“For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) 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; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14,15)
Beloved, this particular passage of scripture brings to us some interesting information. First, it tells us that Jesus destroyed at Calvary him that had the power of death (Satan). “Destroy,” as it is used here, does not mean what it does in our modern Western usage of that word. Destroy, here denotes a rendering useless. The Greek word used here is “katargeo,” and it means literally, the total and complete cessation of all activity; idleness.
What I’m getting from this is that Satan has held most men in bondage to THE FEAR OF DEATH all of their lifetime, but that Jesus Christ, through death, has now rendered Satan useless to use death as a tool to bind the Lord’s elect. This is saying to me that to those who will just rise up in faith and believe what Jesus has accomplished for us on Calvary, death has no sting, the fear of it — gone forever.
In regard to physical death, had Christ not gone to the cross the grave would have been our end, but because we have been redeemed from death and the grave, death is A RETURN for us and is nothing to fear. It is a return in that the body returns to that from which it came (dust), the soul returns to Sheol (an unconscious “sleeping” state awaiting a further resurrection with the body), and the spirit returns to GOD from which it came.
Beloved, man was originally alive before he ever took a breath. This is because he was originally created in God’s image and His likeness as spirit. Then God formed man a physical body and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then man became a living soul with a body through which he has been able to give expression of himself.
Man is essentially a spirit, but he lives in a body and he also has a soul. For most people (even most Christians today), their life is largely bound up in their own will, doing things their own way. This is not REAL LIFE, beloved. The Life and Kingdom that God offers us is to be received in exchange for “our will.” Where the will of God is, there you’ll find His Kingdom. Real Life is a place of walking in unity and oneness with the Father. This is what Jesus demonstrated for us perfectly in His earthly walk, and is what He has made available for all of us at Calvary.
Dear friends, in regard to all of this, I think that we all need to ask ourselves if we are REALLY willing to follow the Lamb wherever He leads us? He could lead us THROUGH death, beloved. Will we willingly follow Him there should He so desire that? Is our will so yielded to God that we will WILLINGLY follow Him even there (“not loving our lives unto death”), or are there still places where we are just not willing to go with God? Be honest.
In an attempt to start wrapping this up, let me say here that to the end that our wills are totally given over to God’s will, God is going to test and try many of us like many of us have not ever imagined that He would. This could even mean that as part of an undefiled virgin flock, beloved, you and I could even be asked to step INTO AND THROUGH PHYSICAL DEATH, and in this way go on into the glory of the first resurrection. Are we willing to go this way should our perfecting require such a thing of us?
I was walking on the beach the other day seeking the Lord for an explanation for some of the things that have come upon me just recently, and He then quickened to me a man who was wearing a shirt that said “Fearless” on the front of it. I then thought of how death has been as a Goliath to many of us for ages, but how God raised up a David (in Jesus) to cut the head off of that giant for us, rendering all fear of that thing null and void.
Because of this, beloved, we should be able to march right up to death without fear and challenged it, if so required by God to do so. If we do this in the strength and might of what Jesus has accomplished for us, then we shall find that death is not really a king of terror at all, but is a tool that has been rendered useless for the devil while at the same time is something that God can (and does) use to lead some saints to the (full) salvation of their souls and the glory of the first resurrection.
Beloved, we now live in the time of a final message to the true Ecclesia regarding the salvation of their souls and the redemption of their bodies, and I am persuaded that it is at this time too that the Holy Spirit is giving the called-out-ones a living understanding of what is required in the attaining of these things. In short, obedience is required, that they who have a hope of attaining to the first resurrection will learn to hear and obey God in whatever it is that He asks of them.
Since it is a function of the soul to will (our spirit also has a will, i.e, “your spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”), it is in the area of the will/soul that we shall find ourselves severely tried at this time. Because it is the ultimate yielding of the will to lay down one’s right to even live, I think that many of the Lord’s elect might be tested and tried in just this way in the days ahead, for their perfecting, of course.
Beloved, I’m going to end this here by just saying that “eternal life” (which is ours in Christ) has nothing to do with length of life but is of a quality of life which even the putting off of the body does not interrupt. Are you hearing this? I don’t see anywhere in scripture that we are given to believe that death, as we know it, is to be evaded or avoided. It appears to me that even though death overtake us before the sounding of the last trump (when some people may be changed to not even taste of death), we are to KNOW that death (and the grave) cannot hold us and therefore we are NOT TO FEAR IT!
There is a resurrection in sight, beloved, and it is ours by right. The ultimate truth is, death has been swallowed up in Christ’s Life, and this Life has been freely given to the saints of the Most High and is that Life by which they NOW LIVE! Death has lost its sting, and the grave has lost its victory! What have we to fear?
Nothing … we should be “Fearless,” just like that man’s shirt on the beach so loudly proclaimed to my spirit the other day.
Be blessed, beloved, and face ALL in the days ahead without any fear. We really can do that… and God is greatly glorified when we do.