THE DEAD IN CHRISTBe thou faithful unto death. Revelation 2:10
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."1 He first "divided the light from the darkness."2 From His spirit that moved upon the face of the water, He then created a "firmament (expansion) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. The firmament divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And God called the firmament Heaven. God said let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."2 Notice that Jesus kept half of the divided waters above the firmament. The firmament became heaven with its light and stars. But He had reserved the waters above heaven. This source of creation is equal to all that has been created. This surely gives a higher meaning to John the Baptists statements "he that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all."3
Jesus told the Jews "ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."4 Jesus came from a higher dominion than heaven, as Paul revealed, "the Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek: By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."5 We must "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."6 We must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, this and believing in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead7, is the foundation of salvation.
When Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, "came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles, that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."8 The word ‘again’ in this passage means ‘from above’ in the Greek. "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."9 Being recreated from the water above wasn’t intended to be marveled at, much less made a focal point. Those who think life begins at birth are the real cause of abortion giving place to the devil, to rob the womb with misdirected faith. We are being born from above as we receive the living water.
But many haven’t realized just how high the name of Jesus reaches. Paul stated that we are raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Our quickening by his spirit has already empowered us to sit in heavenly places. But He will take us above heaven. Even the new heaven is not our final dominion in Him. John saw the new city coming out of the new heaven. The final domain is the new city located around the pure water that created all life. We are admonished "to set our affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."10 When we set our mind on things above, we should be considering the "Jerusalem from above which is free, which is the mother of us all."11 By honoring the Father and the mother, we extend by promise our life on the earth, even to a thousand years. We are begotten by the Word who quickens us by his spirit. We become the Dead in Christ, for "to live is Christ and to die is gain."12 And we are risen with Him, sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. As the dead in life sitting in the resurrection, Jesus is the resurrection. Being in the resurrection empowers us to walk through the second death. It will have no power upon us (see Revelation 20:6). This walk will identify us as those which came out of the great tribulation. "These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."13 The waters above are the final goal, being the source of all life.
John the revelator "saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."14 We should be praising God for the fountains of waters reserved for the saints who come victorious with the Lamb through the great tribulation. This time of fire which judges the church, removes the tares, brings Babylon down, and removes every spot from our robes, will be the Joy of the Lord.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."15
As we enter the day of rest, the faith of Jesus comes upon the saints of patience (tribulations bringeth patience), who have honored the commandments of Jesus. The fire of his presence is the tribulation and the high calling of God. To the unrighteous the fountains of water are a burning lake, but to the righteous it leads to the tree of Life.
He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
1 John 1:1-3
2 Genesis 1:4-10
3 John 3:31
4 John 3:23
5 Hebrews 7:21-26
6 Philippians 2:5-11
7 Romans 10:10
8 John 3:1-3
9 John 3:4-7
10 Colossians 3:2-4
11 Galatians 4:26
12 Philippians 1:21
13 Revelation 7:14-17
14 Revelation 14:6-7
15 Revelation 14:8-13