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Doctrine of Spiritual Death 1

November 21, 2014

DOCTRINE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH

A. General Definition and Description.
1. Death is an existence, a status quo. This emphasizes the fact that death is never a state of nonexistence. However, death is a state or existence involving a change or separation.
a. For example, the physical death of the believer is the separation of the soul and spirit from the human body and a change of residence to heaven. He is “absent from the body and face to face with the Lord,” in a place of “no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain, no more death; the old things have passed away.”
b. For example, the physical death of the unbeliever is the separation of the soul from the body, and change of residence to Torments, a compartment of Hades.
c. For example, the second death of the unbeliever is a change of residence from Hades to the Lake of Fire at the Last Judgment.
2. In certain categories, death may also be classified as inability and helplessness, as is true with sexual death and real spiritual death.
3. Death can also be classified as an existence of great happiness and blessing, like the death of the mature believer who dies under dying grace.
4. The reason for this general definition and description of death is that there are seven categories of death mentioned in the Scripture.

B. Summary of the Seven Categories of Death in the Scripture.
1. Physical death of the human race is defined in terms of a separation from the body, resulting in a change of residence.
a. The unbeliever’s soul is separated from his body and goes now to Torments, and at the Last Judgment to the Lake of Fire.
b. The believer’s soul and spirit are separated from his body, and go instantly to heaven. The death of the believer cannot separate him from God under any circumstances. Rom 8:3839, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.”
c. Note that life and death are mentioned together for the believer. For if we live inside the divine dynasphere and advance to spiritual selfesteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity, the dying part of life is just as exciting, happy, and fantastic as the living part of life. Dying is a part of living. When you solve the problems of living through spiritual living, then you solve the problem of dying simultaneously. Otherwise believers are just as scared of death as unbelievers.
d. Physical death is a matter of the sovereign decision of God. In every case the sovereign decision of God is based on His perfect knowledge of all the facts. No believer ever departs from this life apart from the sovereign decision of God. This is taught in Ps 68:1920. This is important to apply for us who remain alive when a loved one dies. For our grief must be based upon the knowledge that God’s sovereign decisions are perfect.
e. God can and does prolong physical life on earth. Having all the facts, there are times when He does so. This is taught in Ps 102:1920, 2324; also in Ps 118:18. This is not always a blessing. It’s best to leave this matter in the Lord’s hands.
f. God can also deliver the believer from death, as seen in Job 5:20; Ps 33:19, 56:13, 116:8.
g. The believer who attains maturity departs from life under the principle of dying grace, the most fantastic way to leave this life. Ps 116:15 is only describing dying grace when it says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” Ps 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Dying grace is a beautiful walk in very pleasant circumstances.
h. Resurrection is the victory over death, according to 1 Cor 15:5457.
(1) Verse 54, “But when this corruptible will put in incorruption [resurrection of dead believers] and this mortal shall have put on immortality [resurrection of living believers], then will come to pass the saying which stands written [Isa 25:8], ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” This is true in the case of every believer, winner or loser.
(2) Verses 5557, “`O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is in the law. But thanks be unto God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In every case of the death of a believer, it is a victory for our Lord Jesus Christ. So death for the believer is a fantastic thing, and not to be feared.
i. For the believer, death is defined as follows.
(1) Death means no appointment with judgment; it’s canceled, Rom 8:1. Heb 9:21, “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after that the judgment.”
(2) Death means to be face to face with the Lord, 2 Cor 5:8.
(3) Physical death means the end of pain, Rev 21:4, “No more sorrow, nor more tears, no more pain, no more death; the former things have passed away.”
(4) Death means an eternal inheritance, 1 Pet 1:45.
(5) Death means living in a new home.
(6) Death means the experiential realization of eternal life. Now we are only semiconscious that we possess eternal life; that is, we know it from doctrine. But it’s not yet experienced.
(7) Death means waiting for the resurrection in the interim body, as per 1 Thes 4:13, 18; its anticipation is mentioned in Jn 11:25.
(8) For the mature believer death is the only profit that can never be taxed, stolen, or removed in any way. It is a permanent profit. The wealthy people in heaven are mature believers who have their escrow blessings for the eternal state. That is profit and gain that no one can ever take from you. When God gives it at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will have the capacity for it in your resurrection body. Phil 1:2021, “According to my intense concentration and confidence that in nothing shall I be ashamed, but in all confidence as at all times [inside divine dynasphere], even now Christ will be glorified in my person even through living and dying. For me living is Christ; dying is profit.”
j. For the believer who spends his life in the cosmic system, dying is a miserable experience, as was the rest of his life.
(1) The system for the perpetuation of miserable experiences is the law of volitional responsibility. Negative volition toward doctrine produces selfinduced misery. Through your own bad decisions, you perpetuate a miserable life.
(2) When your miserable life doesn’t wake you up and make you realize that your values as a Christian are not the values of the protocol plan, then God provides another system, divine discipline, with its three categories: warning, intensive, and dying discipline.
