Out From Death:
Negotiating Between Preventing and Passing Through Death
There are two dimensions of salvation relative to the many “deaths” we must face as prophetic disciples en route to our destiny in Christ. There is salvation “from” death, and there is also salvation “out from” death. Though in name the only difference between them is the word “out,” their distinction is vital to us all, beckoning to be understood especially at this time.
Most often when we think of salvation relative to death, we think of salvation from death. In this sense, we see salvation as preventative of something to be avoided. It is our first and natural desire for salvation.
But salvation out from death is a salvation that comes about as a result of death. It results as a process through which we must pass rather than as a preventative of something we would seek to avoid.
We wrestle then with a contortion between salvation by prevention and salvation by pass-through. There is much death we wish to prevent so as to be saved from. But then there is that death through which we must pass in order to become saved.
We are not alone in this struggle. This very contortion was seen in the garden of Gethsemane. Our Lord had to wrestle with the issue of prevention versus pass-through: “If it be Your will, let this cup pass from me (saving prevention), nevertheless, not my will, but Your will be done (saving pass-through if necessary).
The Father has a perfect path marked out for us who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That path is a path of salvation. Always, salvation is the Father’s plan for us. Death is never the end or the objective. Death is always and only a stopping place along the heavenly way where it is required to accomplish salvation’s final goal. That is good news, and should always remain so for us.
As we wrestle with the prevention / pass-through question, the Lord wants to move us from death consciousness to salvation consciousness. This is so that if passing through death rather than preventing death proves out to be the Father’s higher saving way, we won’t lose sight of His true heart for us.
This is why Hebrews emphatically reminds us, “For the joy set before Him….” It is the joy of His own salvation on which the Lord kept His own eye in acceding to passing through death. And it was completion of that same joy He wanted His disciples to have in their own pass-through of death to come (Jn. 15:11 >>16:20-22).
Nothing feels worse than having failed spiritually and/or been failed by God when we are forced to move from a position of standing for death prevention to one of surrendering to death pass-through. This was the feeling of Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus. Salvation from death was the great desire and hope of these close friends of Jesus. And it was easily possible. But it was not in the perfect plan. The greater plan called for pass-through salvation. Death was required for this salvation to occur.
But salvation was always the objective. And it is still the objective for us, who also are His close friends.
Every day we are having to make choices between standing in faith against death and acceding in faith to the requirement of death to be saved. “Prevent” or “pass-through?” “From” or “out from?” The Lord wants to help us through this tortuous transition wherever it must be made, especially in this season when so much of what we have known in the realm of living stability and ministerial predictability has deteriorated amid a collapsing economy.
Salvation Out from Prophetic Death
There is a salvation many of us in the prophetic communities have been crying after for many years. We have not really known what it was, though we have had imaginations of it For most this salvation was always seen as a prevention of the death of a society and to see an ascendance of our own ministries. (After all, haven’t we the prophets already had our share of dying?)
But prevention was never in the ultimate plan. Instead of being preventatively “saved,” the society has steadily imploded….and the prophetic movement itself has descended into a pit of death. It has been “scattered” into thousands of nameless, faceless pieces. And under the weight of collapsing western economy, each of us is out there facing personal deaths on our own—with no movement to save us.
If we are honest, we will recognize that most of what was being prophesied ought to have failed because it was never from the Lord in the first place. Many of the so-called “prophets” prophesied the prevention of death (alias “revival”) out of their own carnal appetites.
But the collapse has affected the faithful as well as the unfaithful, so that even the faithful who have prayed for preventative salvation upon society and for the flourishing of their ministries have not seen it, but face death like all the rest. There seems to be little hope among the scattered remnant who say like the Psalmist, “Who will show us any good?”
It is precisely here that our Father would have us as a faithful community accept our pass-through situation and to look for our corporate prophetic salvation out from death. Even when passing through prophetic death of ministerial dreams and visions, we must have an expectation of the Lord’s exceeding goodness “above and beyond what we are able to think.” This is how it was for the Old Testament prophets who never saw that for which they were given vision to dream, even the restoration of Israel. We should not think that it cannot be our lot as well.
This is why we have stressed so many times throughout out the years that we must be looking for replacement of society in which the prophetic promises of God are realized—even through a new revelation of God’s kingdom coming out from the death of present civilization. So also we must expect a salvation out from the death of our own immediate visions when it becomes clear we must let go of the hope of prevention from death.
Transcending the Mindset of Impossibility
Hoping for salvation out from death is always difficult because we are unable to imagine how God could still bring to pass the fulfillment of something which has died, having no humanly conceivable way of being revived. Death after all is final in its declaration and execution. Anything past death is an impossibility.
Yet impossibility is where God excels, even as He proved in the Lazarus affair. And it is where He still excels for those who put their unswerving trust in Him when prevention of death is no longer the Father’s allowable course. And therefore it is toward a mind of transcending the impossible that the Lord would lead us when it becomes clear we must pass through death to be saved.
With these few thoughts in mind, let us remain focused on “the salvation which is to be revealed to us” out from whatever death it becomes decreed we must pass through.
Salvation, not death, is always our final end. And it is why we are always to be a people of certain hope.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created February 15, 2017