God Said Man Said

Death

What really is death? How did it begin? Who owns it? Is it possible to rid oneself of the dread of death and if so, how? There is a struggle against death that begins in the womb and ends only when death finally conquers the flesh, even its desire to live.
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Death

Article#: 1686

We’re all on a trip to eternity, every one of us.  This journey to eternity, whichever of the two eternities one pursues, is a highway of time peppered with land mines, traps, deceptions, and perils of all sorts. 

I can’t know the good way if I follow Satan’s carnal map of unbelief and disobedience.  The carnal way only leads to eternal damnation.  Prior to arriving there, all a son or daughter of Adam has to look forward to is at best pleasure for a season, and regardless how good or bad his or her short journey is, the journey will end in disillusionment and the terrors of the grave.  But there is a much better way.  God has given us a road map—His Holy Bible—by which we can navigate life safely, even have life and have it more abundantly, contradictions and all.  This ancient, inerrant, holy map will safely usher the adherent to eternal life in Christ Jesus.  I Corinthians 2:9 reports of this marvelous place:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  

This is a very real journey on a very real road, a road for spiritual travel.  Isaiah 35:4-9:

4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

For the redeemed, it’s the highway of holiness.  Along the way, other options—deadly options—will present themselves, but those who faithfully follow the holy map will safely pass on to the other side.

For the redeemed, this journey begins at a place Jesus calls “born again.”  John 3:3:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Have you been born again?  Has all your sin and shame been washed away?  Are you free of Satan’s bondages? This can be your portion today.  Today, you can begin your journey on the Holy Highway that surely leads to eternal life.  Click onto “Further with Jesus” right now for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 2:14:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

GOD SAID, Ecclesiastes 8:8:

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

GOD SAID, Psalm 107:10-11:

10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

MAN SAID: “I am strong! I am wise! I am man!  I don’t need God and His old, outdated book!  Oh, wait…what?! What did the doctor say?  I have one week to live?! Oh, help me!  Save me!!” 

Now THE RECORD:  Death is a strange and peculiar phenomenon.  I have often contemplated it.  I have sat beside the death bed and I have seen the righteous depart.  I have participated in the grief and the sorrow and the burial of the dead. It truly is a hard place indeed.  I really need to get a handle on death.

What really is death?  How did it begin?  Who owns it?  Is it possible to rid oneself of the dread of death and if so, how? There is a struggle against death that begins in the womb and ends only when death finally conquers the flesh, even it’s desire to live.  Romans 8:22-23:

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Man’s mad, godless quest to conquer death continues, but struggle as he may, man cannot escape the spider’s web.  Hebrews 9:27:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Mr. Billionaire and Mr. Poorman alike will make their appointment with death.  Even given this certainty, carnal men will continue to seek another way—any way except God’s way.  Science knows this struggle against death as the second law of thermodynamics—also known as the law of entropy—where all with which we have to do travels from order to disorder and from life to death. 

Four questions were posed earlier:

1. What really is death?

2. How did death begin?

3. Who owns death?

4. Is it possible to rid oneself of the dread of death, and if so, how? 

What really is death? A strong definer of death is found in what it is not: It is not oblivion and it is not a place of dreamless sleep.  In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells of the rich man who dies in his sins and finds himself in hell.  Verses 23-24:

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

The rich man’s eyes are buried in the rich man’s tomb, yet in hell, he lifts up his eyes.  The rich man’s vocal cords are buried in the rich man’s tomb, yet in hell, he lifts up his voice.  The rich man’s brain is buried in the rich man’s tomb, yet in hell, he reasons with Father Abraham.  The rich man’s tongue is buried in the rich man’s tomb, yet in hell, he begs for a drop of water to cool his tongue from the tormenting flame.  Be sure death is not oblivion, not dreamless sleep, but the absence of life and the only source of that life is Jesus Christ.  John 14:6:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

A soul without Christ is a soul without life.  Ephesians 2:1 speaks to this matter:

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

What really is death? It is eternal, cognizant torment—an eternity without Christ.

How did death begin? God speaks these telling words to Job in Job 38:17:

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

Death has gates and death casts a shadow that is more real than this physical existence with very real eternal consequences.

Etymology, which is the study of words, has a foundational premise that states that a word’s definition is established in its first use.  Death is first used in Genesis 2:17:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

When Eve, the mother of all living, disobeys God’s commandment, mankind sees the first instance of death, and here the shadow and the gates of death are exposed.  The shadow of death is seen when Eve draws nigh unto the forbidden tree and entertains Satan’s deadly conversation.  Then, in an act of unbelief and disobedience, she passes through the gates of death when she eats of the forbidden fruit.  Adam follows Eve’s leadership and also eats of the forbidden fruit and they both die that very day.  They died the second death first, for they lived on in the flesh for hundreds of years.  Speaking of the 1,000-year reign of Christ, soon to begin, and the concept of the second death, Revelations 20:6 writes:

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years

Revelation 20:14:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Hell and death are Satan’s domicile.  Jesus states in Matthew 25:41:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Hell and death are Satan’s domicile and they are finally cast into the lake of fire where there is weeping and wailing for all eternity.  Carnal man’s first death—which is the end of his natural life—and his second death have one very deadly thing in common: the absence of Jesus Christ; the absence of life

There is a very large difference between Adam and Eve and you and I.  They were immortal—they were to live forever—and in Eve’s act of unbelief and disobedience, they chose to die.  We were 180° out from them.  We were spiritually stillborn—dead in trespasses and sins—and in an act of faith and obedience in Christ Jesus, we chose to live. 

Notice the shadow of death and how it gained dominance over man in Psalm 107:10-11:

10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

How did death begin? Death began in an act of unbelief and disobedience and so it continues.

Who owns death? Hebrews 2:14:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

The devil has the power of death and he is well aware that its present stranglehold on the sons of Adam is rooted in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Prior to eating of this tree, Adam and Eve lived in a time of innocence.  Sin entered through this tree. James 4:17 defines sin:

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Death and hell are Satan’s domicile and the domicile of those who choose his destiny.  Isaiah writes that hell has made its accommodations for its added guests. Isaiah 5:13-14:

13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

There is a conspicuous absence of death and hell in God’s presence.  Jesus said in John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Revelation 21:1-5:

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Man must interact with death.  It is not optional.  I need to know how it works. 

Here is a quick recap of what this feature has addressed:

1. What really is death?

It is not oblivion or dreamless sleep.  Just ask the rich man.  Death is the absence of life and the spirit of life can only be found in Christ Jesus.  Without Christ, one is dead in trespasses and sin.

2. How did death begin?

Etymologically, death began in Genesis 2:17 with “thou shalt not eat.”  Through Eve’s unbelief and disobedience, the gates of death were opened, and the shadow of death gained its global stranglehold.  There, Adam and Eve died the second death first. 

3. Who owns death?

Death and hell were created for the devil, his angels, and now includes all who follow him in unbelief and disobedience.  Hell hath enlarged itself to accommodate its new guests.  In the camp of the unsaved, Satan wields the power of death as the ultimate weapon of terror.  In God’s new heaven and new earth, there is a conspicuous absence of death and hell. 

Next week’s subject will be titled, “Death: Is it Possible to Rid Oneself of Its Dread?”

GOD SAID, Hebrews 2:14:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

GOD SAID, Ecclesiastes 8:8:

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

GOD SAID, Psalm 107:10-11:

10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

MAN SAID: “I am strong! I am wise! I am man!  I don’t need God and His old, outdated book!  Oh, wait…what?! What did the doctor say?  I have one week to live?! Oh, help me!  Save me!!”

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

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