Image

Archive for Adam

Thinking out of the Box

November 15, 2011

A seminary professor often said that if we are going to make an impact with the Word of God, we must allow the Spirit of God to move us to think outside the box.  He did not mean that we should think beyond what is written in Scripture but that we should seek through observation and meditation to fully grasp the truth that is revealed from what is written.

I would like to take such a step while thinking of God’s perfect creation and the fall of man.  What we learn about the sinfulness of our sin has tremendous bearing on what we eventually believe about His immeasurable grace. Let’s begin, well, at the beginning.  Believers should recognize that the God who created us became our Savior.  The one who saves us, the Lord Jesus Christ, has all the attributes of deity.  He is eternal, co-existent with God, and co-equal with God, just to name a few.  A life-changing, out-of-the-box glimpse of the miraculous God that we serve is the realization that the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the very one who created us. The Bible says that all things were made by Him (John 1:3); by Him were all things created (Colossians 1:16); and God made the worlds by Him (Hebrews 1:2).

Since all things means all things, the words, “In the beginning God created” take on a fresh new meaning.  These words imply that the first works of creation recorded in the Bible – the heavens, the earth, the light, the plants and animals – were accomplished with the direct involvement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It follows, then, that He was also involved in the creation of Adam.

Now we are walking freely out of the box. God’s words, “Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness” has enormous implications. Catch this glimpse! The “Us” points to our Trinitarian God’s participation in creating man and in particular the involvement of the Creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been assumed by many that when God said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness,” He was speaking of the invisible likeness of personality. This is because the Bible makes clear that God is spirit, and spirits have no visible characteristics.  While likeness could very well point to unseen spiritual traits, image does make one think of a physical feature. It is possible that the second person of the Trinity appeared in a recognizable preincarnate form in the Old Testament.

Although Jehovah took upon Himself a human body in Bethlehem, that may not have been the first time that He revealed Himself in a recognizable form. Think of the first wedding – when Jehovah walked Eve down the isle to the man, so to speak.  We read that God fashioned Adam’s rib into a woman and “He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:22). Is it possible that Adam saw a preincarnate form of the Creator? It is hard to imagine a disembodied spirit presenting a woman to a man.

Following their rebellion against God by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve heard the sound of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Adam heard someone walking! It is difficult to conceive that a spirit could make walking noises as he approached. The guilt of the fallen couple impelled them to hide from God among the trees in the garden. How could one hope to hide from a spirit?

The first visible act of God in providing grace is recorded for us. Adam and Eve had compensated for their new feeling of guilt before God by stitching for themselves designer clothes made of fig leaves (Genesis 2:7). Their clothing did not meet with God’s approval, however, so He made tunics of skin, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). Again, it is difficult to imagine a spirit stitching clothes and then putting them on someone.

What conclusions can we draw from God’s work as a tailor? First it was an obvious contrast to the couple’s tailor work. Second, it was God who initiated the gracious act. The couple was not asked whether or not they desired the clothes.  Finally, it was God who did the work.  He obviously killed animals – and this was long before the Mosaic Law was given. The picture given the reader is the very first foreshadowing of God’s future work in Jesus Christ.

Now back to the subject of Jesus Christ being the Creator of all things.  The Bible says that Jehovah Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).  There may have been more to this creative act than meets the human eye. God created us as triune beings made of body, soul, and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23).

God first created the visible part. One can just visualize the Lord Jesus Christ hovering over a large lump of clay like a potter would do and then reaching down and picking up slabs and shaping it. Slowly the clay began to take the shape of man. Then we picture the divine Potter creating the inward, invisible parts, leaning down and exhaling His breath into the nostrils of that clay form. At that moment, Adam awakened as a conscious being.  The lifeless lump of clay received life from God.

Again, out of the box we go! What is the true meaning of the English translation the “breath of life” in Genesis 2:7?  The original text of the Old Testament is the Hebrew language. The Hebrew manuscripts are those writings that are truly God breathed and totally inerrant. While it is true that the translators rendered the phrase “breath of life,” and surely they had reasons to do so, the literal Hebrew says that God breathed into the man the “breath of lives,” plural.

