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Adam's bridge

First posted: June 11, 2005

 

In this article, we study a spiritual transition that every believer is called to make. This transition is from the righteousness of the "first Adam" to the righteousness of the "last Adam". Those believers who are willing to make this transition will enter into eternal life.

 

Index

Two levels of righteousness

The two Adams

The Promise

The blood connection

Help!

The second-death antidote

"Camelous" believers

The Kingdom of God

 

 

 

Two levels of righteousness

In Luke chapter 18, the Holy Spirit declares the following:

 

"18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:18-25)

 

As we have said before, this passage very clearly illustrates the fact that "eternal life" is more than just escaping the fire of hell. When the ruler asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life (v18), the Lord did not ask him to repeat the "sinner's prayer". Instead, Jesus listed 5 of the 10 commandments in verse 20:

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Do not commit adultery (Deuteronomy 5:18)

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Do not kill (Deuteronomy 5:17)

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Do not steal (Deuteronomy 5:19)

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Do not bear false witness (Deuteronomy 5:20)

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Honor your father and your mother (Deuteronomy 5:16)

 

These are the other 5 commandments that Jesus did not list:

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Do not have any other gods before the Lord God (Deuteronomy 5:7)

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Do not surrender to any graven images (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

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Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (Deuteronomy 5:11)

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Keep the sabbath (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

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Do not covet your neighbor's wife or any of his belongings (Deuteronomy 5:21)

 

When one compares the two lists, it becomes evident that the former list focuses on one's external interaction with others, while the latter list focuses on one's internal interaction with God. Even though the last commandment of the latter list seems to focus on our interaction with others, it really doesn't. I must admit that, as I was reading Deuteronomy 5:21 before summarizing it in the list above, I began to chuckle. Why? Because a literal understanding of that verse seems to equate the neighbor's wife with his ox and his other animals:

 

"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s" (Deuteronomy 5:21)

 

Consider now what the Spirit declares in the following passage:

 

"9For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope." (1 Corinthians 9:9-10)

 

If God sees an inherent value in humans that exceeds that of oxen, why would God apparently place the neighbor's wife in the same list as his ox, his ass, and his other material possessions? Because He is revealing a basic truth about covetousness. When a man covets his neighbor's wife, he is, in effect, reducing her to a mere object of possession. He is reducing her to an object from which he will derive temporary benefits, in the same way that he can derive temporary benefits from a luxury car or a microwave oven. Such a man is unable to see the "God-value" in his neighbor's wife, the "God-value" that makes man different from animals. We are the only creatures that were created in the image and likeness of God, and we are the only creatures with the potential to be One with God. God is Holy, meaning that He is worthy of reverence and respect. Since woman was also created in God's image and likeness, she must be treated with a certain reverence and respect. Even though she is a weaker vessel than man, she deserves to be cherished and honored. When a man covets his neighbor's wife, he is denying her "holiness"; he is denying the fact that, as a "holy" vessel, she has been set apart unto her husband in the natural realm, and unto God in the spirit realm.

 

"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." (1 Peter 3:7)

 

Notice that a husband's "prayers" are hindered if he does not cherish his wife. As we have said before, prayer is an act of prophetic intimacy with God, meaning that true prayer is "an exercise in Oneness with God". If a husband does not honor his wife, he is failing to see that she also has access to God's eternal life, i.e.- to Oneness with God. He is therefore failing to see the "God-value" in her, and, when he does so, he belittles his own "God-value", thereby hindering his own intimate access to God.

 

From all of the above, we can conclude that Deuteronomy 5:21 is not so much a commandment regarding our interaction with others. Instead, it is a commandment regarding our interaction with God. We can therefore say that the 10 commandments are divided into two groups of 5. One group deals with external, moral behavior towards others, and the other group deals with our internal behavior towards God.

 

In the case of the ruler who asked Jesus about "eternal life" in Luke 18:18-25, Jesus only listed the 5 commandments that had to with moral behavior towards others, to which the ruler responded, "I have kept all of these from my youth" (v21). When Jesus heard this, He did not say, "Liar, liar". Instead, He says to him, "You lack one thing" (v22), as if to say, "Yes, you have kept these 5 commandments, but the Father is calling you to enter into the other 5, and, in order to do so, you must do one thing first".

