Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God” …JESUS!
As a man striving to live saved, I often challenge myself with the following questions everyday to keep me cognizant of the fact of how finite I am, compared to the sovereignty of God. Do I embrace the life I possess as a child of God? Am I perpetually relying on Him as my source? Are the proper characteristics of Christ Jesus being displayed in me; and if not, what are the issues? As I often ponder on these questions, I often embrace what the Last Adam, the Second Man (Jesus) did, and pity the condemnation, contamination, and despair that was brought upon me, because of the sin of the First Adam and First Man! Hence for this week’s Weekly Meditation I would like to provoke the thought “God Drove Adam Out, But He Invited US BACK IN!” The following scripture will be use to establish my premise to provoke further gospel provocation…
Gen. 3:23-24 “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Rom 5:12-15 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
1Cor. 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
My brothers and sisters the Word of God speaks of two distinct head of sources. It speaks of a First Man and it speaks of the Second Man. As we evaluate in the book of Genesis, we read in Gen. 1:26-27“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness … So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”If you will notice that this statement is repeated in Genesis 5 “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him.” Notice that after this, we read, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image.”
It is obvious that between Adam’s creation in the image of God and the birth of a son in his own image, a great change took place. Sin entered, Innocence fled; and Adam had become a fallen, ruined, outcast man. It reveals our ruin from the source of his life, and what we inherited in this flesh as sons of Adam! Wow, that source was a guilty, ruined, outcast federal head. It was not in innocence that Adam became the head of our fallen race. It was not within the parameters of Eden that Cain was brought forth, but outside of it; in a ruined and cursed world. It was not in the image of God that Cain was begotten, but in the image of his fallen father, Adam!
I fully believe that, personally, Adam was the subject of divine grace and that he was saved by his faith in the promised Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). But looking at him federally, that is, as the head of a race, he most definitely was a fallen, ruined, outcast man, and every one of his posterity was born into the same condition. The son bears the image of his fallen father and inherits his nature. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” In my observation you can do what you will with “flesh” i.e., educate, cultivate, and sublimate it all you want, and it will never have the desire to yield to the “ Holy Spirit.”
You may strive to enhance flesh according to human intellect, but improving the “Flesh” adds nothing to the “Holy Spirit.” These two things are mutually exclusive. The former expresses all that we are when were conceived in our mother’s womb as offspring from the First Adam; the latter expresses what we are when we are born again, and united in the Last Adam. Psalm 51:5 states, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
In my readings recently I came across the expression “Raising the masses.”, which was when discrete, but complementary factions of intellectuals, artists, wealthy patrons, and religious leaders, initiated deliberate efforts to create a cultural hierarchy, in order to raise up individuals who were not exposed to the finer cultural things in life. But it leads me to inquire three things to those who propose to elevate the masses. First, who is it that they are going to elevate? Secondly, how are they going to elevate them? Thirdly, where are they going to elevate them to? My brothers and sisters it is impossible for water to ever rise above its level, because water always seeks its own level; hence, it is impossible that we can ever raise the sons of a fallen Adam above the level of their fallen father. We can strive to do all we can to elevate them, but we will never be able elevate them higher than their ruined outcast head ADAM, not while in this flesh! Mankind cannot grow out of the nature in which he was born. We can grow in it, but not out of it. Hence, I reiterate that when we trace the genealogy of fallen humanity up to its source, we will continue find that its source is fallen, ruined, and outcast. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, If we look at this from a legal or social standpoint, there may be variances, but if we look at it from a divine standpoint, there are none. If you want a true idea of the condition of each member of the human race, you must look at the condition of the federal head. Again when we go back to Genesis chapter 3 we read these words, “He drove out the man.” Here is the root and premise of the entire matter, Sin entered and snapped the link between the presence of God and man, and hence defaced man as the image of God, and corrupted the posterity source of life, which brought in death, and gave Satan the power of death.
Because of this, we were all exposed to death and judgment. There is no exception, for Rom. 5:12 states that “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. 1Cor. 15:22 states “In Adam all die” Hence, that reality links “Sin and death.” But thanks be to God, for the promised Seed, the Second Man that entered the scene. And since His entry, the First Man has been completely set aside. If the First Man had been found faultless, then there would not have been a need for a Second Man! If there was a single ray of hope concerning the First Adam, then we would not of needed the Last Adam. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Let us stand on the fact, that Jesus Christ did not come under the federal headship of Adam. He was legally a descendant from David and Abraham, as we review the genealogy in Matthew. Paul declares this in 2 Tim. 2:8“He was of the seed of David according to the flesh” Hence, His genealogy is traced to Adam, as presented in Luke’s gospel. But here is the angelic announcement concerning the mystery of His conception in Luke 1:35“And the angel answered and said to Mary, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Here we have a real Man, but without one single taint of sin or a single seed of mortality. I am appalled at many in this present world, who choose to believe that Mary, Jesus mother was immaculate. Yes she was virgin, but she was contaminated with sin also; yet her blood never intermingled with Christ’s blood, because biologically the blood comes through the fathers seed. As a matter of fact when I read Acts 1:14, I read that Mary was there to be regenerated in her spirit also! “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Jesus Christ was made of the woman, that being the substance of the virgin; a true Man in every way, just as we are, yet totally without sin and entirely free from any association which could have given sin or death any claim upon Him! GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, if Jesus Christ would have come in His human nature, under the headship of Adam, He could not have been called the Second Man, since He would have been a member of the First Man, like any other man. Hence, He would have been subject to death in His own personification.