“Breath of lives” in the Hebrew is nephesh chayyim. Chayyim is a plural Hebrew word. In order to make a word plural in English, we simply add and “s” or an “es.” At the risk of sounding exceedingly simple, we could have one pear or two pears; one house or two houses. In order to make a Hebrew word plural, “im” is added. One might think of one cherub (angelic being) or two cherubim (two angelic beings), or one seraph (one angelic being) or two seraphim (two angelic beings).  You get the idea. God actually breathed into Adam the breath of lives.

In contrast, God had earlier created the animals giving to them nephesh chay, the breath of life (Genesis 1:21).  This is the major way that animals differ from humans. True to our triune nature, Jesus Christ created Adam with a body and then breathed into him a soul with an attached human spirit.  The animals do not have this human spirit. The words soul and spirit are often used interchangeably in the scripture, but there is a difference. The writer of Hebrews says that the word of God is living and powerful and sharp enough even to divide the soul from the spirit (Hebrews 4:12). This implies that they are not the same!

Allow me a little speculation. The soul connects human beings to the earth, giving them the ability to know, to feel, and to choose, in the earthly realm. It provides the appetites for securing food, shelter, protection, and the desire to procreate. In man the soul also had the human spirit attached to it. Adam’s soul connected him to the earthy realm, but his human spirit linked him to God.

Before the fall, Adam had ability and the desire to think and to reason accurately, not only about worldly things but also about heavenly things. Said simply, human beings were created to know God. Their living human spirits gave them the ability to appreciate their relationship with God and to choose to continue in it. With this knowledge, Adam understood the reason for God’s creation and in his innocence he knew that he was created to have dominion over the earth.

After his sin – as God had warned – he died! He did not fall over dead physically, but his human spirit died toward God. He no longer had the ability to use his mind, emotion, or will toward God. As a result of their spiritual death, the fallen couple hid themselves from God. The residue left upon them was still the image of godlikeness, but it was a defective image. Adam and Eve continued with their human appetites in tact and their intelligence – the ability to think and to reason, to feel and to choose in a limited earthy realm – but still far beyond that of the animals. Adam and Eve had become natural, soulish human beings. This is the very nature that this fallen couple passed to all generations of the human race (Romans 5:12). All sinned and died in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22).

We are all born with Adam’s death image upon us. The fallen race has the desire to worship gods, but they worship gods coming from their own corrupt imagination. Paul wrote that the soulish person “cannot understand the things of God (human ability) neither can he know them (human ability) for they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).  In clothing the first couple with the animal skins, God established a prototype. If we want to know how God saves today it would not be a bad idea to go back to His original pattern.

God must initiate salvation. The spiritually dead can do nothing to help.  He does not clothe us with animal skins as an act of His saving grace, but He does clothe us. He clothes us with His special sacrifice. The fall did not catch God by surprise. He prepared a Lamb before He created the world (1 Peter 1:20). He eventually gave that Lamb to die on a Roman cross for us, and then He raised Him from the dead (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:25).  He lovingly calls us to Himself as a shepherd does his sheep and gives us the free gift of faith to place in His Lamb (John 6:37-39; John 10:28; Ephesians 2:8-9). He then wraps tightly those believing in His Lamb with the covering of the Lamb. Every believer is said to be “in Christ” (Galatians 3:26-28).  This is thinking out of the box.

God’s Amazing Seed

 

Corn 2

July 14, 2011

I just finished helping my family put up approximately 300 ears of corn at our little farm. I remembered planting the seeds back in late April. This ritual has happened many times before, but it never fails to bring to my mind God’s faithfulness to germinate the seeds. Our corn is a product of God’s ordained plan for the cycle of life.

From the very beginning, God established His unchanging blueprint of biological reproduction. God commanded that all living things reproduce after their kind, both plants and animals. This reproductive cycle has held its pattern since the dawn of creation. The phrase according to its kind is repeated over and over for an incredible purpose. Apple seeds produce apples; peach seeds produce peaches; corn seed . . .  you get the idea.

God created human beings and placed them upon the earth. Like the plants and the animals, He told them to be fruitful and to multiply and fill the earth.  He provided all that they would need to thrive. There was only one thing God told them not to do. To disobey Him at this one point would bring death. We know what happened.  The first couple disobeyed, and they died. Their human spirits – their connection to God – died. They became natural, sinful people separated from God. Sin and death had entered the world.

