State of the Dead

The Right To The Tree Of Life

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SOD

Program Code: SOD000001

00:01 If a man dies, shall he live again?
00:06 What does it mean to be absent from the body,
00:09 and present with the Lord?
00:11 Did Jesus go with the thief to paradise on Good Friday?
00:17 Did the souls of dead people really cry out
00:22 from below the altar?
00:23 Pastor Bohr answers these questions and more
00:28 in the amazing series:
00:35 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:37 Our Father in heaven, what a joy it is
00:40 to be in Your presence today.
00:42 How wonderful it is to have Your Word,
00:46 especially in these last days of the history of the world
00:49 when everything seems to be spinning out of control.
00:52 And Father, as we begin this series about what happens when a
00:57 person dies, and the glorious hope of the resurrection
01:01 we ask for the presence of Your Holy Spirit.
01:03 I ask, Lord, that You will give us hearts that are willing to
01:08 receive the truth as it is in Jesus.
01:10 And we thank you, Father, for hearing and answering our prayer
01:14 for we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
01:17 Throughout the course of the history of the world
01:22 there have been different concepts about what happens
01:26 when a person dies.
01:28 There are those who believe in what is called philosophically
01:32 nihilism. Basically, it's the idea that when a person dies
01:36 that's it. They return to the ground.
01:39 They return to the dust, and they live no more.
01:43 Then there are those who have New Age ideas.
01:47 Basically it's the idea that when a person dies they go back
01:52 and join what is called the universal,
01:55 or the cosmic consciousness.
01:58 Then we have those who believe that man was given an immortal
02:02 soul when he was created, and that when a person dies,
02:05 if he was good, or if she was good, the soul goes to heaven.
02:10 If the person was bad the soul goes to hell.
02:13 And there's at least one church in the world that teaches
02:17 that if the soul was not exactly good or bad it needs to go to
02:21 purgatory for awhile to cleanse itself.
02:24 And also that same church believes in what theologians
02:29 call limbo. And then there are those who believe that when a
02:33 person dies they simply go to an unconscious state until
02:39 the moment of the resurrection.
02:40 Now the question is, what is the Biblical view of death
02:45 and life? During the next twelve lectures we're going to
02:49 study this subject. We're not going to study it according
02:53 to the concepts of the philosophers.
02:55 We're not going to look at it from the concept
02:58 of the theologians. We are going to look at this subject
03:01 from the perspective of God's Holy Word.
03:05 The title of our subject for today is
03:09 The Right To the Tree of Life.
03:12 And what I would like to do is begin where the Bible begins
03:16 in Genesis 2:7 where we find a description of the origin
03:22 of life. Genesis 2:7.
03:27 And we'll be coming back to this verse many times during
03:31 the course of these lectures. It says there:
03:39 That's the physical nature of man.
03:42 The physical nature was made out of dust;
03:46 the body, in other words.
03:48 And then it says:
03:54 Now we use our nostrils to breathe.
03:56 In other words, God gave that body the capacity to breathe.
03:59 And then I want you to notice the last part of the verse.
04:03 It says: It's very important to realize that the text does not
04:11 say that man has a soul.
04:15 Neither does the text say that God gave man a soul.
04:20 The verse is very explicit when it says that man became
04:26 a living soul, or as the New King James translates it,
04:31 became a living being.
04:34 We can notice, for example, in the New International Version
04:38 that many, many times when the word soul appears
04:43 it is translated person.
04:46 In other words, the combination of the body of dust,
04:50 and the breath of life, gave as a result a person,
04:55 or a living being. Now I'd like us, as we begin, to compare
05:01 two verses of scripture so that we can see that the soul
05:06 is the person in his or her entirety.
05:10 First of all, I would like to read Matthew 16:26.
05:15 And then I want to go to Luke 9:25.
05:20 So I invite you to go in your Bibles to Matthew 16:26,
05:25 and please keep a finger there, and look up also Luke 9:25.
05:31 We're going to compare these two verses.
05:33 By the way, in these two verses you find the same teaching
05:38 of Jesus from the perspective of two different gospel writers.
05:42 And so we'll read first of all Matthew 16:26.
05:48 Here Jesus says, For what profit is it to a man if he gains
05:55 the whole world and loses his own soul?
05:59 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
06:04 Now notice that this verse says, What will a man gain
06:10 if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?
06:13 Now what does that mean, loses his soul?
06:17 Well, Luke 9:25 explains what the soul is.
06:22 Remember it's the same teaching of Jesus,
06:23 but it's expressed in different words.
06:26 It says there in Luke 9:25, For what profit is it to a man
06:32 if he gains the whole world, and now notice, and is himself
06:38 destroyed or lost? Did you notice that by comparing these
06:43 two verses; in one verse it speaks about losing his soul.
06:47 In the other verse it speaks about losing himself.
06:51 So what is the soul?
