The Anatomy Of Death: Sermon By Rev. Daniel Kamau
It’s Pentecost Sunday. Happy Birthday, Church!
He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.Matthew 16:15-19 (AMP)
Hell, Hades & Sheol
Death and Hades (Sheol) are linked together at least 33 times in Scripture. In these, we see a differentiation between the outer man and inner man. Death claims the outer man and Hades the inner man. This is exactly the meaning of Psalm 16:10 –“For Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell (Sheol); neither will Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” In his Pentecostal address, Peter left no room for doubt that this was a prophetic pronouncement concerning the time between the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection.
Anatomy is the study of inner working of something. Death is the end of life of a person or organism.
When Christ says the gates of hell will not prevail, it means the Church will never die. Death is not encoded in the Church’s DNA.
Death is first mentioned in Scripture in the Garden of Eden by God Himself. Adam at Eden had not yet seen what death is like no more than Noah had seen rain fall. He, however, had been left instructions on how to avoid the reality and onset of death.
And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.Genesis 2:15-17 (AMP)
From the account in Genesis 3 of the fall of man, we see that the advent of death is the disobedience of man.
Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.Genesis 3:1-5 (AMP)
And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.Genesis 3:17-19 (AMP)
There are three aspects of death – Spiritual, Emotional and Physical.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?—which means, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me [deserting Me and leaving Me helpless and abandoned]?Mark 15:34 (AMP)
Spiritual death is what Christ experienced at the Cross. The Son was separated from the Father. Fatherly abandonment is the genesis of many dysfunctions humanity faces.
Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (a leader, an authority) among the Jews,Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know and are certain that You have come from God [as] a Teacher; for no one can do these signs (these wonderworks, these miracles—and produce the proofs) that You do unless God is with him. Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born? Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above). The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.John 3:1-8 (AMP)
Nicodemus came to know of spiritual death when he met Christ. Christ also introduced spiritual birth to him.
Emotional death is disenchantment that leads to apathy and disinterest. It sets in due to traumatic experiences. Criminals are the kind of people that experienced this. Their hearts are seared as with an iron.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.Proverbs 13:12 (AMP)
Hope deferred can lead to emotional death. In the place of healing as a Church, we will be able to serve the world. We cannot serve when we ourselves are ailing or even dead.
When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.Ephesians 4:26 (AMP)
Anger is a gift from God for fight or flight. Be angry but sin not. There is a place for anger but no place for sin. Sin is an open door for demonic activity. Even if we were left in our indignation to get even, we could never get to the justice that God can. Let all bitterness & wrath be put away from us.
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.Hebrews 12:14-15 (AMP)
Bitterness is anger that has festered. It multiplies. If we don’t let go of it, we cannot see God. Reconciling with those who have grieved us is extending mercy not excusing what they have done.
Confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed.
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].James 5:16 (AMP)
Curse & Blessing – All Are Spoken
Blessing and not cursing should be the heart position of every believer when they face opposition.
But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred, Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].Luke 6:27-28 (AMP)
Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.Romans 12:14 (AMP)
The Glory of God can never dwell among the proud. He lifts the lowly to their rightful place. But we must pass the test of humility. The children of Israel increased as their labour increased because they were humble. The onset of death in a body is often when something is not functioning as it should.
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)
There is a part of the word of God that goes direct without any form of barriers or defenses we have in us.
The heart of the Church needs bypass surgery at the Cross to unclog it of all that has hindered her function. Let us go to God like David and ask Him to search our hearts and remove every purity.
Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.Ephesians 5:19-23 (AMP)
When we have the fear of God, we are able to submit to each other for all the right reasons. We have to enthrone Christ in our hearts first before ministering.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.Proverbs 3:5 (AMP)
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.Proverbs 4:20 (AMP)
These two proverbs are a divine prescription for our hearts. When God heals our hearts, we must guard it with diligence.
The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips.Proverbs 16:23 (AMP)
When we have God’s word in our hearts, we can speak life to others.
By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God’s favor [because of them] the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.Proverbs 11:11 (AMP)
It is the blessing of the righteous that causes a city to prosper. Do you speak good words to yourself, to those around you and to the city, nation and world you live in?
Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].Colossians 3:12 (AMP)
Bind us together, Lord, with cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together with Love. Only Agape Love can cause us to see the infinitely precious in another person.
And Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they divided His garments and distributed them by casting lots for them.Luke 23:34 (AMP)
Jesus forgave those who crucified Him before He died. He couldn’t see God if He died carrying bitterness and unforgiveness. Don’t underestimate the power of forgiveness and/or unforgiveness at work in your life.
Bodily death is the result of sick organs that cease to function leading to death. We have people who are brain dead yet kept alive by machines.
Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.Ephesians 4:15-16 (AMP)
The Body increases because of two things – the truth and love. There is no room for love in the face of malice, bitterness and rancour. Love is the splendour of truth.
The moment there is a disjoint in truth in the body, it starts to atrophy.
When some cells begin to grow more than others, it is called cancer. When some organs are formed more than others, there is a deformity.
We thank God for the graces of the 5 offices that equip the saints and now more than ever we pray for there to be true authentic ministers in this city and country to bring in place – symphonic equilibrium – read the government of Christ on the face of the earth.
The impact of the washing of the Word is that the body becomes clean and pure.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].Ephesians 5:25-27 (AMP)
The body that is alive is clean and washed by the word and now alive unto God.
For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.Titus 3:3-5 (AMP)
Only in Christ can we find regeneration.
Bodily death also comes as as a result of the land being unable to support the living organisms [people and animals] that depend on it. We see that in Eden when the land is cursed and thorns and thistles come forth. In Leviticus we also see the impact of sin on the land.
You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. Neither shall you lie with any beast and defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman yield herself to a beast to lie with it; it is confusion, perversion, and degradedly carnal. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for in all these things the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you.And the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants.Leviticus 18:22-25 (AMP)
And in 2 Chronicles, we find the remedy to ailing land.
If I shut up heaven so no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified (set apart for holy use) this house, that My Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually.2 Chronicles 7:13-16 (AMP)
It is for this reason we need to continue to intercede for our country lest there be calamity. We must pray for our land and the people on it.
What’s The State Of The Church?
The various levels of uncleanliness in the Body of Christ can be paralleled to what happens to a dying body. Uncleanliness in the Church has the same effect as death on a human body. There’s nothing pleasant about it.
A church that has internal wrangles where people are fighting themselves and tearing at each other is courting death.
But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).Galatians 5:15-16 (AMP)
A Church without God’s word – Logos and Rhema – is spiritually blind and dead. Without Christ’s leading, the Body of Christ can have no life.
The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted [with eager desire], for I longed for Your commandments.Psalm 119:130-131 (AMP)
A Church without love and proper worship is putrid to God. It lacks the sweet smelling aroma (life) that comes with genuine praise.
Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance. But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people). Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].
For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]—for he [in effect] is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience. So do not associate or be sharers with them.Ephesians 5:1-7 (AMP)
A Church influenced by the world is as good as dead. A Church invaded by demonic doctrines is rotting.
Then to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Pergamum write: These are the words of Him Who has and wields the sharp two-edged sword: I know where you live—a place where Satan sits enthroned. [Yet] you are clinging to and holding fast My name, and you did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed (martyred) in your midst—where Satan dwells. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice]. You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people] which thing I hate. Repent [then]! Or else I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.Revelations 2:12-16 (AMP)
For this reason seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name]. May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).Ephesians 3:14-21 (AMP)
There is hope. The resurrection power of Christ is at work today. No matter how dismal things may seem, the Church will never die because of the power of Christ at work within us.
And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment, Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.Hebrews 9:27-28 (AMP)
There is the word of promise in Joel chapter 2 on restoration. The land is devastated, there is famine and destruction, and in verse 24, the Lord promises two things:
1) A healed land
And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil. And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.Joel 2:24-26 (AMP)
2) A healed people
And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.Joel 2:27-29 (AMP)
Restoration and revival is at hand for the Church. God is bringing us back to our rightful position where we are full of life. God is sending us to places full of death so that we can bring life. It is our mandate as His Body because He has given us the promise of life.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).John 10:10 (AMP)
Only when we receive life from God can we give it to others. Let us enlist for the life God brings each and every day.