In obedience to God, after the fall Adam and Eve began to reproduce. True to God’s regeneration formula, they reproduced after their kind.  They were now sinners, and they populated a world of sinners. Death spread to all because Adam’s seed had become corrupt seed. God connected the entire biological world to Adam’s fall. Paul said that the entire creation was subjected to futility and locked in the bondage of corruption. All biological seed is stained with death. Regardless of whether we get rain or not, Papa’s garden is going to die. Why? Corrupt seed!

But wait! Amazingly God allowed at least two kinds of seed to slip past the corruption of the fall. These two seeds are the very reason that we become Christians. The first was the miracle seed of the Holy Spirit planted in the womb of the virgin Mary. This seed produced the Lord Jesus Christ.  Without a human biological father, He was born without the sin of Adam.  Thus, He who knew no sin became the sinless Lamb of God who died for us.

The other seed is the living seed of the Word of God. The words of the Bible are living and powerful spiritual seeds. God, You are a genius! This miracle seed is being used to spawn a new generation of people – spiritual people. The apostle Peter said that “we have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:23-25).

Born again? Yes. Christians experience a second birth – a spiritual birth that connects us to God. An incorruptible seed generates this birth. Peter contrasted all human life that comes from corrupt fallen seed with grass. Like grass, we are all destined to die. And all of our human achievements, no matter how impressive, are fleeting. All of man’s glory – that which sheds light upon man: pride, wisdom, intelligence, beauty, talent, wealth – is temporary.  It appears briefly like a mist, and then it is quickly gone. In contrast, the spiritual seed of the word of God is eternal seed. The only thing that lasts through this fallen world must come from this seed.

Peter stressed that the gospel of God’s grace is that eternal seed. When physical seed, like our corn seed, is placed into the ground and is germinated, new life begins. Likewise, when the gospel is planted into the soil of the fallen human mind and germinated by the Holy Spirit, new life is generated. But this life, unlike the fallen corn seed, will never die because seed that will never die produces it. Amazing, absolutely amazing!  God, what a genius you are!

Satan: The Original Sinner

January 9, 2009

One of the delightful things about a blog is that one can wonder and speculate without penalty. I want to take a momentary plunge of profound proportions. I want to take a stab at identifying the original sinner and the original sin.

When I was younger, I worked hard at never sweating the details. My view was, just give me the big picture. The older I have become and the amazing truths that I have seen in the Bible have turned me into somewhat of a detailed person. I never cease to ask questions! One of the most probing questions that I have asked is where did sin originate? I can see the results of it everywhere, but where did it originate? You might be thinking, well it was ole Adam and his wife. No, I mean before them. Sin “entered the world” through Adam, but it did not originate with him (Romans 5:12).

God does not tell us everything that we would like to know about this subject, but we can put some small insights together and come up with some intriguing thoughts.  The first time we run into the devil in the Bible is in Genesis 3:1.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

God had given Adam and Eve the command to freely eat of every tree in the Garden. There was only one tree that was off limits, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The verse quoted above seems to come out of nowhere. There is no explanation of who this serpent is or where he came from. We are just told that a snake slithered into paradise and ruined Adam and Eve’s day.  The serpent (Hebrew: natash), bright one, shinning one, was extremely beautiful. This was obviously not an ordinary snake. Strangely enough we are given a small insight into his identity in the book of the Revelation.

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9)

“He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

So there was much more to that reptile in the garden than at first met the woman’s eye.  In order to unmask the real snake behind this snake, we must take a short peep into the realm of angels.

The Old Testament word for angel is “malach,” which means messenger.  The New Testament word is “angelos,” messenger.  Names have meaning, so God created angels to be His messengers. Angels were characterized by wisdom (2 Sam. 14:20) and by strength (Psalm 103:20).  Angels were also created to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). One of the most amazing truths in the Bible is this strange angelic conflict that is evidently going on all around us.  Evil angels are somehow being used upon the earth to orchestrate rebellion against God’s kingdom.

Daniel was in captivity in Babylon. He asked God for information concerning Israel’s future. And angel came to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. Though no name is given to this angel we assume it was Gabriel since he had already been sent to Daniel twice.

“Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, ‘O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’  And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.’” (Daniel 10:10-13)

It is evident that the prince of the kingdom of Persia was not a human being!  This prince was an angel. This angel had prevented Gabriel from coming to Daniel for 21 days. Michael, the archangel came to Gabriel’s rescue freeing him so that he could get to Daniel.  Such angelic activity is continuing today.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Gabriel continued to speak to Daniel.

