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I Curse Death

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The Power of His Resurrection

Philippians 3:7-11(NKJV) - But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

As I prepare to preach this Resurrection Sunday at The Body Church, I've been mulling the significance of this scripture. In our current sermon series, Vision 2018, we've come to the part where we're dealing with "The Power of God" and the role it plays in our personal and corporate church growth. I don't consider it a coincidence that what God wants to say to us this Easter Sunday is directly in line with what He's already saying to us in this sermon series. So today, I'll introduce Sunday's message in this blog.

Apostle Paul's primary desire was to know Jesus Christ. He put that desire above everything else in his life including his personal accomplishments and self-generated righteousness. He then elaborated on the specific aspects of Christ that interested him the most. He wanted to know Christ in two main ways; the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. Why? So that the same victory Jesus Christ attained over death would also be his portion. In other words, through Christ's resurrection, he would receive his own resurrection.

At first glance, it seems quite simple. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, so that those of us who were once dead because of sin, can receive life through Him. That life manifests itself through instant spiritual renewal at the point of salvation. It is then followed up by physical resurrection on The Last Day (not before) when Jesus returns to earth. For those who die before that day, the resurrection is literal. Yet, for those who are still alive, their natural bodies which are subject to death and are already in the process of dying will be changed to immortal, glorified bodies similar to the one Jesus received. It also means that those who are in Christ will not experience eternal death which is separation from God. Yet, there's more.

John 11:1-7, 11-15, 20-27(NKJV) - Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, “He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” ... These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house... Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After Lazarus died, Mary and Martha were distraught. First, they were devastated by the loss of their beloved brother. However, what made it worse was that Jesus knew Lazarus was sick, had the power to do something about it and never showed up until after Lazarus was dead. Interestingly enough, Jesus revealed to His disciples that He did that on purpose. It was actually Jesus' intention to let Lazarus die first so that He could raise Lazarus from death (sleep) and glorify God through it. As demonstrated in their conversation, Martha exposed the outer limits of her faith in the power of Jesus. First, she believed that Jesus had the power to heal so if Jesus had arrived on time Lazarus would have been saved. Then, she believed in The Resurrection at The Last Day. At that point, all believers would rise again so even though Lazarus was dead He would live again eventually.

The only thing she didn't believe was God's power to do anything for someone after physical death and before The Resurrection. In other words, she didn't fully understand The Power of His Resurrection. So, to teach her and the rest of us a valuable lesson about His true power, Jesus orchestrated the perfect demonstration. His main goal was to redefine The Resurrection as a person (Himself) and not an event that takes place on The Last Day alone. Hence, wherever He was present, so was His supreme power over death. He also used the opportunity to explain that belief alone gives anyone access to His power. Those who believe in Him as The Resurrection and die before The Resurrection will live again and those who believe and are alive will not die.

Obviously, we can apply His statement to The Last Day when we are assured that The Resurrection of all believers will take place. Yet, Jesus was clear that He was not just talking about The Last Day but He was talking about any time before then. He then proved it by raising Lazarus from the dead after three days and subsequently raising Himself (Jesus is God) from the dead after three days. Let me reiterate something you may have missed. Those who believe in Him as The Resurrection are able to tap into the Power of His Resurrection. Why do I say that? Whether we know it or not, belief in The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is crucial to our salvation. It's even included in the main scripture we quote for salvation.

Romans 10:9-10(NKJV) - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and “believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

To become a Christian you don't just believe in Jesus as a prophet, a Rabbi, a miracle worker, teacher or an overall good guy. You can't even simply believe that Jesus was born and died for your sins. You have to believe in His Resurrection. In other words, you have to believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead to be saved. No Resurrection, no salvation! It's that simple. Essentially, The Power of His Resurrection is the power that gives us salvation. Since Jesus is The Resurrection, when you believe in Jesus you believe in His Resurrection from death on the cross and also your Resurrection from death on The Last Day. What you should also believe is that His Resurrection has the power to affect your life between those two events. In fact, because you believe in Jesus Christ, The Power of His Resurrection is active and alive in you now the same way it was available for Lazarus to defeat death before Jesus even died on The Cross!