06:53 The soul is the self.
06:55 The soul, in other words, is the person.
06:59 Now there's something that we need to take into careful
07:03 account when we study the story of creation.
07:06 God created man with a perfect body; this is before sin.
07:12 And He placed man in a perfect environment.
07:17 And He gave man perfect laws to conserve health.
07:21 So, once again, the three key factors: God gave man a perfect
07:26 body, to live in a perfect environment, to live in harmony
07:30 with perfect laws. But there's an additional factor
07:34 which is extremely important, and that is that God also placed
07:39 in the garden of Eden a very special tree.
07:43 It's known as the tree of life.
07:46 I would like to read the description of this tree in
07:49 Genesis 2:9; Genesis 2:9. It says there:
08:12 Now a little bit later on we're going to talk about the tree of
08:15 the knowledge of good and evil, but for now I want us to focus
08:19 on the tree of life.
08:21 Basically, scripture teaches that in order for man
08:26 to continue living he had to continue eating
08:30 from the tree of life.
08:32 In other words, the life of man was contingent.
08:36 The life of man was dependent.
08:39 It was not inherent.
08:41 In other words, it did not belong to himself.
08:44 It was conditional.
08:47 And the tree of life was actually like a battery charger.
08:51 In other words, man would have to go every so often,
08:55 and before we end the presentation today,
08:58 I'm going to suggest that he had to go there every month,
09:01 and I'll show you the Biblical evidence for that.
09:04 But every month he had to go to the tree of life to partake
09:08 of the leaves, and to partake of the fruit so that his battery
09:12 could be charged. Now allow me to read you some very
09:16 interesting statements.
09:17 The first statement is by a scholar well known in the world
09:23 of scholars. His name is Wheeler Robinson.
09:26 In his book, The Christian Doctrine of Man, page 122,
09:30 he had this to say about the tree of life.
09:33 He's speaking about Paul's concept. He says:
09:37 Paul conceived man to be mortal by his original nature.
09:43 That's interesting coming from a theologian who's not a
09:48 a Seventh-day Adventist.
09:49 Paul conceived man to be mortal by his original nature,
09:53 but with the prospect of immortality.
09:57 This, however, he forfeited when he was driven forth from Eden,
10:03 and therefore from the tree of life, which would have nourished
10:08 immortality in him. Thus came death through sin.
10:14 In other words, the tree was to nourish immortality in man.
10:19 I would also like to read a couple of statements
10:22 from the writings of Ellen White.
10:25 She has some very interesting descriptions of this particular
10:30 tree, and what the tree did for man.
10:34 In her book, Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, page 288,
10:39 she said this: The fruit of the tree of life...
10:47 And I'm going to prove this in a few moments from scripture.
11:04 In another statement, which we find in Patriarchs and Prophets,
11:08 that wonderful book that describes history from the fall
11:12 of Lucifer in heaven, all the way to the period of the kings,
11:15 Ellen White said this:
11:27 Notice that it was a continuous thing, not a once in a lifetime
11:31 thing. And so she continues saying:
11:44 So we have these four factors: perfect body,
11:48 in a perfect environment, living in harmony with perfect laws,
11:53 and having access to the tree of life.
11:55 But now we need to speak about the origin of death.
12:00 That tragic phenomenon that reaches every human being
12:04 on Planet Earth. You see, God had placed another tree
12:08 in the garden of Eden.
12:10 It is known as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
12:13 And God told Adam and Eve not to eat from that tree.
12:18 They were to continuously eat from the tree of life,
12:20 as a battery charger to continue refurbishing their vitality,
12:25 but they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge
12:27 of good and evil. Let's read about that tree
12:30 in Genesis 2:15-17. Genesis 2:15-17.
12:38 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden
12:42 of Eden to tend and keep it.
13:02 Notice that God didn't say, If you eat of this tree
13:05 of the knowledge of good and evil you might die,
13:07 or perhaps you'll die, or you'll die.
13:10 God said, You will surely die if you eat from this tree.
13:16 Now in the garden we find the presence also of the ancient
13:22 serpent, the devil and Satan.
13:24 And it's interesting to notice that the devil directly
13:27 contradicted what God said.
13:29 In Genesis 3:4 we catch a part of the conversation of the devil
13:36 with Eve. He explicitly told her there in Genesis 3:4:
13:48 In other words, God said, You will die because you are mortal.
13:53 On the other hand the serpent said, You will not die,
13:57 because you are immortal.
14:00 Now the question is who was right?
14:03 Was God right that man would die, and therefore did not have
14:07 an immortal soul, or was the devil right that man would never
14:11 die because he had an immortal soul?
14:14 Well, let's look at the Biblical testimony.
14:17 Remember, we're not going here by what theologians say,
14:20 by what ministers say, by what philosophers say, we're going by
14:24 what the Holy Word of God has to say.
14:27 That is our source of authority.