 

The fact that Lord assented to the ruler's claim in verse 21 reveals that the ruler was indeed a "righteous" man. This ruler was a "model citizen" who didn't steal or kill or commit adultery; he did not spread false rumors about others, and he was very respectful of his parents. In other words, no neighbor of his could hold anything against him because he had harmed no one. He was the type of person who paid all his debts and fulfilled all that was required of him. However, Jesus was now asking him to do something that was not required of him. In other words, the Lord was now asking him to do something to which he had the option of saying "no"; He was asking him the following: "Sell all that you have and distribute unto the poor, and follow Me" (v22). The ruler had no "obligation" to freely give unto others what was legitimately his. This ruler had never kept anything that was not his, but he was now being asked to give away what was his. No one could hold it against him if he refused this offer. It is obviously not a crime to keep what is yours. Yet, this optional offer was the key for this ruler to move from the 5 commandments that he had kept into the 5 commandments he was being called to keep.

 

All of this means that, in God's eyes, there are 2 levels of "righteousness":

  1. The righteousness where you fulfill your obligations

  2. The righteousness where you voluntarily give of yourself for others.

 

Those at "level-1" righteousness abide by the saying, "Live and let die", but those at "level-2" righteousness abide by the saying, "Die and let live". Those who stay at "Level-1" are worried about their own righteousness, which motivates them to fulfill all their legal obligations towards others, but they are not worried about the righteousness of others. Level-1 believers are worried about being right with God themselves, but they are not concerned about others being right with God.

 

Those who stay at "level-1" righteousness can fulfill the 5 commandments that deal with our external interaction with others. These 5 commandments do not demand an intimate awareness of God. In fact, a person can even be an atheist and live by these commandments (in their literal sense). There are many people who do not have any intimacy with God, but who believe in the commandment "Thou shalt not kill".

 

On the other hand, those who move on to "level-2" righteousness can live out the 5 commandments which the Lord did not mention to the ruler in Luke 18:20; these 5 other commandments deal with our internal interaction with God. Therefore, level-2 believers can have direct and intimate access with God, which means that they have unhindered access to eternal life, i.e. to Oneness with God.

 

The two Adams

Scripture speaks of "two Adams":

 

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45)

 

The word "living" in "living soul" was translated from the Greek word zao, and the word "quickening" in "quickening spirit" was translated from the word zoopoieo, which is derived from the word zao and the word poieo, which literally means "to make, to practice". Therefore, a more accurate translation of zoopoieo would be "life-making", "life-practicing", or "life-giving".

 

According to 1 Corinthians 15:45, the first Adam was made a "soul with life", but the last Adam (i.e.- Jesus) was made a "spirit that gives life". As we have shared before, the first Adam knowingly ate of the forbidden fruit because he was unwilling to die in sacrifice for Eve. Had he not eaten of the fruit, Eve would have been separated from his side, and he knew that God would then have asked him to give his life in ransom for Eve. He was a "soul with life", but he was unwilling to "give spiritual life" to Eve by dying physically. The last Adam, however, was not only interested in having life Himself, but was willing to give His life so that others might have life.

 

"Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die" (1 Corinthians 15:36)

 

The word "quickened" in the verse above was also translated from the Greek word zoopoieo. Therefore, it is evident that the transition from the living Adam to the life-giving Adam is the willingness to die for others. This is what Jesus asked of the ruler of Luke 18:18-25, but the ruler was unwilling to make a sacrifice that transcended his own interests and obligations.

 

The word zoopoieo can also be translated as "life-practicing". In other words, it speaks of someone who not only has life but uses it for a purpose. Consider, for example, the difference between someone who owns a car that stays in the garage all day long and someone who not only owns the car but takes it out of the garage and uses it to move around. A person can have life on the inside, but if the person is not shedding that life in sacrifice for others (under the direction of the Spirit), it's a motionless life, a stagnant life that is not carrying out one of its ultimate purposes.