1 Corinthians 15:12-19(NKJV) - Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Our salvation is all about The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's because He lives, that we can live again. It's because He lives that we can face death with hope of life everlasting. It's because He lives that sin has been defeated forever. So, as we commemorate the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend, let us remember how important this is to our existence as Christians. The good news of the gospel does not end with Jesus dying for our sins but continues with Him rising from the dead to totally defeat it. Not only did He pay the price for our sins but by rising from the dead He defeated the power of sin. He had His cake and ate it too. He paid for sin with His death, then rose from the dead and took His life back once the debt was paid. We should be clear about what that means for us on The Last Day. Now let's talk about what that means for us right now.

Romans 8:9-11(NKJV) - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The Spirit of Christ lives in us which means The Resurrection lives in us. Yes, our physical bodies are subject to death but the life-giving power of His Spirit lives in our physical bodies right now. Hence, all of the power we need to rise from the dead on The Last Day is already inside of us. It's the same power which raised Christ from the dead. It's also the same power which raised Lazarus from the dead. It's the power of The Holy Ghost and The Power of His Resurrection. What can we do with this power? Possibly, anything. We just have to believe. And what do we have to believe? Whatever we see in His Word that applies to us.

Mark 9:23(NKJV) - Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 16:15-18(NKJV) - And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Luke 10:18-20(NKJV) - And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Like Martha said to Jesus in John 11, every Christian believes that we will defeat death on The Last Day and rise again in The Resurrection. However, what do you believe God can do for you today? What are the outer limits of possibility in your life? If you can believe, all things are possible for you. You can defeat demons, serpents, poison, sickness, criminals, accidents, disasters or any other agent of death on earth today. You just need to have the faith! How does faith come? By hearing and hearing by The Word of God. Saturate your mind and heart with God's Word until you believe what's written in it. Then everything you believe will become possible in your life.

What's the extent of The Power of His Resurrection in your life? Whatever you believe in His Word!

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I Am The Resurrection


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John 11:25-26(NKJV) - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
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Life Over Death

Victory Over Death In The Words Of Apostle Paul

This week all over the world we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, I am sharing with you excerpts from my first book, I Curse Death. Today's blog is the fourth excerpt. Click here for yesterday's installment, "Jesus - Our Present Version of the Tree of Life"

What did Paul know about the God of Life mentioned by Jesus?

Romans 5:12 - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Death was introduced to the world after the first sin in the Garden of Eden. We inherited death because we were born out of that first man and God established a system of inheritance. Therefore, we are guilty of sin without doing anything to deserve that guilt. So, here we see that the only reason for death is to deal with sin.

Romans 5:17 - For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

God never intended for man to die so He created a plan to restore us to His Kingdom of Life. His Son, Jesus, defeated death by walking sinless, dying and coming back to life. In the process, He demonstrated that the master key to defeating the Spirit of death is a life devoid of sin. His Father was not a man but the Heavenly Father and all of His choices maintained His position as a sinless man.

As a result, He was not bound to sin and was released from death because it no longer served a purpose. Death keeps a check on sin. The worst men on this earth have always died, and as a result their death signaled the end of an era of domination by a particular type of sin.

Now, we get to be like Jesus by accepting Him as the Savior of mankind. We must also accept His death and resurrection as an opportunity for us to die to sin and arise to a new life (Romans 6:5, Philippians 3:10). I have arisen to that new life and here is a secret: this new life is not just spiritual. Mull on that one a little bit before you move on.

Romans 6:22&23 - But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The wages of sin is death! The sin of man brought the advent of death, so if we walk free from sin by the Blood of Jesus, serve God with all of our hearts and manifest the fruit of the spirit, death should no longer be a part of our lives. Remember, I can’t say this enough: the devil is a thief and will take whatever we leave lying around unprotected. If we only accept part of our redemption and leave some aspects out, he will defeat us in those areas where we lack the knowledge to claim victory.

The second part of the scripture listed above is what makes our access to the God of Life so interesting. It is only possible through Jesus Christ. Why is it that we refuse to accept the entire gift? We have allowed a spirit of fear to grip us whenever we consider the fact that we don’t have to die. We struggle to believe that we can live as long as it takes for us to accomplish our destiny on the earth and then be translated.

What? Did someone just say I don’t have to die if my purpose on earth is not complete? That someone happens to be one of the founding fathers of the church among the Gentiles and I was just quoting him.

