kingdom truths, and truths about the gifts of the Spirit. But I think that some of the most outstanding things that God in the bodies of his people way back when have been overlooked or treated very lightly. We seem to join the world (people who know not God) in accepting sicknesses of all kinds, old age and all the debilitating effects that come in the package, and last of all, we seem to simply surrender to death as if it is a friend, rather than seeing it for what it really is—an enemy. Like I said before, I am speaking as a man who has past his seventy fifth birthday six months ago.
Many years ago the Lord planted deep inside me the “seed” of life and it does not matter what my joints do and how members of my body reacts to the passing of time, the life that God has placed within stirs up flames of hope and passion from time to time. I see no reason for us as blessed children of God to roll over and play dead or invite death to come on in and claim its prize. I call this “winning by default” on our part. Paul said, look, I know that if this earthly house of mine be dissolved, I have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. But actually, I am not hoping to be unclothed so as to be found naked. What I desire most is to be clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 2nd Corinthians 5:1-4.
Daily I take vitamins and other supplements, not to ward off death as such but to counter the many pesticides, herbicides, DDT, hormones, and steroids that are being added to our food products. Chickens are being fed steroids and their eggs are likely to be infected by the same substance. In this kind of “money is king” industry human lives are counted lightly in the quest for more dollars. I find it necessary to counteract these ills by items from the shelves at the Vitamin Shop. I try to drink purified water as much as possible and try to bring my food closest to what the word healthy really means. The stewardship of my body is vital to me and God expects me to take care of it, not merely to try and add a few years to my life. Jesus Christ has given life and even more abundant life and we should be good stewards over that life.
The life message that we promote is based upon a number of concepts found in scripture. Listen to a prophet who ministered a long time ago. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: and in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Hosea 6:1,2. Jesus had a message for Herod that goes like this: “Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfect.” Luke 13:32. All of this refers to “time” such as today—today—tomorrow, and so forth. Notice that Hosea speaks of time also, and both he and Jesus seemingly zeroed in on the “third day.”
Obviously Jesus pointed to his own ministry and his resurrection as being perfected or glorified in the third day. Hosea’s narrative lays out what can be seen as three distinct periods of time. Being wounded and being healed and revived transpire within a two day period but the third day speaks of being raised up, and living in his sight. We can simply divide these times to the entire period of Church history and view them as “healing, resurrection, and life.” As regards to what Jesus spoke again, we can assemble three distinct periods of Church growth and the demonstration of the Spirit. We can assemble two periods of healing, deliverance (casting out of devils) but the third day signifies a day of perfection.
Back in the early 1950s when the Latter Rain ministry was introduced to Jamaica I was blessed to be in the thick of it. We followed a long period in which casting out of devils and the demonstration of the gifts topped the day. But in spite of all these gifts, and in spite of scores upon scores of people getting a good word of prophecy, and getting healed and even delivered, these ministries did not make any one perfect. Many came and begged God for gifts, for healings, for financial blessings, and as we watch and listen to people announcing why they love God, it was always because of what they could get or what they got. But the perfection that Jesus spoke about means more than getting something that one prays for. In this kind of perfection, we recognize him for who he is, and we become engrafted into that reality in so much, we become ONE with who he is. In this level of perfection, we no longer posses the mindset of a servant waiting for a handout (paycheck) but like sons we own all that our father owns. We no longer shout the message, but we become living sermons to the world.
Paul alluded to a time “when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1st Corinthians 15:54. Timing is of the essence here! Notice the wording carefully; “When this mortal” shall gave put on! It is like saying, “when summer is ended, schools will once again open.” Or, “when” will you be taking your vacation? In like manner, “when this mortal shall have put on” bespeaks of a set time on God’s calendar. People will die including lots of saints month after month, week after week, and day after day, until we need not say anymore “when this mortal” because the time has come upon us. I may ask you, “when will you be taking your vacation” but when you have packed your suit cases and backing out of the driveway, I simply say “enjoy your vacation” because “when” is no more tomorrow, it has become today—now.
