The Spiritual Resurrection

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ep. 5:14

Resurrection


Introduction

The following article is a sermon by Menno Simons, an early Anabaptist minister. Due to his influential leadership, the Anabaptist congregations in northern continental Europe came to be called Mennonites. I am sure Menno would have detested the thought of naming churches after him, but the name stuck. By the time some of the Swiss Brethren immigrated to North America in the early 1700s, the name “Mennonite” had become attached to them also. Most of the immigrants to Pennsylvania were actually Swiss Brethren, not Dutch “Mennonites.”

In the USA, over forty percent of the general population claims to be “born again.” Read this article, and then try to imagine a society with forty percent living it out! On the other hand, some of today’s “Anabaptists” almost deny that a new birth is necessary. This article provides a clear teaching on the subject.

Remember two things while reading this meaty article:

1. The spiritual resurrection, the new birth, is only a beginning. It is the starting line of a race, not the finish line. It matters little how great your birth was if you die three minutes later. One must continue alive in the spirit until the end of the race here on earth, when the body dies.

2. That said, we must also remember that to finish a race, we must start at the starting line. No exceptions.

A short word on the translation: This version has been reworked into modern English to make it easier to read. Some theological terms were replaced with synonyms to keep our mind out of common theological ruts that distract from the simple meaning of the words. All in all, this is how Menno might preach this sermon were he to preach it in your congregation this coming Lord’s day.

All footnotes are by me. ~Mike Atnip

The Spiritual Resurrection

The Scriptures point out to us two resurrections:

  1. A bodily resurrection from the dead at the last day.
  2. A spiritual resurrection from sin and death, to a new life and a change of heart.[1]

The Scriptures plainly teach in different parts that a man should die to sin—that is, separate himself from it—in his spirit; be spiritually buried and rise again to a life of righteous living in God.

Paul exhorted us in this way: “Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ep. 4:22-24

Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Co. 3:9,10

Before a bodily resurrection from the dead can take place, the death of the body is necessary. Sickness, pain, and tribulation must precede death, which have a tendency to make death still more bitter to the flesh. The same happens with the spirit of man: there can be no resurrection from sin and spiritual death, unless the sinful element of us be first destroyed and buried, and has sensibly endured pain and the burden of sin, that is sorrowfulness of heart, remorse, and a sincere repentance on account of sin, as is clearly shown in the Scriptures.

David says, “O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.” Ps. 38:1-10

We must endure sorrow and distress, according to James 4:9: “Be afflicted and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” Paul says, “Ye were made sorry after a godly manner,” to repentance, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death; seeing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, what fear, vehement desire, and revenge.

Look, this is exactly how we have to die with Christ unto sin, if we desire to be made alive with Him. Because no one can rejoice with Christ, unless he first suffers with Him. It is so clear! Paul says, “If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him, if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” 2 Ti. 2:11-12

The new created being

This resurrection includes the new created being, the spiritual birth, and sanctification, without which none shall see the Lord. Paul testifies to this in a few words, saying, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Again, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” He is speaking of the first resurrection, the resurrection that happens in our spirit: “For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death—that is, through killing the sinful nature of the earthly Adam in us, with all his members or wicked lusts—we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Then we can be assured that our “old man” is crucified with Him, that the sinful element in us is destroyed. We can then keep the true Sabbath in Christ, by putting off the sinful element of the flesh. In this way, we are also circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, a circumcision accomplished without hands. Our old life is also buried by means of baptism, in which we have also resurrected with him by means of faith.

This whole thing is the operation of God; we cease from all works of the flesh, are led by the Spirit, and bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. From that point on, we do not serve sin. It’s bad enough that we have spent our former days conforming to the culture of the gentiles, when we walked in vanity, sensual lust, drunkenness, eating and drinking, and in abominable idolatry. We dare not spend the remainder of our days pursuing after the natural desires of humanity, but should conform ourselves to the will of God so that we may say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Ga. 2:20 In the same way, “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Co. 5:15

To have a more correct knowledge of this resurrection and remanufacturing,[2] we must bear in mind that all creatures bring forth more creatures just like they themselves are, and every creature partakes of the properties, tendencies, and character of that which brought it forth, as Christ says, “That which is born of flesh is flesh”—which cannot see eternal life—and “that which is born of Spirit is spirit”: life and peace, which is eternal life.

That which is born of flesh originates out of the earth, by corruptible[3] seed. It is naturally carnally minded, that is, earthly, and speaks of earthly things and longs after the earthly and perishable. All his thoughts, feelings, and desires are directed towards earthly, temporal, or visible things; in other words, it seeks those things from which it was born, or from which it proceeds. That which is born of flesh and blood is flesh and blood, and is carnally minded.[4]

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Therefore, those who are born of the flesh, but not of the Spirit, cannot please God; for such are altogether deaf, blind, and ignorant in divine things. A carnal man cannot get ahold of nor understand divine things, for by nature he does not have that discernment. Rather, his mind is depraved; God is not in his mind. A carnal man cannot understand spiritual things, for he is by nature a child of the devil, and is not spiritually minded. Hence, he comprehends nothing spiritual; for by nature he is a stranger to God. He:

  • has nothing of a godly nature dwelling in him
  • does not have communion with God, rather he is at odds with Him
  • is unmerciful, unjust, and impure
  • is not peaceable
  • is impatient, disobedient, and without understanding
  • is also unhappy.

So, all men—because of their birth and origin—naturally live after the flesh’s desires. This is called the first (or old) Adam, and is summed up in the Scriptures with a single word: un-godly, that is, without God, separated from Him and destitute of His nature (character).

