It Is Appointed Unto Men Once To Die!
By Dr. Steven Lambert
It is appointed unto all men once to die, after which each will be judged by God.
And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; (Heb. 9:27, ASV)
For as in Adam ALL DIE, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22)
SPOILER ALERT: One day you will die! You cannot escape, evade or avoid physical death! Death is inevitable. Death is inescapable. Death is unavoidable. Death is an inextricable part of life.
Not only that, (and I hate to be the one to break it to you) but at this very moment you are in the process of dying. Everyone is, from the very moment they are born and gasp their first breath. That’s the nature of human existence. It is inexorably and constantly traversing toward death.
Death entered the mainstream of human-kind in the Garden of Eden as a result of the sinful disobedience of Adam and Eve. The wages of sin is death. That is a fixed spiritual law. Adam and Eve died spiritually when they sinned against God. Physical death is a product of spiritual death. Mankind inherited physical death from its progenitors.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)
God makes it clear in His Word that ALL of mankind – except the Second Adam, born to be our Kinsmen Redeemer – has sinned:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom. 3:23)
Since the Adamic apostasy of the Garden of Eden, death has reigned over unredeemed humanity.
Nevertheless DEATH REIGNED from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Rom. 5:14)
For if by the transgression of the one, DEATH REIGNED through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:17)
You can be statistically the healthiest person on the planet, but at this moment your physical body is in the slow process of death. One day, your body will succumb to death. That’s irrefutable fact.
Many people that fixate over physical or bodily health and excessively engage in extreme diets and obsessive exercise regimens are actually doing more to hasten the process of death, i.e., killing themselves, than they are attaining the vain goal of attempting to prevent or postpone death.
Some people are unnecessarily living a life of demonic, self-inflicted misery and austerity (really religious aestheticism) in an attempt be happy, thinking physical perfection will make them happy. It won’t! To so think is a complete delusion and illusion; in Solomon’s words: “vanity and chasing after the wind.” In fact, the Spirit informs us that all this is a product of “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (1 Tim. 4:1-5)
For such people, what they are unwittingly engaging in is just another, albeit very subtle and to some degree subliminal, form of self-righteousness, which is always driven, ultimately, by a religious spirit. All religion, per se, is a form of vain, humanistic, self-righteousness, and is entirely anti-God and antichrist.
There is none righteous, no, not one!
as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; (Rom. 3:10)
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. (Psa. 14:3)
Righteousness (rightstanding with God) can be attained by no other means than faith in the Righteous One, our Kinsmen Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ! He Himself as the Son of God and God the Son proclaimed Himself to be the exclusive Way (Jn. 14:6) unto fellowship with God the Father and the Door (Jn. 10:7,9) into God’s Kingdom. Knowing Christ Jesus and being known by Him is the only antidote to death, not physical death, but the Second Death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6; 20:14; 21:8), spiritual death!
Perfect diets, perfect adherence to them, and the most humanly “perfect” body on the planet will not gain you rightstanding with God or Eternal Life! It’s all a delusion! It’s all carnality, relating entirely to the flesh realm. When people of the world and carnal or uninformed purporting Christians speak about this tripartite human constitution, they almost invariably speak of it in the opposite order of how God created Mankind; they say, body, soul, and spirit. But, the order the Holy Spirit of God speaks of the three parts of human constitution is the opposite order, the proper Creation order, as evidenced by what the Holy Spirit spoke/wrote through the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thes. 5:23; NASB)
Even for the genuinely Born Again believer, we are the temple or tabernacle of God only because God dwells in our spirit, not directly in our physical body, and our human spirit is contained in our physical body during life on earth, (one must have an earth-suit to live on the earth). The human spirit is the only part of the human tripartite being that is instantaneously regenerated, saved, sanctified, “sozoed,” at the moment of the rebirth. The soul and the body are not. James revealed that the soul (psuche, Gr.) is ABLE to be saved, redeemed, made whole, sanctified, “sozoed” as one RECEIVES or ACCEPTS the Word of God as the seed or sperma (Gr.) of God implanted into good (believing, accepting, Born Again) soil of one’s human spirit. The redemption of our bodies is the last part of the redemption process and the last event that must occur to complete our adoption as sons of God (Rom. 8:29); it will not occur until the last trumpet of God sounds:
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:50-53)
Separation of the human spirit from its physical sarcophogas is the spiritual definition of physical death. For the genuinely regenerated (Born Again) believer, to be absent from the body is to be instantaneously present with the Lord! That’s the believer’s reward!