This is why I praise the Lord, because He is the pure, holy, and the spotless One of God. He is unique! He stood alone, for He was the only pure untainted grain of humanity, born of a woman, that earth has ever seen. He came into this world of sin and death, Himself being sinless and life giving. In Him was life and nowhere else. Anything beside Him was death and darkness. There is not a single pulse of spiritual life, not one ray of divine light apart from Him. The entire race of the First Man was incorporated in sin, under the power of death, and exposed to the sentence of eternal judgment…Jesus I thank for a way out, Glory!
Saints as soon as the Second Man appeared upon the scene, Satan appeared to dispute every inch of ground with Him. But this was Christ’s reality. The Man Christ Jesus had undertaken the mighty work of glorifying God on this earth, to destroy the works of the devil, and redeem His people back to God. What a marvelous work, a work that no one could of done but the God Man Jesus! But in order to do this marvelous work, Jesus had to meet all the craftiness and power of Satan. He had to meet him as the serpent and meet him as the lion. Hence, at the very opening of His blessed earthly ministry, as the baptized and anointed Man, He was led by the Holy Spirit and stood in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil; as noted in Matthew chapter 4 and Luke chapter 4.
My brothers and sisters please notice the contrast between the First man and the Second man. The First man stood in the midst of a garden of delights, with everything that could possibly plead for God against the tempter. The Second Man, on the contrary, stood in the midst of a barren wilderness with everything, apparently, to plead against God in his flesh and for the tempter. Satan tempted the Second Man precisely with the same weapons he found so effective with the First Man, i.e.; “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” as noted in Gen. 3:6, Matt.4:1-19; Luke 4:1-12; and 1 John 2:16.
But the Second Man resisted the tempter with one simple weapon, the written Word. “It is written” for it was the one unvarying reply, of the dependent obedient Man. Reasoning was not considered, nor questioning, nor looking this way or that way. The Word of the living God was the commanding authority for the perfect Man. Glory be to His name forever! This is why homage is required to be rendered to Him throughout the universe for eternity!
We see how the Last Adam imparts life to His members by the victory in the wilderness, the strong man was “bound,” but not “destroyed.” Hence, we find that he was allowed once more to try his hand. Having “departed for a season,” he returned again in another character, as the one who had the power of death by which to terrify the soul of man. This satanic power was brought in overwhelming intensity, upon the spirit of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. We cannot possibly imagine the scene in that garden, nor feel the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, as He passed through something that He had never experienced before. It is evident that Satan was permitted to come before Him in a very special manner, and to put forth special power, in order to deter Him, if possible. For Jesus gives reference to this in John 14:30 “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” and also in Matt 26:55, we find Him saying to the chief priests and captains of the temple, “In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.” and in Luke 22:53 “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Evidently the period from the last supper to the cross was marked by features quite distinct from every previous stage of the marvelous history of our Lord. “This is your hour.” And further, “The power of darkness.” The prince of this world, Satan came against the Second Man, armed with all the power with which the First Man’s sin had given him. He brought to bear upon the Lord’s spirit all the power and all the terrors of death, as to the just judgment of God. Jesus met all this in its utmost force and intensity. Hence, we hear such words as these in Matt 26:38-39 “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” And again we read in Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Saints, Jesus undertook so much to redeem His people, and give us an invitation to receive back the eternal life, that was lost by the First Adam; He had to accomplish the will and counsel of God to meet all the consequences of man’s condition! There was no escaping these conditions. Jesus passed through them all, but more essentially; He passed through them all alone, for no one but Him could have done it! He, the true Ark, had to go over alone into the dark and dreadful river of death to make a way for His people, to pass through the Red Sea of death on dry land. He was alone in the horrible pit and the miry clay, that we might be in Him on the ROCK to stay. He earned the new song alone, that He might sing it in the midst of the Church, the pillar ground of truth! GOLDEN NUGGET!
But not only did our Lord meet all the power of Satan as the prince of this world, but also all the power of death as the just judgment of God, along with all the violence and bitter enmity of fallen man; there was still something far beyond all this. When man and Satan, earth and hell, had done their very utmost, there still remained a region of darkness and impenetrable gloom to be traversed by the spirit of JESUS, into which it was impossible for any human comprehension to enter. This is why we should worship more intensely everyday when we remember the loud and bitter cry which came from the utterance of His mouth; “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
This is why I ascribe that our Lord deserves all eternal and universal praise, homage and adoration, because of all He went through to procure life for us. I pray that our hearts will perpetually adore Him! That our lips praise Him! That our lives glorify Him! For He alone is worthy. And because of the love that He has shown us, it should constrain us not to live unto ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again, and gave us life in His resurrection.