We have had Latter Rain! We have had Deliverance! We have had Body Ministry! We have cast out devils anywhere they were hiding! But in my mind, all of that is confined to the first and second day. But the third day brings life. Jesus calls it being made perfect, and Hosea calls it “living in his sight.” That is the point where we can turn around and ask; “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Listen to an announcement from the Lord himself. “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance will be hid from mine eyes.” Hosea 13:14
We are told by Paul the last enemy to be destroyed is death, but here is a dilemma; how do we destroy something that is an abstract event—a phenomena, that cannot be tamed, bridled, or captured and put in a bottle like a genie. Here the law of transmutation comes into effect! What does that mean? It means that one substance or thing is being changed into something else. In our case, it means that death will be replaced by life and when people do not or cannot die any more death has been destroyed, completely vanquished from the earth. But here is the sad case of Ephraim or the Church: “The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.” Hosea 13:13.
Do you remember that I said a while ago that the previous ministries, in spite of their obvious power to heal and deliver did not bring God’s people into perfection? This is the unwise son, because he has spent too long a time being a child. On the one side there are multitudes who are content to walk into the local Church Sunday after Sunday and Wednesday nights to listen to one man or woman preach and teach. On the other side there are those who bask in the bliss of “getting a word” from the Lord. These well intentioned folks will travel across town and even fly across the country or to places overseas, just to get a word from the Lord. But there are three main ingredients that are required to promote growth and they are; “exercise, cleanliness, and a correct diet.” Many are constantly being fed an “incorrect diet” and although cleanliness is being emphasized to the rooftops, the majority of believers that file into these pews get no exercise at all resulting into a “stumped” growth. Hosea is calling upon Ephraim to get out of the place where children are constantly being taught, not how to be adults, but how to be nice little babies. A baby is a baby no matter how he behaves and he is only able to digest milk! Many bask in the pleasure and excitement of receiving a word from the Lord, but I am not sure if that word is ever allowed to work its way into their spirit and brighten every cell with the life and life of the divine substance that flows from the heart of God.
Back in about 1985 while serving as pastor at West Gate Tabernacle in West Palm Beach, I worked at a 15-unit complex called Murray Hills, own by folks from up north who come down for the winter and return home between March and April—they are called “snow birds.” While hosing down the side of a complex one day, the Lord spoke to my heart and said that I should be like a housewife that speaks lovingly to her plants and watch them grow. By the same token he said, every day speak life to the cells of your body and promote life. We loved to sing in our worship services; “The cells of my body, speak forth a new life; every atom radiates God’s glorious light; rejoice O earth at the sound of my voice; I’m a new man walking, I never walked before.” Seemingly, folks in the Pentecostal realm are waiting for the rapture, and folks in the kingdom realm are waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. So as they say, “six is one, half a dozen is the other.” Both camps are busy playing the waiting game. A preacher friend of mine who lives just outside Fresno, California, said to me; if Romans 8 says creation is on tiptoe waiting for the sons to be unveiled back in Paul’s day, how much longer is it supposed to wait? Have you noticed that we have a tendency to read the scripture and treat the contents as if they were written just yesterday by Brother Eby or Brother Elwin, or Brother Gary? When we begin to realize that two thousand years have elapsed since those words were penned by Peter, James, John, and Paul, and on behalf of Jesus himself, we will quickly be jolted and shocked into looking on the clock and see that we are running behind in a very big way. David questioned the notion of death and asked: “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the grave praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth?” Psalm 30:9. He went on to announce with immense conviction: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17. Some years ago they interviewed a man from one of the southern States, possibly, Alabama, who was well past his 100th birthday and he was asked what his secret to a long life was. He said; I guess if you have a good enough reason to be alive, God will work with you.” Ain’t that the truth? David was not asking for long life simply to live the good life of a king. He wanted to live to declare the works of the Lord!
We know that God hath set in the church, first apostles (not pastors) but Paul added this twist to the concept: “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1st Corinthians 4: 9. He went on: “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (chew on this bit and digest it, and let me repeat it) that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” 2nd Corinthians 4:11,12.
Let us remind ourselves that Martha did not answer the question about Jesus being the resurrection. Her answer was about the Messiah coming into the world. Let us revisit Jesus as he is speaking strongly about life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” We can be philosophical all we want, but let us see how the people understood this bold and outlandish statement. “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Jesus did not hurriedly step in to correct their misunderstanding by saying, “Hold it! Hold it! You misunderstood me! I did not mean physical death—everybody has to die! I meant the “soul” the inner man! Jesus knew what he said! The Jews knew what he said, and the message stood firm until this very day. Like I said before Christians the world over don’t mind dying because they believe in the resurrection on the final day, but they will never take seriously enough the truth that Jesus is the resurrection right here and NOW.