14:29 Notice Genesis 3:6. Did Adam and Eve disobey the command of God?
14:36 They most certainly did.
14:37 Notice Genesis 3:6.
15:01 So the question is, did they disobey the command of God,
15:05 and did they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good
15:08 and evil? Yes, they did.
15:09 And God had said, In the day that you eat of this tree,
15:13 you will surely die.
15:16 Now let's read the sentence that God pronounced upon them.
15:20 Genesis 3:19. This is after sin.
15:25 Genesis 3:19. God is speaking here to the man and He says:
15:38 Notice that He doesn't say till your body returns
15:41 to the ground. He says:
15:45 Return means to the condition he was in before he was created.
15:50 So it says:
16:02 So it's not only talking about the body, it's talking about
16:06 the total being who is going to go to the dust.
16:10 Now, a little while ago I brought up the idea that man
16:14 had to continue eating from the tree of life in order
16:18 to continue living forever.
16:20 In other words, the fact that the life of man was contingent,
16:23 it was dependent, upon partaking from the tree which had
16:28 supernatural virtue.
16:30 In other words, in the tree there was miraculous power
16:33 to perpetuate life. You say, where does the Bible teach that?
16:38 Well, go with me to Genesis 3:22.
16:42 This is after sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, of course, we know
16:48 that God cast them out of the garden of Eden.
16:52 And let's notice why God cast them out of the garden of Eden.
16:56 It says there in Genesis 3:22:
17:19 Now wait a minute. What does this text say? so that man will
17:25 not stretch forth his hand, and partake of the fruit,
17:29 and live forever. That must mean that if he could not partake
17:34 of the fruit he would not what?
17:36 He would not live forever.
17:38 He had to eat from the fruit to live forever. Verse 23:
17:59 Notice this: to what?
18:07 Now we need to ask two questions.
18:10 Question 1. If man was already immortal, what good would it
18:15 have done for God to tell him that he couldn't eat
18:17 from the tree? The fact is that because he could not eat from
18:21 the tree, he was going to die.
18:24 If he ate from the tree he would continue living.
18:27 The fact is that it would not have done any good for God
18:31 to forbid the man from eating from the tree if man was already
18:35 immortal. But there's a more serious question, and it's this:
18:39 If Adam and Eve were immortal then why would Jesus have to die
18:47 to give them what they already possessed?
18:49 In other words, the death of Christ is made unnecessary
18:55 by the doctrine of the immortality of the soul,
18:57 because if you are already immortal, why would Jesus
19:00 have to die in order to give you immortality, which supposedly,
19:06 you already possessed?
19:07 In other words, this doctrine of the immortality of the soul
19:11 actually reduces the need that people have for Jesus Christ
19:17 as the source of life.
19:19 So after man sins several changes take place.
19:23 1. The body now begins to deteriorate.
19:27 2. The environment begins to deteriorate.
19:32 3. Man who lived in perfect obedience to the laws of God
19:36 now begins disobeying the laws of God.
19:39 4. Man can no longer partake of the tree of life.
19:44 Even if man had lived in a perfect environment,
19:48 with a perfect body; even if he had lived in harmony with the
19:52 laws of health. But if he had no access to the tree of life,
19:56 eventually, who knows after how many thousands, or perhaps
20:00 millions of years that had gone by, the life of man would have
20:04 become extinct. Now let's take a look at the life spans of those
20:10 great heroes who lived before the flood.
20:13 Their life spans are mentioned in Genesis 5.
20:17 This is after sin, and this is before the flood.
20:20 By the way, this period is a period of 1,600 years between
20:27 creation and the flood.
20:28 And we're not going to read all of the verses, but I just want
20:31 to mention the ages of the individuals who lived between
20:34 creation and the flood: 930, 912, 905, 910, 895, 962, 969,
20:50 the Grand Daddy of all!
20:52 Methuselah lived almost a thousand years.
20:55 777 and 950 years. Why is it that these individuals lived
21:04 to be so old compared to the people who live in the world
21:09 today? The fact is, folks, the reason is because they were
21:15 closer to the time that Adam and Eve had their battery fully
21:20 and completely charged.
21:23 In other words, they were close to the time when Adam and Eve
21:28 had the battery completely and totally charged,
21:32 and therefore the battery had not discharged as much as the
21:37 battery has discharged over so many thousands of years today.
21:42 But even though those people before the flood lived to be
21:47 almost a thousand years old, there is one thing which
21:50 Genesis 5 makes absolutely certain.
21:53 And that is that eight times in Genesis 5, and one time
21:59 in Genesis 9:29 the formula is used: And he died.
22:09 You can read it there in Genesis 5.
22:11 Eight times you can read it regarding Noah in Genesis 9:29.
22:17 It says he died. There's only one exception and that is Enoch.
22:22 It says there in Genesis 5 that he was translated to be with God
22:27 without suffering death.
