The Blessedness of Sufferings
As has been stated in previous articles, the pain that the Lord speaks of in Revelation 21:4 (And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.), is not concerning physical pain. The promises of the ending of death, sorrow and pain are not regarding our future days, here in 2017, but for the future days of those believers back in the first century when this was revealed. It does not concern itself so much with heaven, as it does with the church age.
The Old Testament believers were under the stress of spiritual pain that we, since the accomplished atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, know little of. They had a “fear of death” that kept them under an emotional bondage to Satan, for their approach to God was only based on the blood of bulls and goats which never took away a single sin! The effectually preached doctrine of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus brought believers into the liberty of peace and joy as had never been experienced before. Listen to the Apostle’s words: 1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heretofore they had no assurance of the conquering of death! 1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Here is the struggle of an Old Testament saint: Psalm 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. 16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
As there is more than one kind of death, so there is more than one kind of sorrow and pain. John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Martha’s mind, like the majority of religionists today, dwelt on a physical resurrection that was connected to a scheduled event! But the Lord spoke of the spiritual resurrection of regeneration that only accompanied faith in His Person! In that above 26th verse, he spoke of the impossibility of death of those believing in him! That cannot be referring to physical death. For Mary and Martha died, and Lazarus died again! THAT is referring to the second death! For being born again gives one eternal life and prevents eternal death! Revelation 2:11 He 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. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,
Only those not born again shall experience the second, or eternal death! Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 21:8 But 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.
And as there are different kinds of death, so there is both physical and spiritual pain. The accomplished redemption at the cross of the Lord immediately took care of both spiritual death, sorrow and pain. No more fear of the bondage of Satan, as having been delivered into the glorious liberty of spiritual regeneration! And the resurrection at the last day shall take care of physical death, sorrow and pain!
Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. The “creature” speaks of all created beings. Therefore the removal of the curse upon the physical is assured by the witness of the spiritual resurrection of regeneration. For the Holy Spirit was sent forth to make application of Christ’s accomplished redemption at the cross!
That is exactly what the Lord stated! John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
He stated that the hour had come when those dead in trespasses and sins should be born again, regenerated, in a spiritual resurrection by the invisible workings of the Holy Spirit. John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
And this would be proved by the physical resurrection at an hour that was coming. In verse twenty five he speaks of the spiritual resurrection whose hour “now is.” And he did not speak of any “graves.” But in verse twenty eight he did not speak of an hour that “now is,” and he did speak of “graves.” So there is a present hour of spiritual resurrection and a future hour of physical resurrection from “graves.” And that future hour of the physical resurrection was the proof of the present hour of spiritual resurrection.
And it is so with the statement; …neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 21:4). For it is clearly stated that at his cross he loosed the pains of death! Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. He destroyed the pains of spiritual death, as he was raised physically from the grave!
And this he did for all those given him by the Father! Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
No more spiritual death! No more spiritual sorrow. No more spiritual suffering, for our Lord has conquered death, hell and the grave at Calvary.
We may have to endure the blessedness of physical suffering, but in such a way as to only assure us of our identity with Christ and his glory! 1 Peter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 4:12 ¶ Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
Pastor Gene Breed
November 16, 2017
This is a portion of an e-mail reply I was privileged to give to a brother who is in constant pain:
“I am learning a great deal about the Lord – and myself – and his great mercies through the blessedness of pain. I have also trusted him for all of his dear people who have the effectual cross assigned to them as their daily bread. It was a very extremely wonderful opportunity for that wretched thief to be given exclusive attentiveness by the Holy Lamb of God in their shared experience in suffering! O the wisdom of God! But O! How different the suffering! The Lamb’s imputed for redemption. The thief’s for imparted righteousness! And what glorious words, – “be with me – today!” Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The common denominator with all those redeemed in eternal glory is that they all – including the Lamb on the throne – came there by way of the effectual cross! Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
All glory to God and the Lamb forever!