 

The Promise

In Hebrews 10, the Lord speaks about "a promise":

 

"32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (Hebrews 10:32-39)

[The word "patience" in verse 36 was translated from the Greek word hypomene, which, as we have seen before, speaks of apostolic endurance]

 

Notice that verse 32 speaks of "illumination" followed by "the endurance of great afflictions". The illumination refers to the moment when we believe, are born again, and begin the pursuit of God's higher calling for our lives. Contrary to popular belief, the moment of illumination is not the end of the story, just like the physical birth of a child is not the end of the story. After the birth of illumination comes the process of growth, which entails the "endurance of great afflictions". Notice how verse 34 then speaks of believers allowing the "spoiling of their goods" in order to bless someone else. This means that the writer of Hebrews was speaking to "level-2" believers who were willing to "die" for the sake of others.

 

Verse 36 then declares that, as we apostolically persevere in this level-2 attitude, "the will of God" will be done, and we will receive "the promise". What is "the will of God" that verse 36 is referring to? To answer that, we must go to the following verse:

 

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

 

Notice that this verse once again speaks of the "promise" and the "will of God". The word "willing" above was translated from the Greek verb boulomai, which speaks of "intention", "disposition", "inclination" or "a deliberate purpose". It is evident, therefore, that those who seek to fulfill the "will of God" mentioned in Hebrews 10:36 will share God's "disposition" or "deliberate purpose" in seeing others repent so that they may enter into God's righteousness. Notice that 2 Peter 3:9 does not say, "... not willing that any should perish, but that all be blessed and not suffer". God's desire is for all to repent, which means that they recognize their unrighteousness and submit themselves to the righteousness of God. As we have seen before, Scripture shows that repentance is fostered through spiritual judgments. Therefore, the "will of God" is carried out as we take a disposition to see the righteousness of God manifested in the lives of others (not just in our own lives), and that entails a disposition to "die" for them along with a disposition to unleash spiritual judgments against their unrighteousness so that they may be restored.

 

When we enter into "Level-2 righteousness", we become agents of the "will of God", which, according to 2 Peter 3:9, means that we become agents of true repentance unto righteousness in others. According to Hebrews 10:32-39, this means that we must voluntarily and proactively give of ourselves for others, even for people with whom we might not have any type of "personal" attachment. Why? Because, according to 2 Peter 3:9, it is the will of God that all should come to repentance.

 

As we persevere in fighting to see God's righteousness in others, we will receive the "promise", i.e.- we will enter into the "Promised Land", and that Promised Land is God Himself. Those who reach the "Promised Land" will be One with God for eternity.

 

"11O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1)

 

In the verses prior to the passage shown above, Paul speaks of how he and other laborers suffered for the sake of others, which reaffirms the connection between caring for others and the receiving of "the promise" (mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:1). Notice the expression "our heart is enlarged" in verse 11 above. This speaks of someone whose "will" (i.e.- heart) is "expansive", seeking to bring others into the righteousness of God. This expansiveness extends even beyond the realm of one's close relatives and "loved ones".

 

In verse 12, Paul says to the Corinthians that they are "straitened" in "their own bowels". Here, Paul is saying to the Corinthians that they are not being "expansive" in their nature. In Scripture, the "bowels" generally refer to "mercy" (Jeremiah 31:20), meaning that Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to manifest "mercy" by being expansive and sacrificing themselves so that others may enter into God's righteousness and purposes. An act of mercy is by definition voluntary, and it entails a desire to lift others up.

 

After exhorting them to "be enlarged" in verse 13, Paul then begins to speak about fellowship and communion in verses 14 through 16. Then, in verse 17, God says, "If you separate yourself from communion with unrighteousness and Belial purposelessness, I will receive you". Then, in verse 1 of chapter 7, the Spirit speaks of this as a "promise". Therefore, it is evident that the "promise" we have before us is of God receiving us into Him so that we may be United to Him for eternity. Verse 18 says that He will be a Father unto us if we separate ourselves from unrighteousness and seek after His righteousness. Remember, Paul is writing this to believers, not to unbelievers!!! As we seek after His truth and judgments, God's Fatherhood becomes real in our lives, and if we persevere in that search until the end, He will be a Father unto us for eternity, and we will be One with Him forever. This is the promise we are after.