22:29 So let me ask you, was the Word of God proved true?
22:32 Yes, because Genesis 5 says that even though they were
22:36 closer to the time when the battery was fully charged,
22:39 eventually, after living close to a thousand years, they died.
22:46 What God said later in Romans 6:23 was proved
22:51 absolutely true. And that text says, the wages of sin is death.
22:59 Allow me to read you a statement that we find in the
23:02 Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 988.
23:07 This is also from the pen of Ellen White regarding
23:11 the lifespan of those who lived before the flood.
23:14 She says this: As Adam and Eve ate of this tree
23:19 they acknowledged their dependence upon God.
23:22 It's talking about the tree of life.
23:23 The tree of life possessed the power to perpetuate life,
23:30 and as long as they ate of it they could not die.
23:36 Where was their source of life?
23:38 In some immortal soul that they possessed? No!
23:41 The source of life was in this miraculous tree of God.
23:46 You say, Well did the tree itself have virtue?
23:48 It must have had, because God forbade Adam and Eve from eating
23:52 from it. So the tree must have had some supernatural virtue.
23:56 She continues saying this, The lives of the antediluvians were
24:01 protracted, in other words, they were very long, because of the
24:05 life giving power of this tree, which was transmitted to them
24:11 from Adam and Eve. You know very well that a battery lasts a lot
24:17 longer when it's been fully charged.
24:19 As time goes by the battery becomes less and less powerful.
24:24 And that's exactly what happened after the flood.
24:28 Allow me to mention the life spans of the people who
24:31 lived after the flood.
24:33 These, by the way, are contained in Genesis 11.
24:37 And we're not going to look up the verses.
24:39 You can go to chapter 11 and you can read about the ten
24:43 patriarchs that are mentioned there.
24:45 By the way, they go from the times of Noah all the way
24:49 till the time of Abraham.
24:51 Here are the life spans: 600, 438, 433, 464, 239.
25:04 Then there was another person who lived 239.
25:07 230, 148, 205, and of course, Abraham, the last one in the
25:16 list, lived to be 175 years old.
25:21 Now the body of man had deteriorated much more.
25:27 Now the environment had become much worse
25:31 as a result of the flood.
25:33 Now man had no access to the tree of life to recharge
25:40 this battery of original life that God had given to Adam and
25:45 Eve. And of course, man was violating freely the laws
25:49 of health that God had established.
25:52 By the way, by the time we get to the days of Moses
25:55 the lifespan had diminished to about 120 years.
26:00 We can find that in Deuteronomy 34:7.
26:05 And by the time we get to the days of David,
26:08 we're told in Psalm 90:10 the following. Psalm 90:10:
26:32 So David is saying 70 or 80 years at the most.
26:38 Now we need to ask the question, So was there no hope for man?
26:45 Was there no hope of regaining life and immortality?
26:50 Was there no hope that death would be overcome,
26:54 and man could once again be blessed with the gift of
26:57 immortality? The answer is absolutely yes.
27:01 But it was not something that man had, it was a plan that God
27:06 had devised, and God was going to implement.
27:09 Let's go back to Genesis 2:17, and let's read that verse again
27:15 underlining and emphasizing one specific phrase.
27:20 Genesis 2:17. It says there:
27:33 930 years after you eat of it, you shall surely die.
27:38 Now I see you snickering out there.
27:41 Well, the fact is that it doesn't say after 930 years
27:45 you shall die. God said, In the day that you eat of it,
27:50 you shall surely die.
27:53 Of course, Adam did not die that very day.
27:57 Some people say, Well, he died spiritually.
27:59 That's true. He had to be converted.
28:01 He had to be born again.
28:02 Some people say, Well, his body started to die.
28:06 But the fact is that when the Bible says, You shall surely die
28:10 it's not talking about physical death.
28:12 It is talking about final, irrevocable death;
28:16 what the book of Revelation calls the second death.
28:20 Now the question is, Why didn't Adam and Eve die
28:24 that very day as God had said?
28:26 Did God lie to them?
28:28 Absolutely not! Genesis 3:21 has the answer.
28:34 You know that Adam and Eve after they sinned found themselves
28:38 naked, and they covered themselves with fig leaves.
28:42 But something else happened to cover their nakedness,
28:46 which is very important.
28:47 Genesis 3:21. It says there:
29:01 polyester and clothed them.
29:05 Oh, sorry, I got that wrong.
29:09 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of cotton
29:16 and clothed them. That's not what it says.
29:19 It says that God made tunics, or garments of skin, and clothed
29:25 them. The question is, what needs to happen in order for you
29:29 to get the skin of an animal?
29:31 The animal has to die.
29:34 And because it says skins, plural, it seems to indicate
29:37 that on that day two animals died to cover the nakedness
29:45 of Adam and Eve. You see, before sin Adam and Eve were clothed
29:49 with the robe of light.