“Then he said, ‘Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come’” (Daniel 10:20)

Notice again the prince behind the king of Persia and the mention of the prince of Greece. Evidently these demonic spirits are in Satanic control of many of the kings of the earth. They continuously attack the kingdom of God and appear to be working to establish the false kingdom of the antichrist.

With this truth now in our minds, let’s plug into a seemingly strange request by God to His prophet, Ezekiel. God instructed Ezekiel to give a message to someone he referred to as the “prince of Tyre.”

“The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD. ”  (Ezekiel 28:1-2a).

This king was consumed with pride. He was in control of much of the sea trade of the ancient world and was very wealthy. In fact, he was so arrogant that he considered himself to be a god (Ezekiel 28:2). Again, Ezekiel did not refer to him as “king” but he called him a “prince.”

In the course of the conversation Ezekiel’s words take a strange twist. Notice carefully this next passage.

“Again the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, You had the seal of perfection,full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:11)

Ezekiel is no longer calling him a prince but now calls him “a king.” Seal is a word that indicates that this “king” filled out the pattern of perfection! He was the most perfect being that God created. Full of wisdom means he filled up the pattern for wisdom, he was the wisest being that God created.  And perfect in beauty means that he was the most beautiful being that God created.  Note carefully where this being had once been.

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God”

It is obvious that we have left the surly bonds of earth and launched into a heavenly realm. We are obviously introduced to the angelic being behind the human king of Tyre.  Ezekiel referred to this being as “the anointed cherub who covers.”   There were three separate ranks of beings in the angelic realm.

The lowest rank was the angels under the command of Michael the archangel. Next were the seraphim. The Hebrew word “seraphim” means “burning ones.” Fire in the Bible implies judgment. Evidently these angels were to carry out judgment for God (Isa. 6:1-3).

The highest order of angels was the cherubim. The name “cherubim” means “to cover.” The cherubim were anointed to protect God’s throne in order to preserve His holiness.  Satan may have once been one of these anointed angels.  The garden of God was not located in the Eden that we know about.  That garden, as we shall see, was a garden of trees and plants. The garden described here was a mineral garden. It evidently served as this angel’s original dwelling place. The original sinner was the most perfect, wise, and beautiful creature that God that God created.

“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:15)

This creature was blameless “until.” “Until” is a time word.  He had been blameless until the moment in time when unrighteousness was found in him. The details of this moment of unrighteousness are found in Isaiah 14:12-14.

Like Ezekiel, Isaiah was at first speaking with the human king of Babylon. But all of a sudden it becomes obvious that he was speaking to someone behind this human king.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:10-14)

It is obvious that the king of Babylon had not been in heaven and then been cut down to earth. Isaiah refers to him as “Lucifer,” translated glistening one or shining one.  This may be a description of the original original sin.

 

·       I will ascend to heaven.

I will start my climb to the lofty position of God Himself.

·       I will raise my throne above the stars of God.

I will take over as commander and chief of the angelic realm.

·       I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the recesses of the north.

I will rule over Israel which is a position reserved for the Messiah.

·       I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.

I will take upon myself glory that is reserved for God alone.

·       I will make myself like the Most High.

Now we know who the original sinner is, and we also know what the original, original sin was. Lucifer’s ultimate goal is to take for himself the position of God. God judged Lucifer because of his pride, and he became Satan, the adversary of God. God cast him out of heaven and reserved for him judgment (Matt. 25:41). Satan is brilliant, but God is the ultimate genius. Satan has a plan, but God has the master plan. “God will do according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth,” records the prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 4:35).

Satan is a perfect, wise, and beautiful creature, but he is just a creature and as such, he is limited. He is not omniscient, omnipotent, nor omnipresent.

Pride has now become public enemy number one to God and the mainspring behind all sin!

For more information on this subject, read the articles on our website: The Adversary and The First Sinner.

 

 

Conversion

December 14, 2008

There is a word that is not used much today in local churches. It is the word “conversion.” I do not understand why this is the case.  Jesus Christ used it with His disciples.  Christ’s disciples were having a discussion among them as to which of them would be greatest in the kingdom (Luke 9:46).  Our Lord’s answer is found in Matthew 18 and involved an illustration and an important truth. Jesus called a little child to Him and set the child before the disciples and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:3).  One who enters the kingdom is one who has been converted.