 

"I and my Father are one" (John 10:30)

 

"And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." (1 John 2:25)

 

Even though this promise is available to all who have believed, not all believers will reach it:

 

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Hebrews 4:1)

 

This is why Hebrews 10:38-39 (quoted above) speaks of "not drawing back". In other words, it is possible for a believer to be on the road to the Promise and "retreat" halfway down the road. There is a spiritual chasm in the middle of the road, and that chasm separates the "first-Adam" believers from the "last-Adam" believers. Those who are not willing to pay the full price for others will reach the edge of the chasm and retreat to the comfort of a "first-Adam" life (this is what the young ruler of Luke 18:18-25 above did). Those who are willing to pay the price will walk on the invisible bridge that hangs over the chasm and enter into a "last-Adam" life. Those who are focused on seeing the "will of God" (i.e.- the righteousness of God in others) fulfilled will be able to walk through the entire bridge, and they will reach the Promise of Eternal Life in God. As Hebrews 10:38 declares, this walk requires faith. While most pastors quote Hebrews 10:38 ("the just shall live by faith") to emphasize the importance of faith in getting your brand new car or your job promotion, Scripture associates it with enduring through affliction so that God's righteousness may be manifested in one's life and in the lives of others. First-Adam believers see faith in terms of personal benefits. Last-Adam believers see faith in terms of "the will of God" in their own lives and in the lives of others.

 

The blood connection

In Acts chapter 17, the Spirit declares the following:

 

"22Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:22-28)

 

According to verse 26, God made all nations of men out of "one blood". This "one blood" refers to the fact that all men and women on the face of the Earth came out of the same man: the first Adam. There is something inside of us that identifies us with the same origin, no matter the race. This common element enables each one of us to "aspire" to being One with God, just as the first Adam could freely engage in direct communion with God in the Garden of Eden before his fall (Genesis 3:8).

 

When the first Adam fell, that "one blood" commonality remained in all human beings, but man was temporarily separated into different nations of men (v26). As we have said before, the separation among nations is due to the entrance of the Girgashite spirit into the human race. Since Girgashites are self-centered and focused on the visible, they tend to lump together around externally visible factors such as race or nationality, and they tend to invest their lives on those whom they consider to be "their own". I know Girgashite believers who would step in front of a steam roller to save their biological children but who wouldn't move a single finger to save the life of someone else's child.

 

While the Girgashite spirit of the fallen first Adam remains in place, it is impossible for mankind to be united, despite the "one blood" commonality that still remains. As we have said before, Canaanites love soul communion, and they try to take advantage of the "one blood" commonality to bring people "together", but that "togetherness" will never amount to more than an ugly "patchwork quilt" unless that "oneness" is in the apostolic righteousness of God. Notice that God does not point to our "one blood origin" (v26) as a way to compel us to be united amongst ourselves. Instead, He points to it in order to compel us to be united to Him. This is why He speaks of "seeking the Lord" in the following verse (v27). 

 

Since Girgashites focus on what is visible with the eyes of the natural mind, they cannot "see" the "one blood" commonality in people with whom they do not share a common external characteristic such as the last name or nationality. On the other hand, those who are anti-Girgashite (i.e.- prophetic) are able to "see" that hidden "one blood origin", and they can identify with other human beings regardless of external factors. Therefore, the prophetic anointing leads to believers who are willing to sacrifice themselves for others in love. Untempered by apostolic judgments, however, the prophetic goes Canaanite and forges a false unity that ignores righteousness and judgments.

 

When you are able to prophetically visualize the "one blood" commonality with others without forgetting the apostolic foundation of righteousness, you will proactively seek to unite others unto God in righteousness, just like Paul in Acts chapter 17. Paul was a Jew, and he was speaking to Athenian Greeks who were hundreds of miles away from his hometown of Tarsus, yet his heart longed to see these "strangers" united to God in righteousness. This is why he speaks to them about repentance and judgments:

 

"30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)

[Notice that verse 30 does not say, "and God commandeth all men everywhere to get along because they all come from one blood"]

 

Fellow believer, as you walk in the "last Adam", you will develop a zeal for the nations that transcends any ties of race, color, or nationality. You will long to see the fulfillment of God's righteousness and purposes in the lives of people living in countries you have never visited. God will begin placing specific nations in your heart for you to pray for, and He will make you aware of how your prayers are affecting the lives of the people in those nations. You will become fully aware of the invisible "blood connection" of Acts 17:26.