29:50 They were naked when it came to human clothes, but they were
29:53 covered with the glorious light of God.
29:55 When they sinned, God says now, you're going to die.
29:58 They were naked, but then they are covered with the skins,
30:03 probably of lambs, probably of sheep.
30:06 What was God trying to teach through that?
30:09 Well, the fact is folks, that we usually think of Jesus dying on
30:13 the cross about 2,000 years ago, but the Bible teaches
30:19 that at least in promise, Jesus was slain from the foundation
30:24 of the world. In other words, the plan was devised even before
30:27 sin. And the plan was implemented as soon as Adam
30:31 and Eve sinned. Jesus Christ presented Himself and He said,
30:35 I will die in place of man so that he will live.
30:40 In other words, the earthly announcement of that was in the
30:44 sacrifice of those two lambs, because we know that the lambs
30:48 represent Jesus Christ.
30:50 Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
30:54 Allow me to read you two passages from the New Testament
30:57 that say that the plan of salvation was devised
31:00 long before Jesus actually died on the cross.
31:03 1 Peter 1:18-20. 1 Peter 1:18-20.
31:11 Here the Apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says this:
31:14 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things
31:19 like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by
31:23 tradition from your fathers, but you were redeemed with the
31:27 precious blood of Christ, as of a what?
31:31 Ah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
31:37 He indeed, notice this, was foreordained as the lamb of God.
31:43 He was foreordained before the foundation of the world,
31:48 but was manifest in these last times for you;
31:52 the plan ordained, the plan manifested when Jesus came.
31:58 The other text is in Revelation 13:8.
32:01 It's speaking about those who worship the beast
32:04 in the end time. And that's not the point that I'm going to
32:07 emphasize. I'm going to emphasize the fact that Jesus
32:10 was slain from the foundation of the world.
32:11 It says there, in Revelation 13: 8, All who dwell on the earth
32:17 will worship him, that is the beast, whose names have not
32:21 been written in the Book Of Life of the Lamb slain from when?
32:26 Slain from the foundation of the world.
32:29 In other words, the plan was devised from the foundation
32:32 of the world. It was actually implemented when Jesus came
32:36 to this earth and died on the cross of Calvary.
32:40 In fact we're told in the New Testament, in 2 Timothy 1:10,
32:45 2 Timothy 1:10.
32:54 Notice this: who has abolished death.
32:58 Why do people still die then?
33:01 We'll come back to that.
33:11 Why would He bring life and immortality through the gospel,
33:15 if man already had life and immortality before the gospel?
33:21 The fact is that Jesus brings life and immortality
33:25 to light through the gospel of His perfect life, His death,
33:30 and His resurrection from death.
33:32 Furthermore, in Romans 2:6, 7 we find that immortality is
33:38 something that we are supposed to seek for.
33:41 If we're supposed to seek for it, then we don't have it
33:45 inherently. Let's read that.
33:47 Romans 2:6. Who will render to each one according to his deeds.
33:53 Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing
33:59 good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.
34:06 Let me ask you, Why would I seek for immortality
34:09 if I already have it?
34:10 The fact is that immortality is not something inherent that I
34:15 own, it is something that is derived from Jesus Christ,
34:19 and it will always be derived from Jesus Christ.
34:22 And yet we find that people still die.
34:26 How are we to understand what the Apostle Paul says about
34:31 Jesus; that He abolished death?
34:33 The fact is that friends of ours, and relatives of ours,
34:37 die every day; people who have accepted Jesus Christ
34:41 as Savior and Lord. So how are we to understand this?
34:45 Why do they die? Well, I can tell you for sure the reason why
34:49 they die is because they don't have access to the tree of life.
34:53 Isn't it a sobering thought to think that if God had not cast
34:58 Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, this world would be
35:01 filled with a whole bunch of immortal sinners?
35:05 Would you like to see this world in the condition that it's in
35:09 with people immortal, who cannot die because they have access to
35:13 the tree of life? I think God was very, very wise in barring
35:18 sinful man from access to the tree of life.
35:21 The fact is, that people die because they no longer have
35:25 access to the tree of life.
35:27 Now some people live longer, other people live less.
35:31 It all depends on the condition of their body.
35:33 It depends on their environment.
35:35 It depends on many different factors: how well they lived
35:38 in harmony with the laws of health,
35:40 the inheritance that they received from their ancestors,
35:43 but ultimately the real reason is because they do not have
35:48 access to the tree of life.
35:50 Now the question is, When will we have the gift of immortality?
35:57 We're told that Jesus abolished death, and brought life and
36:01 immortality to light through the gospel, but when will we
36:05 actually receive the touch of immortality?
36:08 Is it the moment when we die; when our soul flies out from
36:11 the body and goes to heaven if the person was good,
36:14 or goes into everlasting torment and torture in hell
36:17 when a person dies if the person was bad?
36:20 Is that what the Bible teaches?
