As I said earlier, because man is an eternal being, for man death has more to do with separation than it does with the ending of life. When we talk about the death of Jesus Christ, we are
1: Talking about Jesus giving up his spirit to God, the breath of God within him that brings life to his mortal body.
2: Talking about Jesus Christ (his soul) being separated from both his spirit and body.
When we talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are
1: Talking about the coming back together, of Jesus Christ’s body, soul and spirit.
2: Jesus putting off His mortal body and the putting on His eternal body.
Bearing in mind that Jesus Christ became like us in every way. (Heb 2:17 & Phil 2:7) If we can understand the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we can also understand the death and resurrection of man; For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again; in like manner God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (1Thessalonians 4: 14).
But first we need to clear up a possible misunderstanding, or confusion, as to what happens to the Spirit of Jesus the Christ, and the spirit of Jesus the man. To do this, we will look at and to come to terms with how we measure the presence of God.
On one hand, the presence of God is everywhere. (Psalm 139:7-9) No matter where we go, from the heights of the shy to the lowest depths of Sheol, God by his Spirit is present. On the other hand, God by his breath has placed in man a portion of his Spirit, which became the spirit of man.
In the beginning, the Spirit of God and the spirit of man were one. But then sin brought separation between the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. This is what we call spiritual death.
Between these two extremes of the presence of God, we have
1: The coming back together of the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. So that man is no longer separated from God, but is born again, into the kingdom of God. (John 1:10-13 & 3:3-8)
2: The gift of the Holy Spirit, which is promised all who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. (Acts 2:38) This can also be referred to as the filling of the Holy Spirit or the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Now, we know that the portion of God’s Spirit, which is the spirit in man, is different to the portion of God’s Spirit by which we are born again. We also know that the portion of God’s Spirit by which we are born again, is different from that portion we receive as the gift of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it would not have been possible for the first Christian converts in Samaria to be born again by the Spirit of God and not to have also received the gift of the Holy Spirit when they first believed and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 8:14 -17)
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are all One and all equal in every way and by the Spirit of God, were present everywhere.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. (Words in italics added)
But when Jesus the Word of God gave up His equality with God, to become just like us in every way; one of the equalities with God that Jesus give up was this ability to be everywhere present by the Spirit of God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Now when it says of Jesus, “was made in the likeness of man” or as it says in Hebrews 2:17
Therefore it was necessary, He in all things had to be made like His brethren - - - - -
It does not mean that Jesus was born into this world as a sinner. No! When Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh and was born into this world, he was without sin. But it does mean that when Jesus was born into this world he had both that portion of the Spirit of God, which is man’s spirit, and that portion by which man is born again into the kingdom of God. But it was not until His baptism of repentance, that Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized; and praying, the sky was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from the sky which said, "You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased."
We are then told that Jesus Christ being filled with the Holy Spirit was led into the wilderness (Luke 4:1). The next thing we know, Jesus Christ is preaching
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the blind, to send away ones having been oppressed with deliverance.
We can clearly see a difference between that portion of the Spirit of God that has become man’s spirit, and that portion which is the gift of the Holy Spirit. But we cannot see any clear difference between the gift of the Holy Spirit, the filling of the Holy Spirit or the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps we cannot separate the gift, from the filling or the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as to have one is to have all three.
When Jesus Christ, while on the cross breathed His last, releasing his spirit back to God who gave it (Luke 23:46). It was only that portion by which his body has life, which was returned to God who gave it.
When Jesus Christ, His soul, descended into Sheol, Jesus Christ took with him, that which is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then having first descended into the depths of Sheol, Jesus then ascends far above the highest sky, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Thus, the equality that Jesus Christ had with God the Father in the beginning is restored to him, and now by his Spirit, Jesus Christ fills all things.
Because Jesus Christ by his Spirit is now present everywhere, from the highest sky to the depths of Sheol, it is now possible for the born again believer to live always in his presence. It is only the weakness of our flesh that prevents most of us, including myself, from always living in the realization of Jesus Christ presence.
Therefore, for the born again believer, no matter where we are, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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