Martha could not buy it either! Jesus walked down to the grave and brought one whole man back to life by a single call: Lazarus! Come forth! And he came out as if on thin air, still bound from his dead to his toes. That ties in with his word; “He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Jesus demonstrated that truth before all eyes to see. This work on the man’s “spirit” it was on the physical man! By the same token, Jesus said; “He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25,26. WELL, DO YOU BELIVE THIS? Not that he is your healer, or your baptizer, or your lawyer, or your comforter during lonely nights, and your provider when times are hard and the cupboard seems empty. Do you believe that he is the resurrection at this very moment? He abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.2nd Timothy 1:10. But not the gospel of death that you’ve been hearing for so long! How often has your minister said from the pulpit that we all will have to die one day? That is not the gospel Paul referred to!
Whatever we preach, teach, or dare to believe should be based upon scripture, and not speculations or traditions formulated by the Church Fathers, or the Board of Bishops. Paul contrasted the difference between the ministration of Moses and the ministration of Christ. For us, as we alluded to earlier, the law and the prophets prophesied until John, so death reigned from Adam to John the Baptist. Jesus came on the scene and throughout his earthly ministry, he never attended a funeral and when faced with them he brought the dead back to life. He taught of life throughout, and never conceded an inch of territory or a single soul to death. It was not in his mindset, or in his genes, neither was it a part of the mandate he received of the Father. Unlike Jesus we often hear ministers in the midst of their sermons interject the idea that we all must die one day. Some even say, “I could die before this sermon is over.” Jesus brought life and said. “Because I live, you shall live also.”
Let us revisit three separate verses of scripture that address the same issue, using the exact phrase and convey the same truth. We must decide what manner of death these scriptures relate to, whether it is man’s spirit (which by the way, cannot die) or is it man’s physical being. The Psalmist takes us to task by asking an outright question, with the intent on making a valid point that is accepted universally. “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” Psalm 89:48. It is like hearing your pastor on Sunday morning saying from the pulpit, “everybody has to die one day” and if we are to be honest, we have to agree that the minister is within the bible.
For this particular study, we want to concentrate on only the four most vital words in each text that we shall observe. They are, “shall not see death” and in all honesty we must conclude that this verse is addressing the issue of man’s physical death. In order words, show me a man, any man, woman, boy or girl, that is alive today and will not die one day. So now we know what we are looking at—it is the issue of physical death, and not some sort of spiritual disconnect from God that we love to call “spiritual death” when in truth there is no such thing, because no matter in what state of being, spirits don’t die. The life that God breathe into Adam, that became man’s legacy will be vanquished, and its light will never go out.
Back in 1986 when we lived in Goldsborough, North Carolina, where my twin boys were born, I was fellowshipping with a local evangelist who had just published a book. He said to me that in light of the fact that so many have claimed that in the day Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he immediately died spiritually, and died physically within the day of a thousand years, I have searched the bible inside out, and cannot find any scriptural foundation for the belief that Adam died spiritually. In fact, the evangelist could not find any scripture anywhere that lends credence to the idea of spirits dying.
We are told that when a man dies, meaning any human being male or female, saved or unsaved, when anyone dies, the spirit returns to God who gave it and the body goes to the dust from whence it came. Life is one thing and death is another, and both cannot be intertwined or interwoven. They cannot coexist as equals for they both have nothing in common; one is diametrically opposed to the other, and will never declare a truce and join forces. Let us look at the next verse of scripture with the four words of interest that we are studying.
“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. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Luke 2:25,26. In Psalm we are told that there is no man alive who will not eventually die. Here this devout man is being told that he will not die, physical death will in no way take him away before his own eyes have seen the Christ. So in essence, both scriptures relate to physical death and we cannot deny that.
Now, let us see how events unfolded in the case of old Simeon. “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law. Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (the word that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.” John 2:27-32.
