There are monstrous problems in our communities and they’re affecting everyone dwelling on the earth. We can’t pretend to be unconcerned. However, it’s worse to pretend we have them under control— pretending in this way can cause us to be engrossed with solving earth’s problems to the neglect of worshipping and praising the Almighty God. That’s why the heart of God’s true people (His Church) not “our church”, is sighing and crying for the Lord’s fullness. It’s a call for Him to finish His blueprint for humankind.
God is responding as the Bread of Heaven is now touching His people’s soul more than ever and persuading those who’re not yet engaged to Christ Jesus to do so quickly. For these reasons, hearts no more want to “linger in Judea’s plain but desire to flee to the mountain top”. Therefore, the objective content in the saint’s prayers in this hour is captured in the song:
Hear us o Lord, Hear our souls deep sighing
Hear us o Lord for our hearts yearn for You
As the thirsty pants for the water brook
So our hungry souls pant after You
(You’ve awoken us from sleep and being awake, we clearly see) “the wild geese fleeing—flying away from the winter’s night like the lilies striving just to reach the light”. This is inspiring us to hear the “bridegroom’s call from our innermost being” and our sincere response is:
Lord, take us to Your mountain top as you have desired to have us as Your wife (Save us to the utmost).
Is the bible actually true or what? Careful reading of the bible affirms that it is saying, ‘Before Christ came into the world, mankind did not have life as a result of Adam and Eve’s fall’. We just existed! We were working, discovering and inventing things, eating, having sex and making babies. In this sense, humans are not far from the ants who, also work smartly, build and engage in reproduction.
So, Christ Jesus came to give mankind life, life in its abundance!
Does this suggest that holy men and women of old before Christ did not have life too? The bible gives this notion and I second its truth. They had glimpses of His life from a distance and longed earnestly to possess it. The longing kept their hearts and minds towards God. So they served Him with reverence and fear.
But, since Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection some people have been escaping from merely existing into life. And no longer are those who have the glimpse of life just longing after Him—they are possessing life, life in all its abundance. Nicodemus had something of the glimpse of life so he went to see Him (Life) better at night. Christ Jesus nodded him towards the life—‘get born again, and then you will see life clearly. You will not only see it, you will possess it by water and the Spirit’ John 3:1-5.
Since His resurrection, a body of people on the earth described as His body possess life and increasingly have Him in all of His fullness. Note, it is not just having life but possessing life (Christ) in His fullness— having a real vibrant relationship with the living Christ Jesus the Head and High Priest of His body on the earth John 10:27. Not a fairy tale.
“If the Lord is not a real and vital part of our lives, then we are only half living”— Crosswalk. In which case, God is asking, where art thou? Genesis 3:9.
Dear friend, are you part of His body? The Holy Spirit will bear witness to you in your spirit Romans 8:16. His joy and peace will evidence it to you in your inner man. Restfulness in your inner being will testify to it. Crazy thoughts and jumpy actions will be vanishing as you are astonished by His awesome power resurrecting you to an increasingly godly and goodly thoughts and actions that gladdens the heart under every situation. Which is to say, all things are now working out only for good in your life! All things are beginning to be made by the Holy Spirit to serve as a springboard to prepare you as a part of the bride (wise virgins) for the bridegroom (Eternal Life).
The measure of life, abundant life that mortals can contain is made available by Christ Jesus to all who ask for it Psalm 86:5. How merciful and gracious God is!
Merciful because He looks to His Son’s sacrifice and grants forgiveness to all who ask for it though they be sinners—gross sinners who murdered His Son, Jesus.
Gracious because He is all powerful to rescue all who are in hiding beaten or negotiated down (Genesis 3:1-6) by the dominion of darkness if only we will come out to meet Him as He walks towards us and not hide behind trees (ministries and other people, so to speak Proverbs 11:21) Genesis 3:8. By His power, He translates all who receive and accept His Son (the Messiah) from the darkness of hell into the light of heaven—that is, His Kingdom. This is the power of the second Adam, the life giving Spirit.
The life of God in the earth is flowing in His Kingdom on the earth. And the Kingdom soon will overun the kingdom of this world as the will of God is increasingly being done in the earth as it is done in heaven.
Sinners and religious (pious) people must now flee to Christ Jesus for safety. The appointed time God has given for all men to be saved is running out Romans 13:11. The righteous are being taken out of the earth yet men know it not. God is rejoicing as His own return home.
