24. Victory over Death
The culmination of the Kingdom, the culmination of the Gospel, the culmination of the Covenant, the proving point upon which all of it hangs and through which all that God speaks MUST pass is - the Defeat of Death. By death, I mean the demise of the physical body.
24. Victory over Death
© Daniel Yordy - 2012
The culmination of the Kingdom, the culmination of the Gospel, the culmination of the Covenant, the proving point upon which all of it hangs and through which all that God speaks MUST pass is
- the Defeat of Death.
By death, I mean the demise of the physical body.
The Greek word 'thanatos,' usually translated 'death' in the English Bible, has at least five completely distinct and different meanings as I shared in "Christ Planted in Death." Let me list these five definitions here, you can peruse the other article for references and explanations.
- The physical death of the human body.
- The mind that lives separate from God in ignorance.
- The fallen human spirit, called the 'old man,' which is (was for us) a body of death.
- The total elimination of that fallen human spirit at the moment we were born again.
- The death of the atonement, which is not death at all, but glorious life, yet it is a 'death' in a very peculiar and different way, completely other than the first four definitions of 'thanatos.'
NOTE: The relationship between Thanatos and Hades in the gospel is very, very different from the illusions conjured up in Christianity.
Thanatos is not Hades and Hades is not Thanatos. Hades is the first realm of heaven where those who are Thanatos have their being, devoid of both physical body and spirit-body, vague whispering souls, ghosts in the darkness.
Thanatos, really, has three parts. It is the darkening of the spirit body upon Adam's sin, the loss of the physical body at death, and the ignorance of the mind in-between.
Both Thanatos and Hades are cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the next age, that is, they are swallowed up completely in the Love and Light of God.
Death is not real separation from God. There is no such thing. In the end, death is imaginary only. When I say that, I do NOT mean it in a 'Christian Science' way. Sin really drives a wedge between a created being and God. God does not know sin. And Death really intends to kill you. But the Atonement of Jesus has already swallowed up every sin before it was ever committed. And any created being can turn by the Atonement and in one moment be swallowed up in it. God hardens the hearts of many for His purposes for a season. But the testimony of the gospel is overwhelmingly clear and not to be annulled even by those who hold to the Roman darkness and to Jerome's hideous sin. All creation returns to the Father as Jesus brings all things into submission to Himself.
Death is defeated. Death is swallowed up in victory.
People can spiritualize death all they want, considering themselves to be 'deeper truth' Christians. People can shout "Love, love," and "Grace, grace," till they are blue in the face. People can preach "no condemnation" until they are leaping to the sky.
Physical death laughs in their face, thinks nothing of all their theology and words, and takes them out. They are then only in the heavens and not in the earth, missing half of themselves, DEAD in Christ, waiting in all hope for salvation.
Physical death IS the condemnation. There is no other condemnation. Norman Grubb died by condemnation. Sam Fife died by condemnation. The Apostle Paul died by condemnation. Yes, they died in faith, but they died by condemnation. You and I will die by condemnation - EXCEPT death be defeated in our bodies.
God has made it so.
God has focused ALL the PROOF of His Word on one thing alone - the defeat of death in the physical body.
That's the only Christ there is; there is no other Christ. John calls that other so-called 'Christ,' anti-Christ.
God is never revealed either to heaven or to earth apart from FLESH. The only God creation can know is God manifest in the Flesh.
The Holy Spirit fails utterly, as any sort of guarantee, apart from the defeat of death in the physical body.
Jesus, the Word God speaks from the beginning, falls into ruin and nothingness apart from the defeat of death in the physical body.
God the Father will never be seen, never be known as He is, apart from the defeat of death in the physical body.
God HAS MADE IT SO.
It is the resurrection, out of all the steps of the Atonement, that most specifically shows us the Father.
Everything that comes before finds its meaning and purpose ONLY in the defeat of death in the physical body. Everything that is to come, comes ONLY out of the defeat of death in the physical body.
ALL the Desire of all the ages, both those that have been, and those that will yet be, is found ONLY in the defeat of death in the physical body.
It is here and here alone that God proves Himself true, that His Word fulfills the purpose for which it was sent and thus returns to the Father complete. It is here and here alone that the guarantee called 'the gift of the Holy Spirit' turns into the full inheritance.