Just as the Holy Ghost had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen Christ the Messiah, the day came when the child entered the temple and the old man said, Okay, Lord, it is done just as you said! I have seen the Lord’s Christ, so now let me go in peace. I am ready to depart for your purpose in me has been fulfilled. The word that Caleb kept in his heart from the day Moses uttered them, kept him alive for another forty five years, and the words that the Holy Ghost spoke to the heart of this old man, kept him alive until the day he held the Christ child in his arms. I am deeply convinced that God can, and God will, keep any one of us alive for however long is needed to fulfill his purpose in us. Time is irrelevant and of no consequence against God’s divine purpose in our lives. Like the hundred plus year old man from Alabama said in an interview when asked “what was his secret to such a long life?” he said; “I reckon that if you have a good enough reason to stay alive, God will work with you.” David had this very truth in his mind when he wrote; “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore, but he hath not given me over unto death.” Psalm 118:17,18. We do not speak about not dying for the sake of making headlines news, or for the sake of being on “talk shows” on radio and television, or for any personal gratification. It must be for God’s purpose and for his glory. Shortly after I immigrated to England, I got very homesick and depressed, and the church I attended was not very helpful. I guess they needed more time to figure out who I am and what my needs were. I prayed to God one evening that God would let me die. I told God I did not want to be lost, but I won’t worry about a crown and stars, simply to be saved will be fine, so give my ministry to another who can better serve thee and be one on whom you can depend. I said, God I was born in March and I am fickle minded; today I am hot and tomorrow I am cold. Please don’t waste any more time on me, just take me home! That same evening in church, after a deep moment of praise and worship, the Lord spoke saying, “Thou art saying in thine heart that I should give your ministry to another. But as I live saith the Lord, none other shall do it but you; for before your mother knew what she would have, I have set my mark upon you and ordained you to this ministry.”
I sat in my seat and shook and wept like a baby and I felt like every bone in my body was rattling out of their place. The Lord added many more things which I will let slip by in this study. But the essence of what I am saying, is that time does not come into the equation when dealing with God. Old Simeon was not going anywhere, under any circumstance or any condition, until he had held the Christ Child in his arms, and when it happened he was content to say, “Let now thy servant depart in peace.” Mission accomplished! Over and out! Believe me my friend, I get excited and feel rejuvenated just writing about this vital, vibrant, and life giving subject and I trust that the excitement will spread from me to you right where you are and this includes those of you touching base with me on the Internet. I bless you right where you are, and I minister life to you across the miles and across the oceans that separate our continents.
Jesus came on the scene and declared that if any man keep his sayings, “he shall never taste of death.” This means the same as “shall never see death.” The previous two scriptures referred to physical death and Christians the world over, both clergy and laity, will readily agree that those previous scriptures definitely referred to physical death; but as we step into the time frame and ministry of Jesus, the tendency is to make our Lord’s statement one that applies to the inner man—a spiritual death. It is just like agreeing that the physical man who believes in Jesus though he were dead will live again as in the case of Lazarus, but the man who lives and believes in him shall never die, really refers to man’s spirit. But Jesus did not raise Lazarus’ spirit or soul; he raised the whole man, thus saying boldly that the living man—spirit, soul, and body, shall never die. Paul puts it this way; And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; (here is that word again) and I pray God your whole (all of you) spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1st Thessalonians 5:23.
How did the people understand or interpret what Jesus said? “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devel. Abrahaom is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Are thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest thyself?”John 8:51-53. Notice that Jesus did not step in quickly to clarify his statement so as to erase any misunderstanding among the people. He did not say, “I see you are referring back to Abraham and the prophets, but you seem to have misunderstood me. Yes they all died and so will all of you. I am talking about the inner man not dying. I am come to give life to the spirit in man so that part of you will never die.”
Jesus could not say that, because he did not need to come to supply life to the inner man, a life it did not have before. Jesus know very well that the life of God breathe into man by God himself will never end, will never be extinguished for in whatever state of being or where ever God has decreed for the spirit to reside after death, its life continues. Paul desire for the Thessalonian saints was for them to be preserved blameless unto the coming of Jesus Christ, both in spirit, soul, and body. In other words, he wished that they would be preserved as whole, complete, alive and well people until Christ came again. Although they lived in the wrong time frame for such marvelous unfolding of truths, Paul knew very well that such a time would come upon God’s people, right here on earth. Ask yourself, “Am I living in that time frame when life will replace death in God’s creation?”
Royce O. Kennedy