John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
The following dissertation, if I may call it that, was prompted by my dear friend Lenny Antonsson's writings , on resurrection life and his testimony of how that life has increasingly become real to him in day to day living in spite of terrible bouts of physical pain and feelings of frustration as he has yearned to communicate this reality to a group of beloved brethren.
In my meditation concerning the "truth which is in Christ Jesus" (John 1:17; II John 1:3), I keep coming back to the unavoidable conclusion rooted in me by revelation and totally supported by the text of scripture that life is the truth and death is the lie. What trips people up in their thinking is that they equate "lie" with "nonexistence." The lie and nonexistence are not synonymous. No, the lie is existentially actual, but it IS NOT the truth.
As the truth is unfolding in our space-time existence, it permits the antagonism and attack of the lie, but it is still the lie. It has a kind of substance in space-time; you might say a kind of anti-substance existence in the way, possibly, that science speaks of anti-matter. In the truth there is victory, and death (the lie) is swallowed up in victory. The lie is not a disembodied thing. It counterfeits the incarnation. It comes to us in a body of sin, weakness, pain, sorrow, affliction, in short a body of death; very existential, but still not true.
The truth, or reality, is life, and not only life, but resurrection life. It is life that has been fully subjected to death and all that death includes, and has emerged victorious, crowned with glory and reigning forever. The truth took the cup of death to it's lips and drank to the last drop until death was swallowed up in victory.
"What is truth?" (John 18:38). Pilate asked that as Truth stood before him, His glory hidden, veiled in vulnerability. But soon He was to prove that He was indeed the Lord, the living God incarnate, He who has the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:18), He who would defeat the one foe that has defeated every man from the least to the greatest, the foe that has laughed at every feeble human attempt to escape it's inexorable hold. Wait, did I say inexorable? Forgive me.
Christ exposed that lie in spite of seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He proved that it is life which is inexorable, and proved it by plunging into the river of pollution which is death and coming forth uncontaminated and victorious in the fulness of the life which the Father gave Him to have in Himself.
That is resurrection life.
That is our Lord, Christ Jesus,
AND WE ARE IN HIM AND HIS VICTORY IS OUR VICTORY.
So let the lie be repeated in all it's dreary, monotonous, pathetic and ugly forms. As long as our God permits, sickness, affliction and pain will sound death's lying message in the futile attempt to drown out the truth, but we know WHO is TRUE and in that TRUTH we stand, replete in His armor, the armor which He is, impervious to that which the lie hopes to accomplish. We are alive in Christ Jesus, gloriously alive. He is alive in us and He is our life and that is the TRUTH.
The flesh realm has been intimidated by the claim that death terminates life, but the truth is, that life, resurrection life, terminates death. As the pen is mightier than the sword, likewise, the Spirit's whisper within our hearts: "Death is defeated," is more powerful finally than the shallow din of death's insistent and persistent claim that it has the last say.
No, no, a thousand times, no. He lives, and because He lives, we live also, in the glory of His resurrection
The day of the end of the lie is upon us wherein God says, "NO MORE!!! NO MORE DEATH!!!" That day dawned and the dawn revealed an empty tomb and the end of the futility to which we had been subjected. Oh death, you mocked us in our futile attempts to defeat you. Now we mock you in your futile attempt to escape the Lake of Fire and Brimstone into which you and your entire dimension (Hades) have been cast (Rev. 20:14). That day, the Day of the Lord is our day, for that is the day that is in Christ. It is not a day that belongs to the chronology of time but to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I send this message out particularly in the hope that it will be a comfort and confirmation to the many brethren who are near and dear to me and to those whom I do not know personally, the many who are courageously continuing on, in and where God has placed them, in spite of the very existential wracking of their mortal bodies by incessant debilitation, weakness and pain.
Be of good courage, in you, in Christ, God is demonstrating His victory in the face of the lie. I send forth this message also on the wings of the Spirit to my fellow Americans reeling from the shock of the violent spasm of death's delusion that has filled our TV screens. Once again death has tried it's best to demonstrate it's supremacy in the human condition and yet has managed to produce the opposite effect on millions in our beloved land and all over the world.
In our revulsion we are turned, brought to repentance, brought to a change of mind whereby we cannot and will not yield to that which is intolerable. Against the back drop of destruction, chaos and mayhem there arises in our hearts the still, small, quiet voice whispering gently but powerfully that this too will pass away and everything of it's ilk will finally and fully come to a whimpering end, the very end it envisioned for mankind.
When our God wipes away the last of humanities' tears we will know and believe the love God has for us. Once, on a hill called Golgotha, the enemy, death, struck what it hoped would be the conclusive blow to mankind's hope of life eternal. In it's diabolical audacity it struck the Lord of Life not knowing that blow would be the instrument of the reconciliation of the world, for on the cross, God in Christ, took the full force of the blow and responded by continuing to love us unto reconciliation.
Yes, we, the unwitting instruments of the great enemy, we, in mindless complicity with it's purpose heard the reconciling words, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Temporal justice for crimes against humanity and civilization itself is one thing and we support that justice. But a justice that circumscribes all lesser forms of itself will prevail and our God will show Himself to be the Justifier of the ungodly and even the most heinous of sins will be washed away by the precious blood of Christ.
Which of us, in different circumstances from those in which we have been providentially placed, is not capable of the same infamy.
After a century and a half of being comparatively untouched by the kind of numbing catastrophes into which other parts of the world have been plunged with appalling frequency, we have become their brethren in tribulation again. We will not, and do not, sit petulantly nursing our wounds thinking, "How could this happen to us?" for we are one world, in one condition, the condition of needing God and, dear God, how we have been awakened to that need. But praise God, He is the Savior of all, the Savior of the world, nothing less.
Lord Jesus save us, save us all, not from some religiously and superstitiously imagined destiny of eternal torment, but save us from the sin and death that screams at us now, calling us to believe the lie. Save us by your resurrection life. Pour out that life from your place of enthronement in heaven and in us and thoroughly convince us that we have been reconciled by your death and that we shall be saved by your life (Rom. 5:10). Amen, Selah.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
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