The defeat of death in the physical body is the third level, the third feast, the fulfillment of the Covenant, the culmination of the Gospel.
Now, all this is clear and written openly on the pages of the New Testament. Yet the veil of unbelief has sat upon the minds and hearts of almost all Christians until today, and they have willfully refused to believe what God so clearly says.
They have willfully refused to believe, but instead have bent the gospel and the covenant and the words of the New Testament to bow in homage to that 'undefeated' master, Death - triumphant, evil-filled, and sick.
Christians proclaim openly the victory of Death over the saints (heaven is our home), having turned that horrific lie into the very gospel itself. What a perversion! "Death is that wonderful friend who takes you to heaven and to Jesus." What a demonic deceit.
Gross unbelief and in-your-face accusation against all that is holy and God.
I do not read, I do not listen to anyone who pushes the big lie. They may say many things that are true and Christ, but when push comes to shove, they reject the victory of Christ made personal inside of them and bow themselves and the gospel before the fountain of all wickedness and opposition to God - Death.
They will not stand against the giants, but run into the grave before the whips of sin and death. Their proclamation of Christ ceases when death enters the equation, and they bow before that giant and call it 'God.'
David had enough trouble with his brethren sitting in fear of Goliath. But at least he did not have to contend with an Israel on their face before Goliath, having renamed him 'YHWH' in the way we must deal with.
Saul had no problem recognizing that Goliath was not YHWH; Christians do.
Christians call death, 'God.' Can you believe that? They fight death tooth and nail in all the power of the flesh, running to the doctors, knowing it is evil, yet the moment it defeats their neighbor in a gory paroxysm of agony, they call it 'God'!
Understand that I am NOT speaking in any way against those who are carried through that dark passage in utter trust in Jesus and in incomprehensible peace. My own mother went in just that way recently.
JESUS CARRIES US and there is nothing else for us. We walk utterly by faith, disregarding ALL that we "see" or "feel," including physical death should our times include it.
Yet death stands as the enemy of God, and God intends to prove Himself in our bodies by the defeat of death, entirely together with us.
There is no resurrection apart from faith; there is no resurrection apart from us.
"By man death, by man also the resurrection of the dead."
Look at that line in 1 Corinthians 15. If you have the right Bible, you will see that the word 'came' was not in the original, but forced in by the unbelief that filled the hearts of the King James translators. (I am planning an article on "The King James Destruction" in my series on The Covenant.)
"For this mortal must put on immortality."
So, Yordy, just exactly how do you plan to defeat death?
I have no idea.
But I do know the God who fills me, that He is life.
Knowing God is a much bigger deal than defeating death. Defeating death is a normal and natural outcome of knowing God.
How do I know God? That beyond wonderful gift, I can explain, step by step, so let me simply replace how I know God with how to defeat death. Then, I will tell you more plainly out from my resurrected body; then, I will take you by the hand and show you.
But for now, I will speak figuratively, just as Jesus did.
All things begin with a word spoken by God. The defeat of death in the physical body begins by a word spoken by God. Before we continue, let's assemble that Word. NOTHING exists except God speak it.
The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear shall live.
He that lives and believes in me shall never die. Martha, do you believe this?
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
We groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for the adoption, the redemption of the body.
For since by man death, by man also the resurrection of the dead.
For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (the defeat of death) through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Not that we should be unclothed, but further clothed, that death should be swallowed up by life.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The Lord Jesus Christ will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Jesus has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Just AS it is given unto man once to die, SO Christ was offered ONCE to bear the sins of many.
Do not be afraid, I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for the ages, and I have the keys of Thanatos and of Hades.
Of all these verses, each powerful and important, I think that the most important for us is 1 Corinthians 15:57, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
The act, the moment, the power, the reality of the defeat of death is a gift from God given to us. It is our possession. Then, 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee to us that this experience of our victory over death MUST BE ours, that our dying physical body be swallowed up by life.
NOW - most preachers and teachers of the Bible will then say, and I have heard it in many different ways.
"Sure, Yordy, we know God says all these things, we can read them in our Bibles as well. But whatever they mean, none of it exists until AFTER Jesus returns. And what makes you think, Yordy, that these verses refer directly to you? And WHAT MAKES YOU THINK that these verses apply to you NOW? Everybody dies. Paul died; all kinds of people down through the centuries shouted about all these verses and they are all DEAD! Who do you think you are?"