“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” (1 Cor. 15:50-55)
Does any of this infer that death is random or ungoverned or merely “providential”? Absolutely not! God is sovereign over all! Jesus is Lord over all! He conquered death, hell, and the grave, and passed the spoils of that victory on to every believer! Death is subservient to God. Satan is not in charge of death. The book of Job tells us that in no uncertain terms; not to mention Christ’s complete vanquishing of it!
But, the point is that believers need to put and keep all these matters regarding physical health into the proper perspective; and the proper perspective is contingent upon prioritizing the spiritual over the fleshly or physical. The fact that the redemption of our bodies will not occur until the last trumpet sounds indicates it is the lowest priority in terms of God’s plan of human redemption. Indeed, that redemption will be orchestrated entirely by God Himself, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” without any human aid or assistance.
Moreover, the fact that physical redemption is the lowest priority in the plan of redemption tells me that those who obsess about their physical bodies, especially compared to how much energy, time, thought, and effort they spend on their spiritual health and status, are very carnal, not to mention, vain, people. If the average person spent as much time on their spiritual condition as they did on their physical condition the state of both the world and the church would be far better than it is currently.
Clearly, there are some people today with all the new diets and dietary aids flooding the market and inundating the public consciousness, who obsess far too much regarding their physical bodies. Some high-profile public figures, including some preachers, of late, have taken the fixation so far as to having made themselves look totally unhealthy and downright emaciated, giving them a hideous and even scary appearance. Some have aborted their calling to preach the Word and resorted to becoming snake oil salesmen, hawking weight-loss products and coaching services, so that you can look as sickly and malnourished as they do.
Common sense says that’s going overboard with it all! Common sense also says they are placing a very heavy burden upon what cannot be seen, i.e., their internal organs, in order to engender whatever psychological pleasure they derive from such an entirely outward physical appearance. Yet, Scripture repeatedly admonishes believers to concentrate more on the “hidden person of the heart…which is precious in the sight of God,” than on such external appearances (1 Pet. 3:4; for example).
Now, it should go without saying, I am by no means talking about or advocating reckless, unwise, disregard for one’s physical health, or knowing mistreatment or maltreatment of one’s human body. Rather, I’m simply saying, believers, in particular, must keep these matters in the proper perspective, avoiding such extremes and undue overemphasis, which according to what the Spirit spoke through the Apostle Paul can be summed up in the statement that “bodily discipline is only of little profit” juxtaposed to the benefit of genuine godliness:
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Tim. 4:7-8)
But, this is not something that preachers should be dealing with; you should stick to “spiritual” matters and leave all these matters to medical professional, I can hear people saying.
Oh, really? Well, that’s not what God said; that’s not what the inimitable Apostle Paul, who gave us the revelation contained in two-thirds of the New Testament, said. Here’s what they said about the issue and about my right, yea, duty to “prescribe and teach these things”:
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. PRESCRIBE AND TEACH THESE THINGS. (1 Tim. 4:1-11)
The fact is that the matters of Life and Death are intrinsically spiritual matters. And, the spiritual is what genuinely called, anointed, and appointed spokesmen of God are uniquely equipped and commanded by God to deal in. The spiritual realm is not the realm of medical training and study.
By the way, in conclusion, did you know that no less than FIVE times, God commanded us to “EAT THE FAT?” – Gen. 45:18; Lev. 7:23; Lev. 7:24; Neh. 8:10; Eze. 34:3!
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things ABOVE, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things ABOVE, not on the things that are on earth. (Col. 3:1-2)
Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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