 

Those who walk in the "last Adam" begin to manifest the "son of God" nature inside of them, and, as a result, they begin to ask God for the nations of the Earth:

 

"7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2:7-8)

[The word "heathen" was mistranslated from the Hebrew word goyim, which literally means "nations"]

 

Those who walk in the "last Adam" are outward-looking and expansive by nature. They are spiritual conquerors who become proactive agents of God's will on Earth.

 

Help!

After God created man, Scripture declares the following:

 

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Genesis 2:18)

 

The word "help" was translated from the Hebrew word ezer. This word appears in 21 different verses of the Old Testament. This is a brief list of how this word is used:

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In 2 verses of Genesis chapter 2, it is used to refer to the help of "woman".

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In 14 verses, it is used to refer to the help of God.

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In 1 verse (Psalm 89:19), it is used to refer to the help of Messiah.

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In 1 verse (Psalm 121:1), it is used to refer to the uselessness of false idols' help.

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In 3 verses, it is used to refer to the uselessness of carnal man's help.

 

Notice how the Hebrew word for "help" is used an overwhelming amount of time (14 times, 2/3 of the time) to refer directly to the help of God. Out of the 21 times that it appears, it is only used 4 times in a negative way, and, in 3 of those 4 occasions (1/7 of the time), it is used to refer to the futility of "help" when it comes from natural man.

 

Out of the 17 times that it is used in a positive way, it is only used 3 times to refer directly to the help of someone other than God; out of those 3 times, it used once to refer to the help of God's chosen one, the Messiah, and it is used twice to refer to the help of "woman". Why? Because God wanted Adam to see the image of God in the weaker woman that He was giving him. The help of "woman" was equivalent to the help of God, because His image was inside that weaker vessel.

 

As we said above, Deuteronomy 5:21 reveals that those who want to move in the "last Adam" must be willing to see the "God-value" in "the more fragile vessels". As we have said before, the first Adam wanted Eve, and he needed her, but he was unwilling to truly love her by giving himself in sacrifice for her. Why? Because he was unable to visualize the "God-value" in her.

 

According to Genesis 2:18, it was not good that Adam remain alone, so God gave him a person who was physically weaker than himself to help him. Why was it not "good" that Adam remain alone, without the company of a person weaker than himself? To answer this, we must go to the following passage:

 

"10Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. 11The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." (Psalm 68:10-11)

[The word "goodness" in verse 10 was translated from the Hebrew word towb, which is the same word that was translated as "good" in Genesis 2:18. In the original Hebrew, it seems like verse 11 refers to a company of women who are announcing the Lord's word.

 

In many translations, the word "goodness" in verse 10 is translated as "good news". The word "evangelism" is derived from the Greek word for "good news" (euaggellos). Therefore, this passage is speaking about evangelism. As we have said before, there is a strong connection between the "evangelistic anointing" and the "poor", so it is not surprising that the word "poor" is mentioned in this passage about spiritual evangelism.

 

The word "word" in verse 11 was translated from the Hebrew word amar, from which the word "Amorite" is derived. As we have said before, Amorite kingdoms establish structures where the "poor" are put to shame. Therefore, the Lord is saying here that He will raise up the "poor" to tear down the kingdoms of the very Amorites who have systematically put them to shame.]

 

Notice that God prepares His goodness for the poor. As you may recall, the ruler of Luke 18:18-25 was asked to sell his possessions and give to the poor. As we have said before, the "poor" in Scripture are a figure of those who do not have value or authority that is visible to the natural mind. Therefore, God is saying that His goodness strengthens and lifts up those who are "poor" so that they may manifest the hidden God-value inside of them (Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 19:17).

 

As we have said before, the word "good" in Scripture (towb in Hebrew and agathos in Greek) speaks about God's righteousness. Therefore, God is declaring that His righteousness goes beyond just being righteous Himself. His righteousness also manifests itself in His desire to raise up those who are "poor" to the natural eye so that they may manifest their God-potential; this is "Level-2 goodness".

 

"10Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. 11Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. 12And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant." (Psalm 143:10-12)

[Notice the reference to the "will of God" in verse 10, which correlates with what we have said so far: it is God's will to see others manifest His God nature on Earth.

