Topic: Unveiling the Seal of the Eden of God
Ministering: Reverend Kayode Oyegoke
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” (Deut. 33:27). It is difficult to differentiate between the word 'eternal' and 'everlasting' in the New Testament. This is due to the inadequacies and non-robustness of the Greek language. Eternal (or Eternity) is not the same as everlasting, so one needs the eye of the spirit to differentiate them.
The actual word for 'eternal' is 'east'. So Eternal Life speaks of the East Life. There is a difference between eternal things and everlasting things. Eternal things are higher than everlasting things. Everlasting life is the closest dimension to Eternal Life. Everlasting speaks of perpetuity or continuity. However, eternity is more than that. Eternity speaks of the substances of eternal strength. Hell is everlasting in nature but it is not eternal; the lake of fire is eternal. Heavens are everlasting but they are not eternal (2 Peter 3:10).
Everlasting strength differs from eternal strength. This is why heaven and earth will pass away; hell will also pass away (Mark 13:31). A time is coming when there will be no more hell and what we will have is the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). The eternal world is fast approaching; it is stronger and more advanced than that which is everlasting.
Everlasting speaks of the long-lasting ability of a thing or being. God told Moses that the priesthood of Aaron is an everlasting priesthood (Exo. 40:15). However, the priesthood is no more existing because the commandment has changed (Heb. 7:12). Everlasting things have capability to stay or remain but the way to end them is to take them away by a superior power. Sin is everlasting in strength and that is why it cannot be taken away by human strength. An eternal offering is required to take sin away. The Lamb of God is the offering that can take away the sin of the whole world (John 1:29).
The law of Moses differs in strength compared to the law of sin. They are both of an everlasting strength but the priestly law of Moses is lesser in strength. Sin is stronger in everlasting strength and that was why it was able to ride upon the law of Moses like an ass. Sin took advantage of the law of Moses; this was because of the everlasting edge it possessed (Romans 7:7-8). Sin demonstrated an everlasting wisdom that the law of Moses could not gain say. The offering of Jesus was not tentative; it consists of both everlasting and eternal provision. A man should not perish if he can just believe in the only begotten Son of God, even though he has not known Him yet (John 3:16). Being anchored on the only begotten Son of God can sustain a man from perishing. However, that does not mean that he is whole or perfect yet.
A man can be rescued from perishing but he can also come into everlasting life, which is a complete salvation from perishing. So John 3:16 shows us that Jesus has come to offer us everlasting life as against perishing. To perish is an everlasting occurrence or work because it would continue if it is not stopped by something else. It is only the Son of God that can stop human beings from perishing, no other person or human wisdom can do that. The power of perishing is over mankind; it is the death that has passed upon all men and spread over all nations (Romans 5:12, Isa 25:7). Generally, man is perishing but Jesus came so that man will not perish.
The law of sin that makes men perish is a very strong law. The strength of this law is constituted in its wisdom. The wisdom is such that when a man is perishing, he will not know. The virus called sin is so dangerous that when it is occurring in a man, he will not be aware of it. The man would be locked up in perpetual ignorance and will argue with anyone who tries to show him the light. He would claim that nothing is wrong with him. The law of sin must be fought in men. Though Jesus has abolished death, we still need to engage the weapons of the gospel to completely take sin away from souls (2 Tim. 1:10). Jesus dealt with sin both on earth (through the cross) and in heaven (through His offering). However, this does not mean that the activity of sin stopped in men. If it were so, every man on the street should have been born again and made perfect. But we see that the law of sin is still gaining upper hand over the will of men. Generally, human beings are willing to serve sin. This means that men are more willing to perish than to become everlasting. Jesus said that men love to perish rather than to live (John 3:19).
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). To love darkness here is to love to perish. Even when a man has become born again, he can still be perishing in his soul. This is the ignorance in the Church that God wants to deal with. Scriptures made it clear that a people of God can perish if they continue to live in ignorance (Hosea. 4:6). Jesus is pained because His people are perishing. This is not to scare us but for us to understand that man will continue to lose his worth as long as he does not believe and go on to know God. People are perishing all around us and we are not aware. We feel bad sometimes when someone dies physically but in God’s wisdom, it is sometimes better for a man to die physically and leave this earth than for him to stay and continue to perish. We are often carried away with the reality of what we can see that we ignore the actual configuration of a man. We ignorantly assume that man is just the physical body we see all around, perhaps with a fine face and brilliant brain. That is not so because man is a spirit, he has a soul and lives in a body (1 Thess. 5:23). Sometimes the destruction of the body of a man is a salvation or preservation of his soul and his spirit (1 Cor. 5:1-7).