36:21 That is not what the Bible teaches.
36:23 The Bible teaches that those individuals who have received
36:27 Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, will receive the final touch
36:31 of immortality when Jesus comes.
36:34 Let's read about it in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
36:39 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, and there's two little words that
36:44 I want us to underline as we read this passage.
36:47 It says there: For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord,
36:51 that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord
36:56 will by no means precede those who are asleep, for the Lord
37:00 himself will descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel,
37:06 and with the trumpet of God, and now notice this,
37:09 and the dead in Christ,...
37:11 I want you to remember that.
37:13 The dead in Christ...
37:15 So there are dead in Christ, and there are dead what?
37:17 outside of Christ. It doesn't say so here, but if there are
37:22 dead in Christ, that means that there are dead outside
37:24 of Christ. It says: the dead in Christ will rise first.
37:28 Then, we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up
37:33 together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
37:36 and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
37:39 Question, Who goes to heaven first?
37:41 Those who are alive when Jesus comes, or those who died?
37:45 Ah, that's a good answer.
37:48 The fact is that it says we shall be caught up together
37:52 with them, that is with the living saints, those who died,
37:56 and the living saints, will be caught up together to meet the
37:59 Lord in the air, and then we will ever be with the Lord.
38:02 The fact is that if the dead in Christ who resurrected,
38:08 and those who are alive are caught up in the cloud together,
38:11 it must mean that the dead in Christ did not go to heaven
38:15 when they died. It's that simple.
38:17 Now let's go also to 1 Corinthians 15:51.
38:23 This is another classic resurrection passage from
38:26 scripture. 1 Corinthians 15:52, 53.
38:32 Notice when we are going to receive the touch
38:35 of immortality. It says there, the Apostle Paul is speaking.
38:44 By the way, that means that we're not all going to die.
38:55 When is it that we're going to be changed?
38:57 When we die or at the last trumpet?
39:00 At the last trumpet.
39:16 This what? I didn't get that.
39:18 What was that. This what?
39:21 So are we mortal? Of course, it says so here.
39:29 Why would you have to put it on if you already had it?
39:30 When do we put on immortality according to this passage?
39:35 When the trumpet sounds when Jesus comes. And so it says:
40:04 So when is it that God's people, those who are in Christ,
40:08 are going to receive the touch of immortality and eternal life?
40:12 It's at the moment that Jesus comes.
40:15 He lets out a shout.
40:16 He comes with the trumpet of God.
40:19 Then this corruptible and this mortal must put on
40:22 incorruptibility and immortality.
40:26 Now one time I was talking with a friend who didn't see things
40:31 exactly the way that I do, and he believed, actually,
40:34 that the soul of man is immortal by nature.
40:37 And so I asked him, Do you believe that man is omnipotent?
40:43 That means all powerful.
40:46 He said, No, I don't think that.
40:48 The Bible says that only God is that.
40:49 I said, Okay, do you believe that man is omnipresent?
40:53 That is that he can be present everywhere.
40:55 He said, Of course not.
40:57 The Bible says that only God is in all places.
40:59 I said, Do you believe that man is omniscient;
41:04 that is that he knows all things?
41:05 He said, Of course not.
41:07 The Bible says that only God knows all things.
41:09 I said, Do you believe then that man is immortal?
41:12 He said, Yeah, I believe man is immortal.
41:17 I said, Now wait a minute!
41:18 Immortality is of the same category of attributes of God
41:23 as His omnipotence, His omniscience,
41:26 and His omnipresence.
41:27 In other words, these are qualities that belong explicitly
41:32 to whom? And only to God, including immortality.
41:36 He said, Where does the Bible say that?
41:38 So I went to 1 Timothy 6:13-17.
41:43 1 Timothy 6:13-17. Here the Apostle Paul, inspired by the
41:49 Holy Spirit says this: I urge you, in the sight of God,
41:53 who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus,
41:57 who witnessed the good confession before
42:00 Pontius Pilate. That you keep this commandment without spot,
42:04 blameless, until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing:
42:07 which he will manifest in his own time, he who is the blessed
42:12 and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
42:17 who alone has immortality.
42:25 Now what part of the word alone don't you understand?
42:28 If I say that I am alone in this place, it means that there was
42:32 no one else. And so it says, who alone has immortality,
42:38 dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen,
42:42 or can see: to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
42:48 And then when God's people receive the touch of immortality
42:54 when Jesus comes, guess what we're going to be able to do
42:59 again? We will be restored once again to the tree of life.
43:05 In fact, let's read about that.
43:07 First of all, Revelation 21:4.
43:11 You see, it wouldn't do God any good to give us the touch of
43:14 immortality if we couldn't eat from the tree.
43:17 And by the way, when I say that He has given us the touch of
43:20 immortality it doesn't mean that we are by nature immortal.
43:24 It means that we are conditionally immortal on the
43:27 basis of eating from the tree of life.