1 Corinthians 15:22&26 - For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive…….The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

You will see this verse mentioned several times in this book because it is one of my favorites. Men die in Adam because of sin but the freedom from sin offered by Christ gives us victory over death. So what about all the great men of God who died? That is a good question. I have one for you. What about all the great men of God who were sick? Oh, since I am on a roll, I have another one. What about all the great men of God who were murdered in cold blood for the whole world to see?

My answer is simple. It is all good! The Word will always have precedence over experience. I do care what happened in the past to men of God but I care more about what God says is possible. Each of us has to believe God for ourselves regardless of what happens to anyone else.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 - For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

Paul separated himself from most of the other Apostles with his ability to connect with any group of people he had access to. In this particular passage, he was writing out of great distress and persecution. He felt like the pressure was unbearable and the threat on his life was affecting his emotions. He knew of the imminent possibility of natural death and immediately found solace in the gift of life presented to him by God through Jesus.

Within himself he could not stop death, but he trusted in God who could deliver him from death even if he was to die. Here is my thought—since we accept that God could be a healer and deliver a man from sickness, is it too extreme to think that He can also keep someone healthy? I think not! So, if we all accept that God can raise a human being from the dead, is it too far-fetched to think that He can keep someone alive?

Think about it! If Jesus had gotten to Lazarus in time, wouldn’t He have been able to prevent the death of that man? Of course, it is much more amazing to think that He can put life back into a corpse than for Him to simply keep the person alive. I will live and not die as I fulfill my heavenly calling until the trumpet sounds and God calls me to heaven!

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Jesus - Our Present Version of the Tree of Life

Jesus - Our Present Version of the Tree of Life

This week all over the world we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, I am sharing with you excerpts from my first book, I Curse Death. Today's blog is the third excerpt. Click here for yesterday's installment, "The Truth behind the Tree of Life"

The ministry of Jesus is the template for all Christian ministries. He knew who He was, exactly what He was supposed to do and didn’t think twice to vocalize it. In fact, because of His Words we can clearly understand His role in history, 2000 years after He spent His time as a man on the earth.

I am going to use His own words to show you some similarities between the way Jesus described Himself and the way the Bible described the Tree of Life. It is then up to you to determine whether or not these similarities are mere coincidences or fit into God’s plan for man’s redemption from the curse of sin and death.

Clear Similarities between Jesus and the Tree of Life

1. In John 14:6 He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

2. In Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27 Jesus said the same thing so I will quote from the first reference, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.”

3. In John 5:24, Jesus stated, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

4. In John 8:51, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”

5. Jesus astonished the multitude in Matthew 22:31-33 by saying, “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at this doctrine.”

Jesus Christ, Our Living Water

John 4:10 - Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

I love Jesus. He used words the way an artist uses colors to create images that transcend the human imagination. There went Jesus, offering living water to the woman at the well. We read this story and like the multitude get the parable level of understanding (Matthew 13:13). Very few of us try to dig deeper into the Word of God and even fewer choose to dedicate the time necessary to discover the many secrets hidden in this Word of God for the last days.

John 4:13&14 - Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

I’ll make this simple. Not only is Jesus Christ our present day Tree of Life but He is also the Living Water that is necessary to sustain the tree. A Christian is given the unique opportunity to tap into the life initially supplied by the Tree of Life in the Garden. It was first made available by Jesus and then by the Holy Spirit since the day of Pentecost. Consequently, we can walk in a life that is full of vibrancy and effectiveness because of the Holy Spirit within us.

John 7: 37-40 - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified). Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, of a truth this is the Prophet.

When Jesus was on the earth, all men had to go to Him for the living water that only He could provide. The Holy Spirit is now within all of us who are in Christ (John 14:16-26). He has brought life to everything that we are. My spirit, soul and body would all have been subject to death had Christ not died.

Without Him, I am just like the earth before the recreation process, without form and void. The Holy Spirit is now within me and can flow through me like rivers of living water. The curse of death is broken. I can tap into my rivers of living water on a daily basis because I choose to live and not die.

Revelation 22:1-5 - And He showed 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.

The Tree of Life and the River of Life exist simultaneously and according to the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb, is our access to both. The Tree of Life brings healing and most importantly, breaks the curse of death. We can be guided to Jesus by the Holy Spirit and we can walk in the light of the Father on this earth. This light represents supernatural wisdom and understanding which will confound even the wise that dwell among us (1 Corinthians 1:25-27).

The sun, however, is the source of all natural life, because it is the source of all energy. Plants at the bottom of the food chain need energy from the sun. This is for photosynthesis which they use to produce food and live. Therefore, the sun represents the beginning of the food chain.