More than that, I am well aware that almost all Christians who might read my letters or hear me share would think and say very similar things, each in their own way, against my presumption and against what I teach.
Let me share my present response to this challenge. Remember, the word God speaks is Jesus, and Jesus is the only life I know.
I feel the pain of this challenge pressing into my brow, I feel its whips slashing across my back, I feel its spit sliding down my cheek. I stumble under its pressure and I give thanks for my inability. I see my precious brethren, so blinded by the tree of knowledge about God and my heart, the heart I share with my Father, swallows them up into the God who carries me. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing to the Son of Your love."
To dishonor the word God speaks by shoving it out into the cold, far, far away from us right here and right now is to spit in God's face.
God is such a peculiar Fellow; He allows anyone to do anything they want against the Word that He speaks, against His Son, against Himself. He even allows His own to put that very Word to death in all shamefulness. And even as they mock Him, spitting upon the Word that He speaks, He carries them, inside Himself, all the way into life.
What a God it is that fills us full!
God is in me, reconciling all these who spit upon His word to Himself.
Let's start with the bottom line, with the in-your-face finger of God. What is it that YOU do with the word God speaks? You have two choices; there is no third choice. You can honor that word or you can spit on it. If you do not honor it, you do spit on it and drive it from you with whips.
Two things are essential to honoring the word God speaks. I make it personal to me and I make it right now, in the only moment that IS.
God is infinite and God is eternal. Now, I just heard someone prophecy with these words, "I, who live in eternity, speak to you . . ." And instantly I felt the God in me being shoved out into the cold, shoved far, far away from us.
Christianity has always given the words "infinite" and "eternal" the very opposite definition of what they actually mean. (Of course, neither word does God ever use, but they are still useful to us when we know that.) Christianity has always defined these words as a Being who is far far away from us finite and temporal lowly worms. That is the opposite of what those words mean.
Eternal means right now all the time. Infinite means right here, personal and real.
Faith deals with God NOW. Faith deals with God HERE. There is no other God. An eternal God is always NOW; an infinite God is always HERE, personal in me.
God spoke to me the other day, "Son, because you honor My Word, I will honor you." Since that moment I walk in His honor of me, I will never know anything else.
The PROVING TEST standing before every man, woman, and child on this planet is what do you do with the word God speaks. There is only one way by which we honor that Word. Anything else we might do with it is to spit upon it.
God, you mean PERSONAL in ME! God, you mean RIGHT NOW, this moment!
God IS in no other way.
And then we pay no attention whatsoever to what our blindness does not see or what our ignorance does not know.
We believe what God says, all that He says, as He says it. We believe.
When we believe what God says, personal and now inside of us, we honor the Son of His Love. And when we honor the Son of His Love, God Himself, the Father, shows up inside of us. And when God shows up inside of us, suddenly, for the first time in our lives, we know Him. That knowing of God never ends. It never ends because we simply do not believe our "eyes" or our "feelings"; we believe only the knowing of God.
This God, then, who fills us with ALL of Himself is Love and Light and Life. He is also incredibly adventurous, and adventure, to be fully satisfying, requires risk.
My son, when, at age 4, he discovered that two wheels beneath him meant wind-in-the-hair and sailing through space faster than he had ever known, could not be contained. We discovered later that he snuck out at one in the morning to sail down the street and to know the glory of adventure, a glory he could not stay away from. My son is like that because God made him just like Himself.
God simply loves to prove His stuff; He likes to hear us say, "God, You are just something awesome."
God loves adventure.
The most adventurous possibility standing before our God right now is for Him to take out death inside the weakness of the human frame through hearts who simply dance and sing for joy in believing all that He says.
It's quite risky to defeat death through dying. There is no story if the Hero cannot lose. We're talking about supreme adventure.
God speaks His word into weakness that His word might prove God true. Our part is two things: we give thanks for all our weakness, knowing that God has made us so, and we rejoice in absolute confidence in the expectation of God. That is the faith through which the Word passes as He proves His Father true.
My body CANNOT stay dead. What an absolute impossibility!