43:29 We're going to notice that in the book of Revelation.
43:32 Revelation 21:4. This is speaking about when God makes
43:37 a new earth and a new heavens. It says:
43:48 Isn't that good news?
43:50 There shall be no more death.
43:52 Undertakers will be without a job.
43:54 Praise the Lord! No more medical doctors, no more nurses,
43:58 no more accidents, no more death.
44:02 Wonderful! So it says:
44:13 And then in the new earth, I want you to notice,
44:15 what God's people are going to do.
44:17 Isaiah 66:22, 23. Isaiah 66:22, 23.
44:24 Why won't there be any more death?
44:26 Well, why wasn't there death in the garden of Eden?
44:29 Simply because they were obedient to God,
44:31 and they were able to partake of the tree of life.
44:33 When God barred them from the tree of life many of them lived
44:37 a long period of time, but the battery ran out; they died.
44:40 After the flood they lived a shorter period of time.
44:43 The battery died out, and they died.
44:45 After that Moses, and David.
44:48 Their life was greatly reduced, but still ultimately it led
44:52 to death, because they had no access to the tree of life.
44:56 But now I want you to notice that God's people are going to
44:59 continuously go from New Moon to New Moon, or from month
45:04 to month, to do something very special.
45:07 Notice Isaiah 66:22, 23.
45:16 Notice it's talking about a new heavens and a new earth.
45:18 The same expression that we find in Revelation 21 and 22.
45:32 Now don't let that throw you off from one New Moon to another.
45:35 Many Bible versions translate from month to month.
45:38 In fact, in the Spanish version it's de mes en mes.
45:43 From month to month, because the month was determined
45:45 by the New Moon in Israel. And so it says:
45:50 month to another, and now notice this:
45:58 the Jews come and worship before Me, says the LORD.
46:00 Oh, that's right, that's not what it says.
46:04 It doesn't say all the Jews, it says, all flesh shall come
46:09 to worship before me, says the LORD.
46:11 So we're going to make a weekly visit, and we're going to make a
46:14 monthly visit to worship before the Lord.
46:16 Now we know the reason for the weekly visit.
46:19 It's to observe God's holy Sabbath in commemoration
46:22 of the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.
46:25 But why would we go from month to month?
46:28 Notice Revelation 22:1, 2.
46:32 This is the reason why I believe that originally man was going to
46:36 eat from the tree of life every month.
46:38 In other words, there was a monthly appointment
46:40 at the tree of life, because that's the way it's going to be
46:44 in the earth made new.
46:45 Revelation 22:1, 2. It says:
47:06 Is that the same tree of life that was in the garden of Eden?
47:09 Of course! was the tree of life.
47:30 So how frequently does the tree produce its fruit?
47:33 Every month. Why would it produce its fruit every month?
47:37 Because we are going to go there from month to month,
47:41 and from Sabbath to Sabbath, to worship before the Lord,
47:44 undoubtedly to eat from the tree of life.
47:47 Somebody might say, Well, but it doesn't say there actually
47:50 that we're going to eat from the tree.
47:51 It says that it bore twelve fruits, one fruit every month.
47:56 Well, go with me to Revelation 2:7.
47:58 Revelation 2:7. Here is the promise that God makes to His
48:04 people. It says there:
48:24 Are God's people going to eat from the tree of life?
48:27 Yes. How frequently?
48:29 Every month, because the tree produces its fruit every month.
48:34 By the way, there's another text in Revelation that speaks about
48:37 the tree of life, and those who will be able to partake
48:40 of the tree of life. Revelation 22:14, 15.
48:45 It says there, and I'm reading from the New King James Version.
48:59 Which commandments? All ten, but one of them has been changed.
49:06 Right? No, no.
49:19 So are we going to eat from the tree of life,
49:20 if we have the right to it? Of course.
49:29 So those who eat from the tree of life are those who obey God.
49:32 Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden because they what?
49:36 Because they disobeyed God.
49:38 And then it says in verse 15:
49:40 But outside... See in contrast to those who are inside,
49:44 are the commandment breakers outside.
49:57 By the way, this list describes violations
50:01 of the ten commandments.
50:03 Lying is thou shalt not bear false witness; sexually immoral,
50:08 thou shalt not commit adultery; murders, thou shalt not kill,
50:12 etc. In other words, those who are obedient to God are inside
50:16 like at the beginning.
50:17 Adam and Eve were inside.
50:18 Those who are disobedient to God are outside,
50:21 and they have no access to the tree of life,
50:24 and therefore they will what?
50:26 Therefore they will die.
50:28 Now the big question is this: How can I have the guarantee
50:34 of life, that life, if I should die even today?
50:39 How can I have the assurance that Jesus will give me the
50:43 touch of immortality, and that He will give me access to
50:47 the tree of life so that as Adam and Eve in God's original plan,
50:51 I can live forever and ever?