God is strengthening the body of His Son on the earth to tell the world that God loves them. God does not want anyone to perish Titus 2:11, 2 Peter 3:9. Enough people have perished because while on earth clothed with mortal body, they only existed having refused and rejected life. Receiving this life (Christ) is so crucial and as such, God gave opportunity to even those who existed before Christ’s advent the chance to receieve Him, in their hearts.
Mankind (men and women) need eternal life in this present life. Therefore, have life that you may live ABUNDANTLY forever not exist forever. Goodness and religion do not give life! Life gives goodness and devotion. Those who know and possess life know this reality, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” John 10:10.
Life is at your disposal; take Him in richly Colossians 3:16!
One of the beauties I have found in the scriptures is the principle that everything spiritual has a physical or natural expression. The physical is inferior to the spiritual though, it is always the physical first before the spiritual 1 Cor 15:46. Man was first created from the physical or natural substance and then made spiritual by God’s breath Gen 2:7.
God’s breath gave man life and spirit and His dealings with man always start in the spirit. For this reason, given man’s fall (man’s spiritual death because of Adam and Eve’s sin), spiritual resurrection must of a necessity first happen to man before man can experience physical or bodily resurrection to life. Everyone will resurrect bodily to the state they had while living in their mortal body. This accounts for why Christ came to give us life in its abundance now John 10:10, 5:24, 40.
What is spiritual resurrection
In John 3:1-10, we’re told a Pharisee (person schooled in the laws of God), ruler of the Jews—not necessarily a political leader but, obviously a religious guru or teacher named Nicodemus came secretly by night to Jesus to commend Him and interact with Him as a fellow religious teacher. He failed to realize that Jesus was not a religious man or a theologian. Jesus, being the resurrection and life, saw that Nicodemus was not resurrected though he was a sincere teacher of God’s people. So, in verse 3, Jesus told him of his need to see the kingdom of God and the only way by which it could happen is to be “born again”—spiritually resurrected. Apparently, he was confounded because he had not experienced what it means to be spiritually resurrected or born again.
In verse 5, Jesus proceeded to explain the concept of “born again” and the further benefits to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.
To be born again is a miraculous deliverance by which, Christ comes to indwell a person. The person is spiritually resurrected by Christ into Christ. A person dead in the Kingdom of darkness is forcefully rescued by the Word and Spirit (the stronger Man) and brought into the Kingdom of Light Col 1:13, Luke 11:22, 1 Pet 2:9.
Paul the Apostle explains it as a gift of God that cannot be worked for—it’s only to be received by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of mankind by faith Eph 2:8-9. It is a gift which the love and grace or power of God makes available to whoever believes in His only Son John 3:16. This powerful action of Water–the Word (Christ) and the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) resurrects sinners from a spiritually dead life to God’s spiritual life which, Jesus described as, to see the kingdom.
Furthermore in v6, He accentuated the difference between those who’re spiritually resurrected or born again and those who are not. All these was daunting for Nicodemus as it is today for anyone who has not received this grace of God (Jesus) that has appeared for the salvation of all mankind. Therefore, in verse 7, Jesus encouraged Nicodemus and extends the same to you today if you’re not born again, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again”. It’s not to be figured out—it’s to be believed! Believe in Christ then, the understanding comes 1 Cor 2:14.
Core Benefits of Spiritual Resurrection Seeing the Kingdom: It is only as we’re born again that we can see the Kingdom of God. God is Spirit and His Kingdom is spiritual not intellectual John 3:3, Luke 17:20.
Entering the Kingdom: Those who’re born again enter His Kingdom—to enter, is to possess it. Being spiritually resurrected entitles us to take firm hold of the Kingdom or eternal life 1 Tim 6:12. This practically affects the quality of life of those engaging in this pursuit. It impacts their spirit, soul and body and consequently, everyone that comes in contact with them because of the fruit the Spirit bears out from them.
Sleep not death: Death for those who are born again is but sleep. They sleep in the Lord of life. They sleep waiting for their Saviour’s voice to invite their corruptible bodies to put on the incorruptible, to be clothed like the angles of God having no selfish ambition but to please God consistently Luke 20:35-36. Indeed, the creator of the heavens and earth is the God of only the living though they may temporally sleep Matt 22:32.
Physical or bodily resurrection: Most crucial, all who are resurrected spiritually (regenerated) will, without fail experience bodily resurrection to life 1 Tim 6:19. This privilege and hope of resurrecting to life makes those who have it to surrender totally to God. It creates a heavenly mindedness, Christ centeredness and a hunger for God’s will to be done on the earth (in us and among the world) that nothing on earth or from the pit of hell can dissuade Isa 45:8, Heb 6:7. Paul the Apostle and others had it as their vision and drive. It accounted a great deal for their devotion to pursue diligently and sincerely after the Spirit of grace (mercy and power) unending Heb 4:16, 1 Pet 1:13, 2 Pet 3:18.
