The Curse of Death

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  —Genesis 2:17

In the beginning, God created the wonderful Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to enjoy and in which to commune with Him. The Lord God placed the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). As long as Adam and Eve ate of the tree of life, their health and vitality were preserved. They were created with living, immortal souls, and God made provision for them to physically live forever. However, God commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The penalty for disobedience was death. God made mankind free moral agents and gave them the power of choice which is necessary for the power to love.Read more

Death and Resurrection

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  —1 Corinthians 15:21

Death came upon mankind both spiritually and physically because of Adam’s sin; but praise God, through Jesus Christ, death was conquered. Mortality came by Adam, but immortality came by Christ. Sin and death no longer have power over mankind because the curse was broken through the death and resurrection of our Lord.Read more

First and Second Death and Resurrection Diagram

Bible Study – The First and Second Death and Resurrection

Scripture Reading: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.  —Revelation 20:6a

Summary: Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden brought the curse of death upon mankind. This death, the first death, was both physical and spiritual. Jesus Christ came to this world that through His death and resurrection mankind would have an antidote to the twofold consequence of sin. The first resurrection is the spiritual resurrection that occurs through salvation and the second resurrection is the literal, physical resurrection that will occur at the end of time. While there is a remedy for the first death, for those that do not accept Christ and partake of the spiritual resurrection, there will be no remedy for the curse of the final and second death which is eternal damnation in hell.Read more

The First and Second Death and Resurrection

Death was the penalty of sin for disobedience in the Garden of Eden. The nature of this “first death” was twofold and encompasses both a spiritual and physical death. The pronouncement of death was temporary, as Jesus Christ provided a way for the soul to be resurrected unto life and restored to a relationship with God. The power of physical death was also broken by Christ and there will be a physical resurrection of the body at the end of this time-world.
The First Resurrection (Spiritual)

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power” (Revelation 20:6). The first resurrection is the spiritual resurrection that takes place when a sinner repents of his sin and is made alive through Jesus Christ. Jesus illustrated this in the story of the prodigal son who left home and broke the relationship with his father. When the prodigal son returned, the father rejoiced, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24). The son was not physically dead but he was spiritually dead. When he left the life of sin, he was alive again. The spiritually dead are made alive though a spiritual resurrection.Read more

The Universal Resurrection and Millennial Reign

Does 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 teach that the resurrection of the righteous will be at a different time and occasion than the unrighteous? It appears there may be two separate physical resurrections.

There will be only one physical resurrection from the grave. John 5:28-29 teaches this clearly. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Regardless of the teaching of many false prophets, Jesus said that the righteous and the unrighteous will be resurrected within the same hour, or within the same period. This is contrary to the millennial reign doctrine.

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The Tree of Life

Revelation 22:1-2 illustrates the tree of life growing on both sides of the river of life which proceeds out of the throne of God. Verse three states that “there shall be no more curse.” The child of God has access to the tree of life today where spiritual death is no more. On the other side of the river, in eternity, the tree of life symbolically grows where all the redeemed can partake and have immortality in the presence of the Lamb of God.

We Shall All Be Changed

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. —1 Corinthians 15:51

Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth to encourage them to be faithful to the Lord. Some will be dead and others will be living at the time of Christ’s return. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

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The Devil, As a Roaring Lion

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith…. —1 Peter 5:8

In 1898, a railroad spanning the Great Rift Valley from Kenya to Uganda was under construction. There were thousands of people involved in the construction and there were many campsites. Workers began disappearing and it was soon discovered that there were two man-eating Tsavo lions in the area. These lions wreaked havoc for nine months, killing many people and instilling fear in thousands of workers. The lions would hit different camps stretched along the railway to kill and maim. Traps were set but to no avail. The workers made thorn hedges around the camp and lit fires to scare them off, but the lions aggressively leaped over or crawled through the thorn fences. They would seize men from their tents and drag them out into the bush where they were heard at times crunching bones and purring contentedly. Imagine the fear of walking in the darkness, knowing that a man-eating lion was hiding in the bush nearby.Read more

There Is a Rest

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered
into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. —Hebrews 4:9-11

The subject this quarter deals with the theological issue of eternal security or “once saved always saved.” The doctrine of eternal security is one of the primary tenants of Calvinism. The opposite perspective would be one of Arminianism. These two theological camps are divided on God’s sovereignty, man’s depravity, election, Christ’s atonement, grace, man’s will, and perseverance. These subjects are interwoven as one affects the other. Rather than detail all of the various interpretations of scripture, because of the space constraint, I had to deal very directly with the scripture in a brief summary. While I believe Arminianism is generally more correct than Calvinism, our guide should be the scripture, not the teaching of a certain theological persuasion. Often there are bits of truth on both sides that can be neglected by a theologian’s pursuit of drawing a distinction between the two.Read more