(3) The most miserable experience of all is the sin unto death, 1 Jn 5:16; Ps 118:1718; Rev 3:16; Acts 5:110. The loser is as miserable in dying as he was throughout his life as a loser. The most miserable people in life are believers, because God only has the period of their lifetime in which to discipline them. However, once its over you’ll be in heaven, and Rev 21:4 applies to the loser. Better to end your life in horror, the sin unto death, than to spend eternity in hell.
2. Spiritual death in the human race. Real spiritual death occurs for us at birth; but occurred in the Garden for mankind.
a. Spiritual death is the penalty of sin, and so given as a warning to our original parents in Gen 2:17, “dying thou shall die.” When they partook of the forbidden fruit, they died spiritually. The penalty was imposed at the fall of mankind.
b. The imputation of Adam’s original sin to the genetically-formed old sin nature perpetuates spiritual death in the human race. Rom 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world [Adam’s original sin], and death [real spiritual death] through that sin, so [real spiritual] death spread to all men because all sinned [when Adam sinned].”
c. The entire human race is born physically alive but spiritually dead. Mankind is not condemned by the imputation of his personal sins but through the imputation of Adam’s original sin.
3. Positional death of the believer. Through the baptism of the Spirit at the point of salvation, the believer is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, as taught in Rom 6 and Col 2:1112.
a. Positional death is the positional rejection of human good and evil.
b. When Christ was on the cross, He was judged for our sins, but not for our human good and evil. He rejected human good and evil and the cross. So in identification with Christ in His death, we have positionally rejected human good and evil.
c. Human good and evil is the policy of Satan, a part of the believer’s life while he resides in the cosmic system.
d. Col 2:1112, “In fact, in Him you have been circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, by the renunciation of the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. Having been buried with Him by means of the baptism [of Holy Spirit].”
e. We are identified with Christ in His death, retroactive positional truth. We reject human good and evil positionally at salvation by being in union with Christ. We are identified with Christ in His resurrection, current positional truth. Human good and evil were not judged on the Cross. When we become experientially involved in human good and evil, we are judged for it.
f. Rom 6:15, “Therefore, what are we to conclude? Are we to continue under the sin nature that the grace of God might increase? Emphatically not. We who have died to the sin nature, how shall we still live in it? Or, are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus into His death have been baptized? Therefore, we have been buried together with Him through baptism into His death, that as Christ has been raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life [residence, function, and momentum in divine dynasphere]. For if we have become intimately united with Him in the likeness of His death [and we have, retroactive positional truth], not only this, but also we shall be intimately united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection [current positional truth].”
4. Cosmic death of the believer. The believer out of fellowship is called “dead.” It is also called carnality. The old sin nature is not the actual sinner. The human being with their negative volition is the sinner. The old sin nature can only tempt, it cannot sin. Cosmic death is carnality, the function of the believer’s volition in converting temptation into sin.
a. 1 Tim 5:6, “The widow, who constantly indulges in wanton pleasure, has died while she is living.”
b. Rev 3:1, “I know your production, that you have a reputation that you’re living, but you’re dead [carnal].”
c. 1 Jn 3:14, “We know that we have changed our residence from the realm of death to [the Christian way of] life because we love the brethren. When anyone does not love the brethren, he resides in the sphere of death.”
5. Production death of the believer. This category combines the arrogance of Christian service with the other categories of arrogance.
a. This is called “dead works” in Heb 6:1, “Therefore, having graduated from basic [elementary] doctrine about Christ, let us advance toward maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance [changing our mind] about dead works.”
b. Nothing slows the Christian life down like dead works. Those things done under arrogance will become wood, hay and stubble, and make a great bonfire at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
6. Sexual death is inability to copulate. It is only used in the Scripture for Abraham. At age 99, he could not copulate. Rom 4:1721; Heb 11:1112 mention Abraham’s circumstance.
a. Rom 4:1721, “Since it has been written in the past with the result that it stands written forever [Gen 17:5], ‘I have decreed you [Abraham] the father of many nations.’ In the sight of whom he had believed God, the One reviving the dead [his own sexual death]…”
b. Verses 1819, “Abraham, who beyond hope of sexual performance had believed at the point of hope [attainment of spiritual maturity at 99] in order that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which had been communicated: `so shall your seed be.’ And without becoming weak in the sphere of doctrine, he thoughtfully reflected and perceived his own body as already dead [sexually] after living approximately 100 years. Furthermore, he understood the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” (Sexual death doesn’t really apply to Sarah’s womb.)
c. Verse 20, “However, he did not stagger at the promise of God but he became strong by means of doctrine, having given glory to God, having been completely convinced that what God had promised Himself He was able also to do it.”
d. Because of this wonderful use of the faithrest drill, Abraham actually had the revival of his sexual ability, Sarah’s womb was revived, and Isaac plus other children were born from Abraham.
7. The second death of the unbeliever is the final judgment of those who reject Jesus Christ as Savior. It is found primarily in Rev 20:1215. This is the most awful death, with eternal separation and judgment from God.