To be converted means “to be changed.” It implies changing from one life into another.  David wrote, “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You” (Psalm 51:13). Peter used a similar word in the book of Acts when he extended this invitation to the Jews, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Christians are sinners who have been changed. This change has everything to do with being baptized into Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ we instantly change from being part of an old creation to becoming part of a new creation. We are converted from sinners to saints. Just as the color of cloth is changed when it is submerged into dye, those who are submerged into Christ are changed forever.  New things come and old things go!

“Old things” does not refer to the old sins that plagued us in the past. As long as we remain in this body of flesh, we will possess both the temptation and the capacity to sin. The sin nature resides in our physical bodies. Paul wrote, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” (Romans 7:18; see also James 1:13-15, James 4:1-2).  John wrote:  “If we say that we have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

The “old things” refers to the characteristics that linked us with the old Adam. We are all born connected to him (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12). When we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit places us into the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ who breathed into us the breath of life (1 Corinthians 15:45).  When we are joined to this Adam, His characteristics become ours.

  • In the first Adam we had an old human nature connected to our physical birth.  In the last Adam we receive His nature from a new birth.
  • In the first Adam we had an old righteousness that is condemned by God’s law. In the last Adam we receive His righteousness written in on our account that meets the demands of the law.
  • In the first Adam we had an old relationship connected to the realm of Satan as children of darkness.  In the last Adam we received His relationship to the Father. He is the Son of God, therefore we become children of God.
  • In the first Adam we had human distinctions that separated us from one another.  In the last Adam those barriers are broken down.
  • In the first Adam we were citizens of old planet earth. In the last Adam we are citizens of heaven.
    In the first Adam we were imprisoned in an old physical body that is ordained to die and to perish.  In the last Adam are destined to receive a new body just like the body that Christ has, designed by God to live forever.
  • In the first Adam we were slaves to sin and fated to spend forever in a place called hell. In the last Adam we become servant kings destined to reign with Christ in His heavenly kingdom.

Born to Reign

November 23, 2008

It is God’s design that men have dominion over the earth. God gave Adam and Eve this command. This dominion obviously has not happened with this fallen civilization. Adam’s fallen seed is in the process of producing a civilization of “after his kind.” It is a civilization of sinful people that are locked in time and space – and like grass – they are all destined to die and perish. And the human glory – all that sheds light upon them: human pride, human wisdom, human beauty, human talent, human wealth, human achievements – is temporary and its fame is fleeting.  It appears briefly like a vapor and it is quickly gone (James 4:14).

Jesus Christ as the last Adam is using the spiritual incorruptible seed of the word of God to generate a heavenly people after His kind destined to live forever. John explains,  “He [Jesus Christ] came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).  “Who were born” is taken from the original word meaning, “to beget.”  Children of God are born from the source of God.  Christians are those who are born into God’s forever family.

We are to have bodies like Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrection body. Paul says that our “citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).  Paul describes these new bodies as bodies that please God, bodies with a new kind of flesh, bodies with a glory all their own, and they will be powerful spiritual bodies that will not perish (1 Corinthians 15: 38-43).

Paul mentions two Adams and the civilizations that they produce reflect the nature of each of them.  He said, “It is written that the first man Adam became a living being” (1 Corinthians 15:45). This is a reference to Genesis 2:7.  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Adam sinned and died spiritually. He became the father of a fallen race. “The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).  The last Adam is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is breathing the gospel into the minds of many giving them, not physical life, but spiritual life. Paul says that the spiritual is not first but the physical (is first). But afterward comes the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46).

Paul then makes his contrast of the two Adam’s clear. He says that the first was a man of the earth made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:47).  He then makes this contrast! As was the man of dust so are those who are made of dust. And as is the heavenly Man, so are those who are heavenly. Paul’s conclusion is this. “As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:48- 49)  Jesus said it like this, that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit” (John 3:7).

Jesus Christ alluded to this very thing when He spoke these words to His disciples. So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:27).

Jesus is speaking of the new birth of the earth under His sovereign dominion at the time of His second coming (Revelation 19:16; Daniel 7:27).  It will be cause the world to be “reborn” which is a global parallel to the individual rebirth of Christians.