50:53 The fact is the Bible has the clear answer,
50:56 and that most famous verse of the whole Bible,
51:00 you see it behind the gold posts at football games.
51:03 John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only
51:10 begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not
51:17 perish, but have everlasting life.
51:19 In other words, the secret to receiving the touch of
51:24 immortality once again being restored to the garden of God,
51:27 and having the privilege of eating from the tree of life
51:32 and thus living forever, is found in receiving Jesus Christ
51:37 as Savior and Lord.
51:38 Now the question is, how do we receive Jesus Christ
51:43 as Savior and Lord? It's very simple.
51:46 We have to go through the same process that Jesus went through.
51:50 You see, Jesus lived, He died, He was buried,
51:56 and He resurrected. We have to go through that same experience;
52:01 not physically, but spiritually.
52:05 Notice Galatians 3:26, 27.
52:10 Remember that the dead in Christ are the ones who are going to
52:13 arise. Now how do we become in Christ?
52:16 How do we join Christ?
52:18 How do we participate in His experience so that we can have
52:21 His life? Notice Galatians 3:26, 27.
52:25 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
52:31 Now notice this: for as many of you as were baptized into Christ
52:38 have put on Christ.
52:42 When is it that we put on Christ?
52:45 It's the moment that we receive Him and when we are what?
52:48 When we are baptized.
52:49 Do you know what baptism does?
52:51 Baptism incorporates us into Jesus.
52:54 When I'm baptized God no longer looks at me; He looks at Jesus.
53:00 And because Jesus lives, I will live also.
53:03 In fact, God could not have chosen a better ceremony than
53:07 burying a person under the water.
53:09 By the way, this is lost by those who do baptism by
53:12 infusion, and those who do baptism by aspersion,
53:15 or by sprinkling. You lose the beautiful symbolism,
53:18 because what happens in baptism by immersion is a person is
53:22 standing there alive, that's the old man, the old self who hasn't
53:27 died. And then the minister takes that individual,
53:31 and places that individual under the water.
53:34 In other words, that person is buried under the water.
53:37 The person has spiritually died with Christ, and then the person
53:41 comes forth out the water, Ah, and breathes new life.
53:46 By the way, it's interesting that this is really a mini
53:51 spiritual representation of life, death, and resurrection,
53:54 because you're alive before you go in.
53:56 When you go in you stop breathing, as when you die,
54:00 and then when you come forth, Ah, you breathe again.
54:04 In other words, at the moment of baptism we are incorporated into
54:08 Jesus Christ. And when we're incorporated into Jesus Christ,
54:12 we have the assurance of everlasting life.
54:15 And Jesus, when He comes, will give us the touch of immortality
54:19 and we will have the privilege of partaking forever of the tree
54:23 of life from month to month, and we shall live forever in a world
54:27 where there shall be no more suffering, no more sorrow,
54:30 no more pain, and no more death.
54:33 You know, I find it amazing that so many Christians believe that
54:37 the hope of life is found in some immortal soul
54:40 that people have inside.
54:42 That even God could not destroy that immortal soul,
54:46 because it is by nature immortal.
54:48 The fact is the Bible makes it very, very clear folks,
54:52 that the only way in which we can have life is by receiving
54:58 Jesus Christ as our Savior, and as our Lord.
55:01 In 1 John 5:11, 12 we find these explicitly clear words.
55:10 Here John, inspired by the Holy Spirit,
55:13 1 John 5:11, 12, says this:
55:23 Did you notice that?
55:24 It doesn't say He will give us, it says He has given us
55:29 eternal life. But I want you to notice that eternal life is not
55:32 in some immortal soul within ourselves.
55:35 The text continues saying:
55:45 our immortal soul. No! It says:
55:53 Where is our life? Our eternal life is not in us.
56:00 Our life is in His Son.
56:02 And then in verse 12 it says: He who has the Son has life.
56:10 He who does not have the Son of God, does not have life.
56:19 Now what part of that don't you understand?
56:21 Does not have life? If you're outside of Jesus Christ
56:26 you can have no life, because life is found in Jesus.
56:31 Our life, if we should die, is hid in Christ, and our name is
56:37 secure in heaven. God writes next to our name, eternal life,
56:42 and we can have the assurance that when Jesus comes
56:45 He will give us the touch of immortality, to live with Him
56:49 forever and ever. But even, folks, in the earth made new
56:53 our eternal life, our immortality, will be contingent.
56:57 It will not belong to ourselves, it will be found in His tree.
57:02 It will be found in the tree which represents a connection
57:07 with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
57:10 In other words, our source of life will not be inside,
57:14 our source of life will be outside in our Lord and
57:17 Savior, Jesus Christ.
57:19 It is my prayer that as we've heard this presentation
57:23 that we will choose to make a commitment of our life
57:27 to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.


Revised 2014-12-17