C. Definition of Spiritual Death.
1. Spiritual death is the status quo of all members of the human race at the point of physical birth. Spiritual death continues from birth until the person believes in Christ.
a. All members of the human race are born spiritually dead, Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1.
b. Spiritual death is our status quo from birth until regeneration.
2. There are four characteristics of spiritual death.
a. Total separation from God. Man was created in a relationship with God. But because of the fall of man in the Garden, man lost his human spirit and relationship with God. We are now born separated from God.
b. Total depravity. We have a predilection for sin and following the dictates of the sin nature. Total depravity is synonymous with human degeneracy.
c. Total helplessness to attain salvation or a relationship with God through any form of works. Our desire to be good or do good cannot establish a relationship with God.
d. We are dichotomous, having a body and soul, but no human spirit.
3. Other rational creatures, i.e., angels, have also undergone something similar to spiritual death.
4. Spiritual death can therefore be classified as judgment from God.
5. See also the Doctrine of Common and Efficacious Grace.

D. Categories of Spiritual Death.
1. There are two categories of spiritual death.
a. Real spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of condemnation and sin. This applies to man.
b. Substitutionary spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of perfection and impeccability. This applies to Jesus Christ.
2. Real spiritual death applies to Adam’s original sin and to the status quo of the human race at the point of physical birth. Substitutionary spiritual death applies to the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
3. At the time when man sinned in the Garden of Eden, mankind entered into real spiritual death. Rom 5:12, “For by one man sin entered the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men for all have sinned.”
4. There are seven results of Adam’s original sin in the garden.
a. At the point of the original sin, Adam lost his rulership of planet earth to Satan.
b. When Adam died spiritually, he entered into a state of total separation from God. He was separated from God in a state of total helplessness; there was nothing he could do to regain his relationship with God. God did all the work: He came to Adam in the Garden, He did the judging and then provided the solution for our spiritual death. Adam’s spiritual death was demonstrated by the fact that when Jesus Christ came in the garden, Adam hid himself from God.
c. In spiritual death, Adam became dichotomous, having only a body and soul. Real spiritual death means loss of the human spirit, by which we have fellowship with God. 1 Cor 2:14 calls unbelieving dichotomous man the PSUCHIKOS, or soulish man; cf. Jude 19.
d. Adam’s original sin invented the old sin nature, which is genetically perpetuated to the entire human race. From the old sin nature comes our total depravity, which includes both moral and immoral degeneration.
e. The beginning of personal sins in the human race, perpetuated from generation to generation by the billions. Spiritual death was perpetuated in the human race, Rom 5:1221. This is why the unbeliever is dichotomous (1 Cor 2:14; Jude 19) and why the believer is trichotomous (1 Thes 5:23; Job 32:8; Phil 25; 2 Cor 7:13; Heb 4:12).
f. The status of total helplessness to enter into a relationship with God on the basis of any human good, any human merit, or anything we can do, all of which is classified as dead works.
g. The incarnation and Hypostatic Union is a direct result of Adam’s original sin, whereby our Lord Jesus Christ entered the world at the First Advent to provide the solution to spiritual death through His efficacious substitutionary spiritual death, His saving work on the cross.
5. So real spiritual death is perpetuated in the human race at the point of physical birth because in every case Adam’s original sin is imputed to the genetically-formed old sin nature.
6. Therefore, two categories of spiritual death exist.