God is mindful of the Church; He will never allow her to perish. There is a provision to restore our worth--this is what is called redemption. Man began to lose worth from the day he was driven out of the garden of Eden. It went so bad until Christ came. Christ hedged it up, but man is fighting back and thereby continued to lose worth. God needs to awaken the powers of the covenant that will keep men from corroding or decaying. The purpose of the gospel is to preserve man and bring him to a status or worth in the spirit. The worth or value that Jesus has bought for man is not just to restore the Adamic nature but to make man become a quickening spirit. A quickening spirit is not just the owner of this present heaven but the owner of the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 3:13). It is a status that is of more quality than that of all the angels (Heb. 1:4). It was this status that Jesus paid for; He paid the price to bring out that worth or value from the inside of God. This status was not in this present heaven; it was on the inside of God. Jesus broke through the veil of God to get this treasure that is beyond imagination and words. God hid it in Himself and purposed to give it to man (Titus 1:2). However, it did not come to man on a platter of gold. One of the Trinity (Logos) had to come to earth, die, be raised from the dead and thereby offering Life to all. Jesus purchased this eternal redemption for us through His blood (Heb. 9:12).
The gospel has three (3) major provisions: to purify man, immune or make him incorruptible and the last is to raise or seal him above this present creation. To purify a man is to cleanse him with the reagents or antidotes that are in Christ (1 Pet. 1:22, 1 Cor. 1:30). To immunize a man is to give him the everlasting or the incorruptible life (1 Pet. 1:23). The answer to correct every abnormality is in Christ; Christ makes a man to become free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). However, that is not enough because the man ought to go further into incorruptibility. To be incorruptible is to be everlasting. However, God still desires to bring an everlasting man into His own (highest) status, where he would become exactly like God. This is when the man will be brought into Eternity. The operation of the height is to make a man everlasting, while the operation of the east or Eternity is to completely lock a man in God. All the coordinates have their interpretation in the spirit.
There are two kinds of ministry in the New Testament: the everlasting and eternal ministry. The everlasting ministry can only commence on a heart that has turned from being stony into being fleshy (2 Cor. 3:1-3). Paul said that they were once ministers of Christ and have now also been made ministers of the New Testament (2 Cor. 3:6-8). What is referred to as the New Testament here is the ministry of the everlasting covenant. No man’s heart is naturally soft (fleshy) until he has gone through the process of Christ. The heart of a man becomes fleshy by fellowshipping with the revelations of Christ, and experiencing transformation over the years. The eyes of understanding of such a man have been enlightened and he has been taught to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts (Titus 2:12). Ungodliness and worldly lusts are the things that make a stony heart. No man’s heart is naturally soft. That a man was able to believe the Lord Jesus with his heart and became born again (in his spirit) does not mean that his heart is no longer stony.
At New Birth, a power came upon us, and we were able to believe (through faith) for our spirits to be quickened (Eph. 1:1,9). However, the heart of the soul is not yet soft. If it was already soft, we would have been close to the throne of God. Husbands and wives disagree or divorce because their hearts are not soft. Hardness of heart (or stony hearts) is the cause of the disputes that ensue in marriages. It is not easy to turn stony hearts. Oftentimes, it takes ministrations upon ministrations for our hearts to turn from being stony. At times, ministrations by words will not turn a man but ministrations by the ways of God. In some instances, God would have to lead us into a particular confinement to make the stony heart dissolve. When the heart is made fleshy, it has become a table that will call for the everlasting laws of God (Ezek. 36:26-27). These laws are spirits. Our hearts must be fleshy enough to harbour spirits. We would not be given those spirits if our hearts are hard.
When a man is given everlasting spirit, laws will be written within him until an incorruptible nature is formed in him. An incorruptible/everlasting man is an embodiment of all the everlasting laws. An everlasting man is a man that is free indeed (John 8:36). Complete freedom is the raising of an incorruptible man by the Spirit or glory of the Lord. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:17-18). As we see or behold the Spirit of the Lord, we are seeing the Lord Almighty. The Lord here speaks of the living God or the everlasting Father. This Spirit of the Lord is the image or posture of God. Sighting or seeing this Spirit speaks of comprehending that image of God and changing thereby into the same image. This Spirit of the Lord is a mirror and ministers of the gospel ought to be endowed with the tongue of the learned to be able to write and present this image with their mouths, so that people can behold it. Every minister of the New Testament should be a projector of God’s image. Ministers should be mirroring or painting Christ (and ultimately God) with words. The people of God ought to be overwhelmed with His image and vision. This may be likened to a spiritual television. The purpose of preaching is to show people the vision of incorruption and how they can be made so.
The ministry of the Spirit is a ministry of the everlasting gospel, which is a glorious gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4). It is a ministry of change. However, people cannot change from glory to glory until they see or behold (2 Cor. 3:18). This is why the mouth of a minister of the gospel should be a fountain of glory. So there is need for the demonstrations of the Spirit in other to erect the mirror of glory; and so that men can see and change into the same image. This Spirit of the Lord has faces or diversities in operations. The faces would be shown in succession until all of the substances of the Lord God is given to a man. We would afterwards acknowledge that the Lord is good. We must see all of the everlasting postures of God, like Moses was made to see all of the goodness of God (Ex. 33:19). Moses had an insight into the incorruptibility stature of God but he did not see the eternal dimension of the goodness of God. The back of God is the goodness or everlasting substances of God. The only begotten Son is the only one who can declare this eternal dimension because He was the one who saw it (John 1:18).