 

Notice also how verse 10 correlates God's "goodness" with His "uprightness"; most believers seem to equate God's "goodness" merely with material or emotional "blessings" that make them "feel good". However, God's goodness is, in essence, a reference to His righteousness and just judgments.

 

Notice also how the psalmist appeals to God's righteousness as a reason to redeem him from his soul's affliction (v11). Notice also how the psalmist asks the "good" God (v10) of mercy (v12) to cut off his enemies and destroy them all (v12); remember, the psalmist wrote this under the Anointing of the Spirit! God's "goodness" is related to His righteousness, and God's righteousness always comes to destroy unrighteousness, and His righteousness destroys all those persons who unrepentantly abide in their unrighteousness (Romans 1:17-18).]

 

Notice that the psalmist asks God to "quicken" him in verse 11. The word "quicken" was translated from the Hebrew word chayah, which literally means, "to vivify, to have life". In other words, the psalmist was asking God to help him cross the bridge from the "living soul" first Adam to the "life-giving" or "life-practicing" last Adam. When we pour ourselves out for others in God's Level-2 "goodness" (or "righteousness"), we help the "poor" to be transformed into "life-giving" Adams. In other words, when you act as a "life-giving Adam", you beget other "life-giving Adams". This is what Jesus did for us, and this is what we are called to do for others.

 

In conclusion, it was not "good" that Adam remain alone because it was necessary that he have someone "poor" to sacrifice himself for. In a sense, the woman was "poorer" than Adam because of her physical frailty with respect to him. God's plan was for Adam to grow into God's exact image, which means that Adam had to grow into "Level-2 goodness". Adam already had "Level-1 goodness" because he was sinless and righteous in and of himself, but he had to prove that he could voluntarily sacrifice himself for someone else so that that other person (in this case, Eve) could be lifted up and manifest the "God-image" that was hidden inside of her. Adam was called to grow into the full image of God, which meant that he had to grow into the fullness of God's goodness, and that goodness was incomplete unless he had someone weaker to give himself for. Unfortunately, the first Adam not only refused to go into Level-2 righteousness, but he regressed into "Level-0 righteousness" (i.e.- unrighteousness). He preferred to sin and die spiritually before dying physically to restore Eve.

 

On the other hand, the last Adam, Jesus, took a different route. Jesus' death was not prompted by any unrighteousness of His own because there was no unrighteousness in Him. His death was prompted by His willful decision to die for others. At the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had the option of going to the cross. If He had chosen not to go, God would not have "sent Him to hell". This is why the Lord said the following during His arrest:

 

"52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:52-54)

 

Notice that Jesus had the option of escaping arrest. If He had wanted to, He could have asked the Father to send 12 legions of angels to save Him from the death of the cross. He would have remained sinless, but He would have been the only one who was sinless, and we all would have been doomed to die in our sin condition. In other words, He would have been left alone in the "group of the sinless", and it is not good that man remain alone.

 

"23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. 27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again" (John 12:23-28)

[Notice that verse 25 declares that only those who are willing to shed their lives in this world will reach "eternal life"]

 

The second-death antidote

The Lord said the following to the church in Smyrna:

 

"8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of satan. 10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." (Revelation 2:8-11)

 

Notice that the Lord refers to Himself as "the first and the last" in verse 8. He is the "first" because He moved in the nature of the "first Adam", and He is the "last" because He moved in the nature of the "last Adam". Therefore, by saying that He is "the first and the last", the Lord is declaring that He crossed "Adam's bridge" by making the successful transition from the Level-1 righteousness of the "first Adam" to the Level-2 righteousness of the "last Adam", and He did this by giving up His life. This is why verse 8 ends by saying that He "was dead, and is alive".

 

Instead of telling Smyrna that its suffering was over, the Lord warns Smyrna of future suffering in verse 10. Why was Smyrna "doomed" to future suffering? Why didn't God, who is Almighty, simply act on Smyrna's behalf and end its suffering? Because Smyrna chose to suffer and die just as Jesus had done. As we said above, the Father could have sent 12 legions of angels to rescue Jesus from His death at Golgotha, but He did not because Jesus had voluntarily accepted to die for others. Jesus wanted to see the righteousness inside of Him ("Level-1" righteousness) manifested in the lives of others ("Level-2" righteousness).