My brothers and sisters it is through His resurrection that the Second Man has become the federal head of all those who are in His body, the Church. The life which the believer now possesses is a life which has been tested and tried in every possible way. Consequently, you and I can never come into judgment if we continue in Him. It is a life which has passed through death and judgment. Therefore it can never die. Christ, our living Head has abolished death and brought life and light through the gospel. He met death in all its reality that we might never meet it. He died that we might never die. 1Cor. 3:21-23 “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”
In the old creation, man belongs to death. Hence it has been truly said that “the very moment man begins to live he begins to die.” This is a fact! Man cannot escape death. Heb 9:27 “It is appointed to men once to die, and after this the judgment.” There is not so much as a single thing which man possesses in the old man that will not be wrenched from his grasp by the ruthless hand of death. Saints, death takes everything from us, reduces our body to dust and sends our soul to judgment. Houses, lands, wealth and distinction, fame and influence, all go when it approaches. The wealth of the universe, if it were in a man’s possession, cannot purchase one moment beyond death. Death strips man of all, and leads him away to judgment. The king and the beggar, the peer and the peasant, the educated professor and the ignorant clown, the civilized and the savage, are all alike. Death seizes upon all within the limits of the old man. The grave is the end of man’s earthly history, and beyond that the throne of judgment and the Lake of Fire. GOLDEN NUGGET!
But even in the new creation (the new man), death still belongs to man. Hence there is not a single thing that the child of God possesses which he does not owe to death. But it is through the new man he has life, pardon, righteousness, peace, acceptance, glory, all through the death of Christ. Our entire outlook concerning death has changed. Satan can no longer bring it to bear against the soul of a believer in Christ Jesus, as the judgment of God against sin; even though God does use it in His governmental dealings with His people in the form of discipline and chastening, as we read in Acts 4, 1Cor. 11:30; 1 John 5:16.
But as to one who had the power of death, Satan, he has been destroyed. Our Lord Jesus Christ has took that power from him, and now He holds in His omnipotent hand the keys of life, death and the grave. Death has lost its sting, and the grave its victory. Therefore, if death does come to the believer, it comes not as a master but as a servant. It does not come like a judicial official to drag our soul to an eternal prison house, but as a friendly hand to open the door of the jail cell, and let our spirit fly to his maker Jesus Christ!..Glory.
This most definitely takes away the fear of death when we die in the Lord, this is why I often say “I’m living this life to live again” Hence the entire life and character of the Saints must take its tone from the source from where that life emanates. Col. 3:1-4“ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” Again I reiterate, water always finds its own level. It is the same in the life of the Saints, as we are strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit, that Well of living water, springing up to everlasting life, will always seek its own source level upward. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Please note my beloved brothers and sisters in much of the Pauline epistles it is emphasized “Jesus and the resurrection.” I provoke many of you who are students of the word of God to answer why was not the main thematic “Jesus and the incarnation or Jesus and the crucifixion”? Was it because these profound and priceless mysteries held no place in apostolic preaching and teaching? I believe that when I read 1 Tim. 3:16 I have the answer. “And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” and when I read Gal.4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”
I believe that these passages settle the question as to the foundation doctrines of incarnation and crucifixion. But we see that Apostle Paul preached, taught, and put emphasis on the resurrection. He himself was converted to a risen and glorified Christ. The very first glimpse he caught of Jesus of Nazareth was as a risen Man in glory. It was only then that he knew Him, as he tells us in 2 Cor. 5:15-16 “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”
Paul preached a resurrection gospel. He labored to present every man perfect in a risen, glorified Christ. He did not confine himself to the mere question of forgiveness of sin and salvation from hell, precious beyond all price as are these fruits of the atoning death of Christ. He aimed at the glorious end of planting the soul in Christ and keeping them there, Col. 2:6-7 “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Ye are complete in Him. Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him.” “Quickened together with Him”
Hence my brothers and sister, since the risen Christ is the source of our life, then Christ who lived in this world has also become our pattern. Hence, the characteristics of our life should be the same as those that are reflected in Him. It was through death, that He has made His life to be our life, this is why He remains our pattern while in this world! He has linked us with Himself by a bond that can never be severed, and through His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can walk even as He walked.
Therefore the old man is not recognized at all. He is viewed as crucified, dead and buried; Hence we have been called upon to reckon all of our members in this flesh as such, as we strive perpetually to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, even as Christ walked.
My brothers and sisters, when we look at this in the light of the New Testament, our source, the risen Christ; is totally in contrast with the life we possessed as sons and daughters of Adam. The source of a ruined, fallen, and out cast man, that was destined for the Lake of Fire! But the truth of the matter is, based on the Scriptures “God Drove Adam Out, But He Invited US BACK IN!” I pray you continue to rejoice and appreciate Jesus Christ for the opportunities afforded you, and strive to have a “Jesus Day”