a. The real spiritual death of Adam and the human race, a dichotomous separation from God in time. This means total depravity, total separation from God, and total helplessness to attain a relationship with God on the basis of any human function.
b. The substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross is separation from God in a state of total perfection and impeccability. Only the perfect, impeccable humanity of Christ became our substitute, received the imputation and judgment for all sins in the history of the human race down to the last sin of the Millennium. 1 Pet 3:18, “Because Christ also died once for our sins, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous ones in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh [human body] but made alive by means of the Spirit [omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit].”
7 In rightly dividing the Word of Truth, we must distinguish between the spiritual death of Adam in the garden of Eden and the spiritual death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, who is called the Last Adam.
8. Adam’s original sin brought real spiritual death to the human race. Our Lord’s sacrificial or substitutionary spiritual death on the cross brought eternal life to the human race.
9. The real spiritual death of Adam made the human race dichotomous, having only body and soul. The substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the cross makes mankind trichotomous, having body, soul, and spirit. We acquire a human spirit at the point of faith in Christ.
10. Again, there are two categories of spiritual death.
a. The real spiritual death of Adam and the human race is described in Rom 5:12-21.
b. The substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross is described in Rom 5:8.
11. The only thing Adam’s spiritual death in the garden and our Lord’s spiritual death on the cross have in common is separation from God the Father in a state of judgment.
12. Adam’s spiritual death was real and perpetuated to the entire human race through physical birth. Our Lord’s spiritual death was substitutionary and provides eternal salvation at the point of regeneration.
13. The spiritual death of our Lord Jesus Christ was unique, because all the time that He was bearing our sins, He remained perfect, impeccable, and trichotomous. In fact, Jesus Christ was perfect before the cross, during the cross, and after the cross. This was the only spiritual death in all of history in which the person remained perfect and impeccable and trichotomous, with body, soul, and spirit.
14. The omnipotence of God the Father imputed all our sins to Christ on the cross. Then the justice of God the Father judged every one of them. This may be classified as substitutionary spiritual death and efficacious unlimited atonement. Salvation was completed on the cross, as attested by His exclamation while still physically alive, “TETELESTAI.” i.e., “It has been finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever.”
15. The spiritual death of Christ on the cross is the only time in history where perfect and impeccable humanity was abandoned by God the Father under the principle of spiritual death. Because our Lord remained perfect all the time He was bearing and being judged for our sins, His unique spiritual death is classified as substitutionary.
16. This is why salvation is through faith in Christ. Only faith can appropriate the solution for helplessness, because faith is a non-meritorious system of perception. Faith is totally dependent upon the object, which is Jesus Christ for salvation. Your attitude toward Jesus Christ determines your eternal future.

E. The Spiritual Death of Adam.
1. The spiritual death of Adam is the subject of Gen 2:17, 3:1ff; 1 Tim 2:1315. The distinction between Adam’s original sin and the woman’s original sin is the subject of the parenthesis in 1 Tim 2:1315. This passage explains why the old sin nature is passed down through the man.
2. The divine institution of volition and marriage did not protect Adam and the woman from the fall in the Garden.
3. Adam and the woman had everything any married couple could want without any of the problems of marriage like jealousy, money problems, children, etc., yet the marriage was still a failure.