God can replace the sun in our lives when we receive Jesus as the sacrifice for our inherited sinful state. He is our Tree of Life and the living water. When we do receive God as the light or source of our lives, He supplies all that we can ever need.

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The Truth behind the Tree of Life

The Truth behind the Tree of Life

This week all over the world we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, I am sharing with you excerpts from my first book, I Curse Death. Today's blog is the second excerpt. Click here for yesterday's installment, "Do People Die Before Their Time?"

Genesis 3:22-24 - And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.

The man sinned and God took action! We accept that. However, look carefully at where God placed His focus as the major reason for removing the man from the garden. He was concerned about the man’s access to the Tree of Life. What would happen if the sinful man had continued access to a diet of life?

What possibly could have been so important about this tree that armed Cherubims were sent to keep man from it? We assumed all these years that God just wanted him out of the garden to punish him for his disobedience but that really wasn’t the point.

Why let a disobedient child stay in a beautiful house? He deserves to be put out, right? Well, I beg to differ. The love of God would have been demonstrated in even that situation. There must have been a good reason for God to serve mankind an eviction notice. The Tree of Life represented something major that we will now discuss.

Revelation 2:7 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

This statement is part of a letter sent by John to the Church at Ephesus. They did not have proper personal relationships with God and needed to repent. If they could overcome their religious bondage and once again yearn for the presence of God they would get everlasting life. Nevertheless, please note that the Tree of Life was in the midst of the paradise of God. This statement in Revelation 2:7 is a major eye opener.

The Tree of Life, initially, was in the midst of the Garden of Eden and is now located in the midst of the paradise of God. However, I have not seen a treasure map leading me to the Tree of Life and if it was once available to Adam it should also be available to me now in some form, somewhere. It is obviously God’s desire for His people to accept the gift of life but they must know how to access it.

Revelation 22:1, 2 - 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.

As seen in Revelation 22:2, the Tree of Life bears every month and has twelve different types of fruit which could mean a different fruit each month. The leaves of this tree bring healing to anyone with access to it. Therefore, Adam would never have been sick and as a result would not have seen death until God cut him off from the Tree of Life. So my question is: “Where is the Tree of Life right now and has access to it been restored to any man?”

Following this passage from Revelation 22, it can be inferred that in the future, the Tree of Life will be located in the New Jerusalem. So we understand three things about the whereabouts of the Tree of Life. It was present in the Garden of Eden, it is located in the midst of the paradise of God and it will be located in the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 22:14&15 - Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

The Tree of Life is available to all who obey God’s commandments. Therefore, our access to perpetual life on a physical level is possible because according to Genesis 3:22-24 that was the main purpose of it. The prospect of life in this new heaven and earth is exciting to me and I anticipate the joy of living in it one day. Nonetheless, once again, we see the Tree of Life mentioned in the Word of God as something of special natural value.

We also see that it is available to the believer and unavailable to the sinner. It should also be noted that the Tree of Life is in focus at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 2 and then returns to the fore at the end of the Bible in Revelation 22. Don’t forget that God Himself said in Genesis 3:22 that the Tree of Life gives man the ability to live forever. Therefore, by the law of first mention, we can concur that any access to the Tree of Life denotes access to perpetual life.

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Do People Die Before Their Time?

Do People Die Before Their Time?

This week all over the world we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, starting today I will share with you excerpts from my first book, I Curse Death. Here's a short description of the book;

If Adam had never sinned in the Garden of Eden, would he still have died? If death came by sin and Jesus Christ defeated sin on the cross, what happened to death? In I Curse Death, author Donnell Duncan boldly answers these questions and many more. The message is simple: man was designed by God to be immortal and only lost that gift by falling into sin. Duncan demonstrates with scripture that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ restored this gift to all those who believe.

With each intriguing chapter, Duncan draws the reader into a world governed by the original Will of God. In that world, each human being is given a specific time to complete a specific purpose and does not die before it is completed. With an abundance of scriptural support he makes it clear that death has no power over the plan of God for an individual. After reading I Curse Death the reader will be convinced that the Bible holds the keys of life that unlock the mysteries of death.