The everlasting ministry is the ministry of beholding God’s face; and it ends in having His everlasting name written on our foreheads (Rev. 14:1). Afterwards, God would bless us beyond everlasting life (Numbers 6:25-27). The realm of everlasting and Eternal Life are sometimes lumped together as the realm of glory. The sons of the Sanctuary are people who have gotten to the Holy Place, reflecting the realm of Christ in the New Testament. A son of the Sanctuary is the godly man; he is a man who has life and godliness and to whom God will declare Himself in judgements (2 Pet. 1:3). This man will begin to hear the twain gospel of God which consists of both the everlasting and eternal realms of God. God wants to make us everlasting, and afterwards, eternal.
The everlasting gospel is the beaming of God’s face; it is the lesser portion of God’s glory. It is the giving of the image of God. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6). If we cannot see Jesus at this height, we would be robbed of conforming to the image of God. The use of the word “face” speaks of knowing Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will glorify or magnify Him by showing us certain things (John 16:13-14). This means that we do not know Jesus if He is not magnified in this manner. When Jesus is magnified, certain love or allegiance we have to wrong covenants will break. Wrong laws and chains will fall. When we see the magnanimity of Jesus and His splendidness, our hearts will be gripped with holy awe and the wrong laws that have hitherto remained in our souls will become weakened. Jesus is the law of everlasting life; He is glorious. Face means knowledge - it is a deep epignosis of the Son of God. No one receives this kind of knowledge and remains the same because it is not natural knowledge. It is a mingling of our mind or our seat of understanding with the glory of God. It is an interaction with the divine and sacred things of Jesus.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”. (2 Cor. 4:7) This is not referring to every Christian but the Apostles. We ought to treasure what Jesus has shone in the hearts of His servants. It means for example that when the soul of Paul is x-rayed, we would see Jesus in there; and it is on Jesus’ face that the light of glory resides. So, there is a Spirit in Paul that ministers, which is not just the Holy Ghost but the image of a person. That is an everlasting strength. To seat the ministry of glory in a person is to fire image into him until the person of Jesus (the Lord Almighty) is formed in him. This is what makes a man to stand as an ambassador of Jesus.
It is for the sake of this treasure that the Apostles went through perplexities, bearing the dying of the Lord Jesus (2 Cor. 4:8-11). This death connotes the commandments of the everlasting death of Jesus. The outward man of these Apostles was perishing because it is no longer useful to sin (2 Cor. 4:16). Jesus is encouraging us to put our eyes off our afflictions so that they might work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17). There is glory and there is the eternal weight of glory. The exceeding glory is the everlasting glory that had been communicated to Paul; but he was looking forward to the eternal glory.
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 22:1-5). This “seeing of His face” here is not the communication of everlasting life or the ministry of reconciliation, but the communication of Eternal Life for eternal reign. The light of the New Jerusalem is not that which is meant to change us but for reigning. It is the light of the eternal weight of glory and we cannot reign without it. One of the characteristics of Eternal Life is that it reigns and this is why it is called quickening spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). To attain unto Eternal Life, we need the eternal weight of glory to push out its reign. Our Lord Jesus is seated on the right hand of the majesty in the heavens and He is reigning. This goal which is yet ahead can be easily achieved by obedience and patient continuance in the will of God (Rom. 2:7). The problem is that many of us are not patient enough to continue.
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22). A man who has been made free from sin has already served Christ and becomes a servant of God. The end of being a servant of God is to have everlasting life. Those who have everlasting life are those who have served God and have overcome Satan and his cohorts. However, there remains another life called Eternal Life, which is a reward (Rom. 6:23). In everlasting life, there are things to overcome. We need to overcome the Nicolaitans spirit, the doctrine of Balaam, the spirit of Jezebel and death (Rev. 2:614-15/12:11). We overcome these wicked spirits as we serve God. This means that we serve in the face of oppositions till we overcome them.
We should serve against the oppositions of wicked spirits. Immediately we overcome them, we would break into the work that will be done quickly without oppositions (Rev. 22:6). If we do not overcome those oppositions, we will be too slow when the reward of Eternal Life comes. This is because we would still have things opposing us. This overcoming is something that should be done on earth. “Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” (Isaiah 62:11). When God begins to come to a man, it will be slow because the soul of that man still has oppositions and wars. However, when it gets to the point where God will come quickly, the work will be done shortly because all oppositions would have been dealt with (Rev. 22:12). Therefore, such a man will move with the speed of Eternity.