People can disbelieve God all they want, but tell me, how on earth can they prevent or even slow down His exuberant joy as He reveals Himself through hearts who simply honor Him?
I see the defeat of death.
I see God.
I see the celebration of my 1000th birthday right here on this earth.
I see God.
"The thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. But I am come that you might have LIFE and that you might have it in ALL ABUNDANCE." Jesus, the Word God is always speaking.
Now, I am running into a problem as I write. I keep starting new letters before I finish the ones I have already started. I wrote the first 4+ pages of this letter while at Upsala, a Christian community in Canada. Since I wrote these pages, I wrote another unexpected letter, and now I have already started an additional one this morning. Thus my perspective continues to increase and the glory of God gets all mixed up from one letter to the next.
My children get their love of adventure honestly; I am made the same way. God will always be taking my breath away.
God is birthing a universe of LIFE through us. He has granted to us the awesome privilege of shaping that universe together with Him out from our shared heart, the same heart we share with one another and with Him.
That's what it means to be granted to eat of the tree of Life.
Now, there is another startling thing, one of many, many, that we discover as we know that God shows Himself as He really is only through the path of the Atonement. And forgive me for capitalizing so many words; the God who fills us full is just too exuberant to contain or to restrain. He is poking out in every direction all the time; we simply are out of breath.
The life of God that fills us full is a particular kind of life. God-life, as it really is, revealed for us to know, is an Out-From-the-Dead Life. God is not just Life, He is Resurrection Life.
Now, in the present creation, as things work as we presently know them, if you want to build a new building on the site of the old, you must demolish the old and clear the site before you can begin building the new. This is not how God births the new.
God is the God who is always arising out of death into life. If Jesus arose from the dead in a moment of time, then He is simply showing us for real the eternal, the infinite, the always nature and being of God. But just hours before, this same Jesus, this same God, entered into death, carrying all of His creation inside Himself. Thus, as He is always arising into life, creation is always arising anew inside of Him.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection . . . Romans 6:4-5
Now, let me restate this in the way I suspect God meant it.
Therefore we ARE buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ is raised from the dead by the glory, the being, the Person, of the Father, even so we also are always walking in newness of life. For as we ARE united together in the likeness of His death, certainly, we ARE also in His resurrection.
Now we see the incredible importance to us and to God of Romans 8:11.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Again, it need not be translated "will give," but "gives." God is not "future," He is always now.
These words are the showing, the proving, the demonstration of God to all creation.
Thus God does not eliminate one thing before creating the next. No, He births the new, and then, through the new, He swallows up the old into Himself, arising into life and we in Him.
Thus the life of God is always resurrection life; it is always a "swallowing-up" life. It is always a becoming life, a carrying life, an arising life.
So you see, it is not "how to defeat death" that we must know, but rather, God. When we know God, it is absolutely impossible for us to keep Him from swallowing up the death in our physical bodies and transforming them in a moment to a body just like His glorious body. It is not something God does, it is who He is.
What we must do is to stop treating God in the cold and hurtful way we have treated Him in the past. To say, "After Jesus returns" or "after we 'go to heaven'" in the separated way most people treat God, is to kick Him where it hurts most, right at His Word.
On the other hand, when we say, "Here am I, God, I belong to You, let every single Word You speak - Christ Jesus - be fulfilled in all fullness personally in me right here and right now," we honor Him in the highest way any created being could ever honor Him.
Then look out, cause there ain't no way of stopping this Fellow. He is always doing far, far more than we could ever think or even imagine. And all that He is, He does with open exuberance and unrestrained joy.
All who say, "Not me, not here, not now," in any possible way concerning any word God speaks, including and especially the visible defeat of death in our physical bodies, place a hard, cold, iron barrier of separation between themselves and any knowing of the God who carries them.
God knows all about this barrier, and He is most excellent at the business of melting it. Yet He always begins with a seed, a firstfruits, His elect, chosen by Him without regard to human ability. Then, when death is visibly defeated and on the run, many, many, many who were once fearful and unbelieving come rushing in, their swords swinging, sharing in the victory of the God who fills us full.
Death is no more.
A universe, both heaven and earth, in which death is no more, is a universe no created being has ever known or contemplated.
That universe is birthed right now in our hearts and comes flowing right out of our bellies.
Believe in Jesus!