John 11:11-15 - These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

Lazarus died, and according to popular belief, if a man died it was his time to die. For example, if a young child gets shot to death at eleven, some people think that it means the child was born to live until eleven and then get shot. Somehow, that tragedy fits into God’s grand plan for mankind. Therefore, Jesus should have wept and gone home when He found out that Lazarus was dead. There was nothing more for Him to do unless He considered doing something to oppose the Will of His Father.

So why did Jesus raise Lazarus? If it was his time to die and his death fit into God’s grand plan for mankind, why did He intervene? He did it because He chose to. He wanted to use the death and resurrection of Lazarus as an example of His ability to bring life in any dead situation.

John 11:20-27 - Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Many people in the church think just like Martha. They consider physical death as final. However, a major difference between the world and the church is the promise of resurrection. Nonetheless, Jesus took it upon Himself to show that He had power over death before His disciples and all of the other witnesses. Therefore, unlike what is portrayed in movies like Final Destination, a person does not have to die at a particular point in time.

2 Kings 20:1-6 - In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

The time had come for Hezekiah to die but God was merciful enough to add fifteen years to his life. Was he supposed to die the first time? Yes! However, this example clearly shows that a moment in time for someone's death is not written in stone.

God can add years to someone's life if He chooses to. As a result, someone can also die early. If someone smokes and dies of lung cancer at forty, you better not think that’s in God's plan! If someone overeats and gets a heart attack at thirty-five, you better not think that’s in God's plan! If someone commits suicide at fifteen, you better not think that’s in God's plan!

Ephesians 6:2-3 - Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Psalm 91:1&16 - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

The Bible is very clear that the exact length of someone's life is very subjective. If you do certain things you can live long. If you don't, your life is short.

If you don't maintain a healthy diet and refuse to exercise you will die early. If you choose a wild lifestyle and destroy your body doing foolish stuff you will die early. If you obey the Word of God and live under the protection of God you will live a long life.

It is not God's Will for His Children to experience tragic deaths without experiencing the fullness of their lives. People die early all the time and no, it doesn't have to be that way! Sudden death is not part of God's plan for His Children so refuse to accept the lie!

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Modern-Day Resurrection

Modern-Day Resurrection

This is Part Four of our current series based on my first book, "I Curse Death." To read Part Three, "The Power To Raise The Dead" you can click here.

Revelation 12:11(KJV) - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Please watch the following testimony.

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The Power To Raise The Dead

This is Part Three of our current series based on my first book, "I Curse Death." To read Part Two, "Immortality Through The Gospel" you can click here.

Romans 8:9-11(NKJV) - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are a Christian, then The Spirit of Christ lives in you. He has the same power right now which defeated death in the body of Jesus Christ and brought Him back to life after three days. Since God is no respecter of persons He is just as powerful in your life as He is in anyone else's. So what separates one Christian from another? FAITH!

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Hence, even though God is no respecter of persons, He is a respecter of faith. God is omnipotent (all-powerful) yet only some people benefit from that power in certain areas of their lives.

As was evident throughout the ministry of Jesus on earth, your victory depends less on God's power and more on your faith. Where Jesus found faith He performed miracles, where He did not find faith, He could not perform any miracles (see Mark 6:1-6). In His hometown, nothing was wrong with the "miracle-working" power transmitter, there was just a major problem with the receivers.

I feel a strong witness in my spirit to break all of this down for someone who is reading it. Maybe that someone is you. I don't really know but here goes...

John 11:23-27(KJV) - Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Jesus made the following simple statement to Martha concerning her dead brother Lazarus; "Your brother shall rise again." Just like many Christians I know, Martha agreed but just like those same Christians, she missed Jesus' point. He was not referring to The Resurrection at the last day and that was key.

Just like God revealed Himself in new ways throughout the Old Testament (Jireh, Shalom, Tsidkenu, etc) Jesus did the same throughout the New Testament. In His conversation with Martha He reintroduced Himself by two new names, "The Resurrection and The Life."

With this revelation, in His own words, He said that anyone who believes in Him as Jesus "The Resurrection and The Life" would have power over death. It sounds pretty simple but you must have the revelation and you must believe. Thank God, Martha believed and Jesus found faith. Instantly, His power to raise the dead became effective for her and Jesus brought her brother back to life.

Martha traditionally understood that only at The Resurrection on the Last Day was it possible for Lazarus to come back to life. That's what she was taught and that's what she believed. However, Jesus came to smash that tradition to pieces and revealed that The Resurrection was a person and He stood before her. If she could only believe, she would see the salvation of The Lord.