What is bodily resurrection
God created angles that worship and serve Him ceaselessly in Heaven. Out of His sovereignty, He chose to create man that will worship, praise and serve Him on the physical earth realm perpetually. By so doing, man will look after His creation on the earth declaring His praise and glory. But, death through sin came to interrupt His plan.
But, the plan of the Almighty cannot be thwarted by a fallen angel. So, God has promised that a new earth shall come down wherein righteousness (His will) and His alone will be done to replace the present 2 Pet 3:13, Isa 65:17. To achieve it, He has promised bodily resurrection to those who will dwell in it. They will dwell as humans not spirits so that His original plan stands! A righteous earth inhabited by a new creation created new in Christ 1 Thess 4:13-18, 2 Cor 5:17.
To complete His plan, His Word by which all things were created came—praise God. Immanuel even our Christ came Col 1:16. Now, He has destroyed both the god of sin and death and all who believe in Him are restored and being restored to the former glory that God ordained for man. Praise be to God, our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus accomplished the task by shedding His Blood and His bodily resurrection by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the unfathomable privilege awaiting all who receive Christ and live or abide in Him.
In Matthew 27:50-54, a definition and description of bodily resurrection was given to all mankind so that no one will have an excuse to disbelieve. Christ rose from the dead after three days as He said John 2:19. The news that must be told clearly about His resurrection is this; many godly men and women who had died and buried came out of their graves along with Him. It was an actual event and the scriptures tell us it will happen again 1 Thess 4:14. Selah!
What are we saying, is it that spirits came out from their graves? No! Mortal men and women who worshipped and feared or reverenced God while in their mortal bodies before they slept, came out of their graves again as humans clothed with gloried or immortal bodies 1 Cor 15:44. This is the definition of bodily resurrection. Consequently, the devil will have no dust to feed on. Hell and the lake of fire will be his doom.
It is imperative that we note, all those who rose followed Christ to everywhere He went. People who knew them could see and hear them. I suspect that Simon who the Holy Spirit told that he will not see death before he had seen the baby Jesus was among them Luke 2:25-32. And probably, he would have told the people, “You all can now understand why I was excited to see the Baby at the temple on that fateful day. In Him lays the salvation of mankind”! Having this blessed hope actively affects one’s present livestyle to Holiness, Patience, Love, consistent Prayer, forgiving others etc Matt 10:16.
Allwho believe or accept Christ, follow or live in and for Him willresurrect tolife, beauty and glory. While, all who reject Him and live for self and for the devil willresurrect to condemnation. Meaning, humans who reject Christ now are presently being enveloped with the spirit and life of the anti-Christ and consequently will suffer the same fate with the devil, demons and the prophet he used to deceive.
The implication of bodily resurrection
John 5:28 states that everyone will rise from the dead and Luke 24:36-43, makes it clear that after resurrection, we will still be humans not spirits. We will have flesh, bone and be able to eat natural food. This truth generates unspeakable joy for those in Christ because in this state, they will have the life of God in them. While those who rejected Christ’s atonement, practiced wickedness and evil will face and experience unimaginable anguish because they are cut off from His life John 5:29. Being cut off from God’s life while clothed with immortality is total darkness and irreversible doom. It is not comparable to lacking God’s life while clothed with mortality. Selah!
Mortals who reject Christ still enjoy the grace of His atonement somewhat; because they are around people with the Spirit of Christ (the body of Christ) full of life and grace who call on God through the power of the Holy Spirit consistently.
Without ambiguity, on the earth, there are two kinds of people. The first are those born of the flesh and so, are fleshly or belong to the first Adam. The second are those born of the flesh, but have become born also of the Spirit making them spiritual or belonging to Christ (the last Adam) 1 Cor 15:45.
Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Now, He is risen! He is alive today and forever—and drawing all peoples to Himself. This gospel of the Kingdom is the message of His body to the world today!
Have you responded to His call to be resurrected or born again? Don’t delay further! Answer His call today John 20:31. He is full of mercy, grace—inexhaustible grace and generosity! Even those who have responded, that is, the many membered body, He is still ever drawing her to experience more of His grace to enable her participate in all His length, width, depth and height (the stature of His fullness) Eph 4:13, 5:17.
Therefore, marvel not, “That I say to you, except you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” even if you are a Bible scholar, a leader of religious people and sincere teacher who can theologically authenticate why Jesus is a teacher sent from God.