 

According to Revelation 2:11, those who are willing to die so that others may live in righteousness "shall not be hurt of the second death". The "first death" refers to the death of the "first Adam". This death is inevitable (Hebrews 9:27). Those who undergo this "first death" voluntarily will resurrect into the newness of the "last Adam". Those who are forced to suffer the "first death" will not see the "second Adam" (i.e.- the "last Adam") fully formed in them. This is the "second death".

 

Throughout 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the Spirit speaks about the transition that all of us must make from the first Adam to the last Adam. Notice what Paul writes in the following verses:

 

"31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (1 Corinthians 15:31-34)

[A better translation of verse 31 would be "I assure you, by the rejoicing over you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily"]

 

In verse 31, Paul speaks of his "daily death" so that others may enter into God's righteousness. Notice how Paul tells the Corinthian believers to "awaken unto righteousness", and he judges some of them, declaring that they are believers who do not "know God". As we have said before, Hosea 4:5-11 shows that "to know God" is to know the God of justice and judgments. Therefore, we can see that Paul's willingness to "die daily" was not so that the Corinthians would receive material and emotional "blessings". It was so that they would enter into and abide in the righteousness of God.

 

Shortly before speaking of "daily death", Paul wrote the following:

 

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthinas 15:54)

[Only those who move in the "last Adam" will defeat the last enemy, the "second death"]

 

The "death" referred to in the verse above is the "second death" of Revelation 2:11. Therefore, we can safely conclude from all of the above that the antidote to the "second death" is to enter into the "last Adam", and we do this when we become concerned with the manifestation of God's righteousness in others. This concern will grow out of our willingness to see the God-value in others, even when that God-value is wrapped in a weak exterior. As that concern grows, we will voluntarily give of ourselves. We will raise up others so that they may enter into the fullness of God's righteousness and Glory.

 

"Camelous" believers

At the end of Luke 18:18-25 (quoted above), the Lord says the following:

 

"For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:25)

 

To understand the spiritual meaning of this verse, we must study the origins of the word "camel". The word "camel" was translated from the Greek word kamelos, which, interestingly enough, has a Hebrew origin; the Greek word kamelos is derived from the Hebrew word for "camel", gamal, which in turn is derived from the almost identical word gamal meaning "to recompense". Therefore, the camel in Luke 18:25 is a figure of a person who has "collected" his recompense here on this Earth, and that recompense is "stored up" in the camel's humps.

 

"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matthew 6:2)

[The men that the Lord describes here were giving alms to the "poor", but they were doing it as "charitable giants" who felt "sorry" for the poor. They saw the poor as "children of a lesser god", not as people with the potential to be One with God.]

 

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matthew 6:5)

[As we said above, prayer is an "exercise in Oneness with God". The men in this passage were claiming through their prayers that they were in Oneness with God, but, those who engage in true, direct contact with God will have their inner being molded into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18), which means that they will eventually start manifesting "Level-2" righteousness that motivates them to care for others, and not to get adulation from others.]

 

The men portrayed by the Lord in the two verses above are men who are solely concerned about their own "righteousness" and who care little about lifting others up. Therefore, these men had "Level-1" righteousness, at best.

 

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)

 

From Matthew 6:2, Matthew 6:5, and the reference to the "camel" in Luke 18:25, we can conclude that those who stay at "Level-1" righteousness have their recompense in this life, but will not receive the recompense of eternal life. Such people turn into camels who store up their temporal recompense on their humps, and this obsession with the accumulation of temporal recompense eventually degrades them into covetous people, like the Israelites of Numbers chapter 11 who demanded the recompense of "animal flesh" from God and got it, but at the price of them not entering into the Promised Land.