The Power To Raise The Dead

So.... let's summarize. Christ lives in every Christian. Christ reintroduced Himself in John 11 as The Resurrection and The Life. Therefore, The Resurrection and The Life lives in every Christian. John 14:12 says that whoever believes in Christ will do greater works than He did. If Christ could raise the dead so can you. Why? Like Paul said in Galatians 2:20 it's not because of you but Christ living through you.

A message of this depth is not for everybody. It's only for believers. If you don't believe you won't see what The Bible is saying. In God's Kingdom believing is seeing. What's fascinating is that even though it's so plain in scripture some of us still struggle to believe.

In fact, we struggle so much to believe the truth that we can make scriptures like these completely ineffective in our lives. Mark 7:13 says that tradition can make The Word of God of no effect. That's right! The same Word of God described as incorruptible in 1 Peter 1:23 and sharper than a two edged sword in Hebrews 4:12 can be restrained by tradition.

Matthew 11:25(KJV) - At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

I think I've said enough for today. Tomorrow's message is crucial. I'll be showing you a video testimonial of a man who was raised from the dead after being in the morgue for three days. His wife stood on one scripture, Hebrews 11:35 and that woman received her dead back to life. It will build your faith and that's part of the process. Don't miss it!

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Immortality Through The Gospel

2 Timothy 1:10(KJV) - But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

This is Part Two of our current series based on my first book, "I Curse Death." To read Part One, "I Curse Death" you can click here.

In December, 1999, I stood over the corpse of a 16 year old member of my father’s church. I was in the middle of a funeral service with several hundred teenagers crying out in pain because of the tragic loss. Many of them were not Christians but they all had some connection to the deceased. That morning, God gave me simple instructions, “Open your mouth and speak life into the body of the young man and I will do what you say!”

As soon as I got the opportunity, I positioned myself over the casket and froze. What if people heard me? What if it didn’t work? I didn’t have the faith! I walked away broken hearted and afraid without ever saying a word. Hosea 4:6 says that God’s people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing which comes by the Word of God. Romans 10:14 asks the question, "How shall they hear without a preacher?"

So, I had two options. I could wait for someone to preach the message of life and immortality through the gospel or I could become that someone. Eight years later, I released the information to The Church that I wished I had on that fateful day when I published "I Curse Death." Now, I'm prepared to do it again starting right here.

Immortality Through The Gospel

1 John 5:4(KJV) - For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Hebrews 11:33-35(KJV) - Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Read all of Hebrews 11. Everything in Christianity works by faith. Nothing is automatic. According to Ephesians 2:8, we are saved by faith. According to Matthew 9:22 and Mark 10:52 we are healed by faith. We are delivered by faith. By faith, women operated in the power of The Resurrection and saw their dead raised to life. Simply put in 1 John 5:4, faith is the victory.

Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God there is no victory any of us can receive on the earth without a revelation of The Word of God. If you don't understand what The Word of God says in any area of your life you won't be victorious there. So if you want to walk in victory over death like those women in Hebrews 11:35, you must do it by faith in life and immortality through the gospel.

Operating in The Anointing

First, I will lay a foundation of truth from which I will build my case. The story of Immortality in the scripture begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation.

Genesis 2:9(KJV) - And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17(KJV) - And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 3:22-25(KJV) - And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

There were TWO trees in the middle of The Garden of Eden. One was called The Tree of Life which provided immortality and one was The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil which provided death. God gave Adam and Eve simple instructions. They were not supposed to touch one of those trees or else for the first time in their existence they would experience death. They disobeyed God and lost their immortality.

Not just that, but God was very specific when He removed them from The Garden of Eden. He wanted to keep them from The Tree of Life so that they would not have the opportunity to have their immortality restored. He had no desire to see them remain in their sinful state for eternity. In fact, He placed Cherubim and a flaming sword to protect The Tree of Life. Obviously, God knew the power of that tree because He created it. They sinned so God cut off their access. It's that simple.

That's how this story started. Now, let's fast forward to see how the story will end.

Revelation 22:1-2, 14-15(KJV) - 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........ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

At the end of it all, God will restore access to The Tree of Life to those who are righteous! It's the same Tree of Life with the same power that He once placed in The Garden of Eden. Now that you know how it all began and how it will end let's spend the next few days, weeks or months, if necessary, filling in the rest.

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