We must receive Christ’s sacrifice, enjoy it and suffer for it now as ordained by God; then, we shall truly, very truly resurrect to eternal life with God. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s Rom 14:8. Amen!
Spirits clothed with immortal body do not and cannot repent, such is the situation with the devil and the fallen angels. They were created by God with the ability to do what they want. So, when they did evil it was their choice to do so deliberately. The devil and the fallen angels did not rebel against God and seek to rule man because they were deceived rather, they just chose to do what they did!
Adam deliberately joined Eve who was deceieved to sin against God 1 Tim2:14. But, Adam and Eve had a chance to repent because they were clothed with mortal body which made them human with spirit. Hence, the human body is not a curse but a blessing from the all wise and Almighty God. He knew man was going to fall but praise God he clothed man with the mortal flesh. The human spirit can only repent while in the mortal body—though it is weak, it serves its purpose in God’s scheme of things!
In Matt 26:41, Jesus said, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Though the flesh is weak, it can receive help from the spirit through the exercise of faith Proverbs 18:14a “When the flesh is bruised, the spirit sustains it”. This is the reason God has gifted all mankind with faith to call on Him for redeemption through His Son Jesus Christ.
Man needs to be humble, wise and repose their God given faith in Jesus Christ!
It is when the spirit becomes unwilling that a major problem is at hand. Then, the body runs riot freely unchecked or unrestrained—this accounts for why man was dominated by the sin-nature and hence practices sinning.
How important it’s for mankind to remember that Eve and Adam’s sin happened because they failed to have faith in God and consequently in His instruction to them. It is only through the spirit in man that man communicates with God by faith and receives grace or power to bring the flesh to submission to God.
Proverbs 18:14 asked a rhetorical question, “a bruised spirit who can bear?” In other words, when the spirit fails to exercise faith in God, it’s crushed and wounded. And, when it suffers, the flesh cannot help it because faith can only be exercised to communicate with God by the spirit while in the body John 6:63, 1 Cor 7:19, Phil 3:3. This is the reason God has appointed to man a time on the earth to repent (receive a willing and submissive spirit) before death because once the spirit leaves the body, it cannot repent while unclothed 2 Peter 3:9, Heb 9:27.
While I am not a strong believer of the testimonies of those who say they died, had a conversation with Jesus, God or God’s angels and came back to life, I do not dismiss it either. Almost all of such testimonies I have heard gave a context which I consider dearly because of the scriptural tilt which is this; they had to come back to their body to repent and accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
After the resurrection of the dead, man will for the first time since God created man fellowship with God clothed with immortal body though still human 1 Cor 15:53. This glorious blessing is entered only through the gospel 2 Tim 1:10. This is mind boggling! All who truly have this hope, cannot be dissauded from pursuing well-doing, ceaseless gratitude, praise, worship and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ the only source to immortality Rom 2:7, Acts 4:12.
It is impossible to consider any soul that fails to take advantage of the privilege the gospel presents to mankind as wise, no matter the level of academic and material achievement or power that soul possesses.
If you have not taken advantage of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, which is meant for your salvation, I plead with you to seriously consider doing so today, even now! Consider these scriptures as you take steps to believe and confess Jesus for the salvation of your soul Isaiah 1:18, Luke 5:32, John 3:16, Rom 10:9-11.
In view of the great redemption we have in Christ and the priviledge of immortality, the scripture both exhorts and admonishes us thus; “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and … all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 Cor 1:7, 1 John 3:3 NLT).
The greatest authentication that a believer is still holding to the grace of God with the hope of Christ’s return is the believer’s pursuance of purity. This authentication is for the believer himself or herself because the pursuance of purity associated with looking on to Christ’s return is very personal and does not entail proving oneself to others. Only God discerns thoughts against every action man takes. I believe it’s on this platform that God advises his children to leave judgement (condemning) to Him.
Definitely, we can judge a wrong or evil deed by identifying it as wrong or evil and we must do so as part of godliness, but never are we called to judge another person’s motive.
In conclusion, John 4:24, is a call for us to keep our bodies subject to our spirit and not to let the body defile our spirits which is to say, present your body as a living sacrifice Rom 7:18, 12:1, 21.
God’s graciousness in Christ Jesus is to be accepted and received now while the dispensation of salvation is wide open to the gentiles and especially while we are still in our mortal bodies breathing air.
As saying goes, “Make haste while the sun shines” or, as an African adage puts it, “catch the black goat while there is day light, else, when the night falls, the dark colour of the goat makes it difficult to see clearly to catch it”.
May the love, peace and grace of God abound to you in every way.