F. The Spiritual Death of the Human Race.
1. Eph 2:1, “And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” takes us back to the pattern of God’s grace in providing for our helplessness, our spiritual death. Compare Eph 5:8a, “For you were once in darkness…”
2. The spiritual death of the human race is mentioned in Rom 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world [Adam’s original sin] and [real spiritual] death through that sin, so [real spiritual] death spread to all [mankind], because all [mankind] sinned [when Adam sinned].”
a. At the point of our physical birth, Adam’s original sin is imputed to our genetically formed old sin nature for condemnation, because condemnation must precede salvation.
b. The reason why Adam’s original sin is passed down, and not the woman’s original sin, is because Adam willfully sinned, knowing what he was doing. Therefore, twenty-three male chromosomes which fertilize the twenty-three perfect chromosomes in the female ovum carry the old sin nature. This is how the old sin nature is genetically formed and genetically perpetuated.
c. Both the man and the woman are carriers of the old sin nature, which resides in every cell of the human body. But the old sin nature is passed down through the man. Only the twenty-three chromosomes in the female ovum are perfect, not contaminated with the old sin nature.
d. The only way a person could be born perfect into this world was the way our Lord’s humanity came into this world. A virgin pregnancy cuts off the transmission of the old sin nature in copulation. The omnipotence of the Holy Spirit provided twenty-three perfect male chromosomes to fertilize the female ovum in Mary’s virgin pregnancy. At the point of birth, God the Father imputed life to our Lord’s soul, but He did not impute Adam’s original sin because there was no old sin nature in our Lord. Therefore, our Lord was born into the prototype divine dynasphere, where He remained throughout His life on earth. Mt 1:2021, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. And she shall bear a son…”
3. So real spiritual death is the affinity between Adam’s original sin and the genetically formed old sin nature. Since we are born with the old sin nature, Adam’s original sin gravitates to it in every case. This is the imputation of spiritual death, a manifestation of the wisdom of God.
4. Since condemnation must precede salvation, God’s grace condemns us at birth, so that all those who die before reaching accountability are automatically saved.
5. Through impeccability our Lord’s humanity in Hypostatic Union was qualified to go to the cross and suffer the substitutionary spiritual death, 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21. Isa 53:6b, “Therefore the Lord [omnipotence and justice of God the Father] has caused to fall on Him [substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross] the punishment for our sins.”

G. Mechanics of the Perpetuation of Real Spiritual Death in the Human Race.
1. There are two categories of imputation.
a. A real imputation in which there is affinity between what is imputed and the home or target for that imputation.
b. A judicial imputation in which no affinity exists between what is imputed and the recipient of that imputation.
2. X + Y + Z = the Plan of God.
a. X = [I/HL + Adam’s original sin = P1 + D = H 1] +
(1) At physical birth, human life (HL) is imputed to the soul, a real imputation. Adam’s original sin imputed to the old sin nature is a real imputation. These two imputations provide the first potential in life (P1) for salvation.
(2) With the pertinent doctrine (D), the Gospel, one can have Hope 1, i.e., absolute confidence that when you believe in Jesus Christ, you have eternal life.
(3) The plus outside refers to that moment of faith in Christ for salvation. These two real imputations result in condemnation, which must occur before there can be salvation.
b. Y = [J1 + J2 = P2 + D = H2] +
(1) Judicial imputation one (J1) is the imputation of all our personal sins to Christ on the cross. There is no affinity between our sins and the perfect humanity of Christ; therefore it is a judicial imputation.
(2) Judicial imputation two is the imputation of divine righteousness to us at the moment we believe in Christ. This is also a judicial imputation because there is no affinity between the perfect righteousness of God and our sinful selves. In order to live with God forever, we must be as good as God is. Therefore, He imputes His own righteousness to us, followed by His pronouncement of our justification.
(3) These two imputations provide potential two, the potential for our escrow blessings, which replaces the first potential. The condition for receiving our escrow blessings is our advance to spiritual maturity. This is done by learning the pertinent doctrine.
(4) This doctrine produces in us hope two, which is absolute confidence that when we advance to spiritual maturity, we will receive these escrow blessings. The plus outside is the reality of receiving those blessings when we reach spiritual maturity, the very condition for receiving the conveyance of our escrow blessings.
c. Z = [EL + EB = P 3 + D = H3] = the Protocol Plan of God.
(1) After reaching spiritual maturity, we advance to the Z bracket which focuses on eternity. Eternal life (EL) was imputed to a Spiritcreated human spirit in us at salvation (the first +). To live with God forever, we must have His life, eternal life.
(2) Escrow blessings (EB) for time were imputed to the righteousness of Christ we share by virtue of being in union with Him (the second +). However, these escrow blessing could not be imputed to us until we reached spiritual maturity because of our need for capacity for them.
(3) These two real imputations provide the third potential, the potential for receiving escrow blessing and rewards in the eternal state. By learning the pertinent eschatological doctrine, we have hope three. This is absolute confidence that after the resurrection/Rapture of the church, we will receive the conveyance of our escrow blessings for the eternal state.
d. This equation/outline is structured upon imputations, which add up to the protocol plan of God for the dispensation of the Church.