 

The Kingdom of God

As Matthew 5:20 and Luke 18:25 declare, believers with Level-1 righteousness will not enter into the Kingdom of God, even when they will not "go to literal hell". They will only see the Kingdom of God, but not enter into it:

 

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3)

 

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5)

 

Being "born again" allows us to see the Kingdom. Being "born of water and of the Spirit" allows us to enter into the Kingdom. The "water" that the Lord is referring to in John 3:5 is the water of the following verse:

 

"But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water" (John 19:34)

 

This water issued out of the side of the Lord's body after He had died on the cross. Therefore, it speaks of a person in "Level-2" righteousness who is willing to sacrifice him or herself for others. Those who are "born of water" are those who are born out of the sacrifice of those who abide in Christ's "Level-2" righteousness. When we are "born of water", we are cleansed of our unrighteousness and given a chance to start a brand new life of righteousness. When we repent and are "born again", we are spiritually "baptized" and "born of water".

 

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21)

 

John 3:5 also speaks of those who are "born of the Spirit". To understand what this means, we must go to the following verse:

 

"28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." (Galatians 4:28-29)

 

Therefore, the believers who are "born of the Spirit" are those who are chasing after the Promise. In a sense, they are "pregnant" with the Promise. They are those who will not be satisfied until they reach the Promised Land, and that Promised Land is Oneness with the Fearsome God of Consuming Fire for eternity (Isaiah 33:14-17).

 

The "one born after the flesh" referred to in Galatians 4:29 is Ishmael. Both Ishmael and Isaac were physical sons of Abraham, but only Isaac was "the child of Promise". In the same way, there are many believers who have the literal label of "sons of Abraham" but who will not inherit the Promise because they have been born after the "flesh" of religiosity and are comfortable with Level-1 righteousness at best.

 

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:50)

 

John 19:34 (quoted above) says that blood and water came out when the Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus' body. As we said above, the "water" refers to the cleansing out of our unrighteousness, which enables us to "see" the Kingdom. The "blood", however, speaks of Oneness with Him:

 

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:54)

[The Lord will raise them up on the last day because they allowed the last Adam to be manifested in them.]

 

Therefore, we can say that only those who are seeking after Level-2 righteousness are truly participating in the "blood" of Jesus. The "water" that came forth from Him cleanses us on the outside, but the "blood" must course on the inside of us. Those who are "born of water" enter into Level-1 righteousness. Those who are "born of the Spirit" enter into Level-2 righteousness and have the "blood" of Jesus flowing on the inside of them. Those are the ones who will enter into the Kingdom of God and reach the Promise.

 

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13)

 

Notice how the Lord emphasizes the fact that righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and new earth. The verse above does not end by saying, "wherein dwelleth blessings galore". In God's Kingdom, only righteous hearts can dwell, and that righteousness must be fully compatible with God's righteousness, meaning that only hearts with "Level-2" righteousness can enter into God's Kingdom.

 

"7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8)

 

According to verse 7 above, only those who overcome will reach the eternal inheritance, and only those who overcome will be called "sons of God" for eternity. According to Revelation 2:8-11 (quoted earlier), those who overcome are those who manifest Level-2 righteousness by sacrificially giving of themselves so that others may enter into God's righteousness and judgments.

 

The word "part" in Revelation 21:8 above was translated from the Greek word meros, which has the connotation of "inheritance", as when a large lot of land is "partitioned" to be distributed as inheritance amongst the sons. Therefore, Revelation 21:8 is speaking about those who will lose their eternal inheritance. It is interesting to note that Revelation 21:8 does not say, "But those who did not repeat the sinner's prayer shall have their inheritance in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone". Instead, it lists "unrighteous qualities" that "disqualify" a believer from receiving the eternal inheritance, which means that our eternal inheritance depends on a heart that longs for His righteousness and judgments. The first "unrighteous quality" mentioned is "fearfulness". Why? Because fear is the first factor that keeps believers from crossing Adam's bridge. Just like with the ruler of Luke 18:18-25, the pain and sacrifice involved in suffering for the sake of others "frightens" most believers. This fear persuades them to stay on the more comfortable side of the bridge. They prefer to stay in the righteousness of their "first Adam", and they lose out on their eternal inheritance, thereby suffering "hurt of the second death" (Revelation 2:11).

 

"38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (Hebrews 10:38-39)

 

We reach the full salvation of the soul when we refuse to withdraw out of fear. Those who are willing to walk across the invisible Adam's bridge in faith shall overcome and enter into the fullness of God's Kingdom.