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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Our Christian Pilgrimage, #6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
The second death, the Lake of Fire, has no authority over nor can it harm the individual who is filled with eternal life. God's fire destroys only that which is flammable, that which is sinful. God's fire refines, it does not harm, that which is of God's own Being and Glory.
The original problem presented in the Scripture was disobedience and the resulting death. Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, from Paradise, so they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their bodies while in a state of rebellion against the Lord God.
If Adam and Eve merely were forgiven they would return to Paradise and eat of the tree of life—for it still is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Now they would be immortal but they themselves would not have been changed. The danger of another rebellion would be present. The Kingdom would have come externally before it had been set up internally.
Because the forgiven Adam and Eve have not been transformed through the indwelling Presence of Christ they will sin again. They are ignorant of the ways of the Lord. They still do not possess the power and the wisdom to resist rebellion and sin. The willingness of untransformed man to lapse into sin and rebellion, even after he has been taught well, is revealed in the nations that after having been taught by the saints for a thousand years are deceived by Satan so readily (Revelation 20:8).
In actual fact, the Divine redemption gives Christ Himself (not just forgiveness) to Adam and Eve. After being forgiven they are not prepared as yet to reenter Eden. First they must spend time in a wilderness of instruction until they become willing to allow Christ to enter them and rule them from within their personalities. The inner kingdom must be established before the outer kingdom can come.
Adam and Eve are not ready to return to the garden until the Lord has developed in them the Divine resistance to rebellion and sin. Christ intends to create in people His own love of righteousness and hatred of iniquity, filling them with His own Life and bringing them into perfect union with Himself.
Now Adam and Eve can return to Paradise and eat of the tree of life. They are ready to put on immortality, having been proven in the wilderness of instruction.
God never will give immortality to any human being until God has been assured beyond doubt that Christ is in control over that individual. This is God's love. If God were to give immortality to a human being, and that person then were to sin, God would be compelled to bind him in chains in Tartarus with the fallen angels.
It was God's love and mercy that drove Adam and Eve from the garden. Otherwise they would have eaten of the tree of life, received immortality into their bodies, and then would have lived forever in their fallen condition. Their redemption no longer would have been possible. At the last judgment they would have been cast into the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels.
To be continued.