This is the nature and character of the earthly and devilish seed. Because as the seed is, so is the fruit; for “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption”—and bring forth fruit unto death! The natural man sins just like his father, of and through whose seed he is born. Because he is the father of lies and sinned from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth. For this reason, he that sins is of the devil, because sin is not of God, but of the devil, and he that sins has not seen God, nor known Him.

Now, we know that the Son of God was made manifest to take away sins and destroy the works of the devil, and through His death deprive him of power who had the power of death, that is the devil. As well, He wanted to rescue them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For by the sin of one man—Adam—all were made sinners. He that sins is the slave of sin and does the will and works of his master … whose spirit leads Him.

Whose slave are you?

Everyone is a slave to the one whom he serves, whether a slave of sin unto death, or a slave of obedience unto righteous living. He that acts unjustly shall receive according to his works. To such a person, Paul says that they should awaken from the sleep of sin and death, so that the second death shall have no power over them; saying, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ep. 5:14

On the other hand, all those who are born the second time and renewed from above—from out of God—through the living Word, are also of the mind and character (and have the same tendency towards good!) as the One they are born and begotten of. We may easily learn from the sacred Scriptures what the nature of God or Christ is, because Christ has explicitly portrayed Himself in His word.

Jesus is the true image of the invisible God, the brightness of His glory, and the exact outward manifestation of His person (character), who dwells in inexpressible light, whom none can approach or see. He did this so that we may follow Him and conform unto Him in His life and walk upon earth, as exemplified in words and works. In other words, Jesus came so that we may become partakers of God’s nature, by means of the Spirit.

In the Scriptures, Christ is everywhere represented to us as being humble, meek, merciful, just, holy, wise, spiritual, long-suffering, patient, peaceable, lovely, obedient, and good. He is the perfection of all things; for in Him there is sincerity. Look, this is the image of God, or Christ in the Spirit, whose example we should follow until we become like it in nature, and demonstrate it by our walk! All the remanufactured children of God are thus minded, for they partake of the nature of Him who has begotten them. They are—to sum it up in one word—Godlike, or godly persons. They have communion with Him, are of one mind and character with Him, and have the image of God in them.

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, abundantly show this, especially in the epistle of Paul to the Colossians, where he says, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Co. 3:9-15 “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” for Christ is the image of God to whom we must mold ourselves to. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Those, therefore, who have been molded into the image of Christ Jesus, are the truly remanufactured children of God. They have “put off” the old man, and “put on” the new, which is created after God’s character, in true uprightness and holiness.

Conformed to God’s character

When these have conformed to the image of God, have been born of God, and afterwards continue in God, they will not commit sin, for the seed of God remains in them. They have overcome the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—are crucified to the world, and the world unto them. They have killed their fleshly desires, and buried their sinful element with Christ in baptism, with their lusts and desires. They no longer serve sin until it brings unrighteous deeds, but much more they serve uprightness unto salvation. All this happens because they have clothed themselves with Christ, and are purified through the Holy Ghost—in their consciences—from dead works to serve the living God. They go forth bearing the fruits of the Spirit, the end of which is eternal life.

Because they have renounced the devil, the flesh, and the world, and have quit serving sin, they have—as faithful servants—voluntarily obligated themselves to God, with David, to live according to His blessed will all the rest of their days. On the other hand, the devil and his adherents—the world and flesh—being very envious, are waging war against them and are their deadly enemies. The remanufactured ones have now become enemies of sin and the devil. They have put themselves on the battlefield against all their enemies, with their Prince of life and faith, under the banner of the red cross. They go to battle armed with the armor of God and surrounded with angels of the Lord, always watching with much prayer so that they are not overcome by their enemies, who never slumber, but go about like roaring lions seeking whom they may devour.

Although they occasionally receive a wound and are overtaken by their enemies, still their souls remain uninjured. This wound is not unto death; for they have the anointing of God. They have the true Samaritan and the true Physician with them, who binds up and heals their wounds; for He has compassion over our weakness and sickness. Through His stripes and wounds we are made whole. Nor are they so thoroughly overcome that they will cast aside their weapons and surrender themselves again to become slaves of sin and be ruled by it.

But being encouraged anew of the Lord and in the strength of His power, they persevere valiantly in battle, until they, through Him by whom they can do all things, have gloriously conquered their enemy, and say to him, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” And with Paul say, “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “The Lord,” says Jeremiah, “is with me as a mighty, terrible one, therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail.” They say with David, “Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight, and they are not moved till they have broken their enemies to pieces. Blessed be the Lord who hath not given us as a prey in their teeth; our soul is escaped, as a bird out of the snare of the fowler: the snare is broken, and we are escaped from our enemies, and out of the hand of those who hate us.

The Lord is a rewarder of them who diligently seek, love, and serve Him; as it is written, “Behold the Lord cometh, and his reward is with him.” Yes, His reward and the gift of God are eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Because if you serve the Lord Jesus Christ, you will receive the reward of your inheritance, the crown of life, which God has promised those who love Him.

The nature of the seed

As stated above, every creature has the nature and character of that of which it is born. Therefore, we will speak a few words concerning the nature, character, and effects of the seed of the divine word, by which we are begotten in the image of God. Where this seed is sown upon good ground—into the heart of man—there it grows and reproduces its nature and character. It changes and renews the whole man; it changes him from a flesh-follower into a spirit-follower, from earthly into heavenly. It transforms from death unto life, from unbelief to belief, and makes man happy; for through this seed all nations upon the earth are blessed. Therefore, says James, “Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

The word of God is also the pure, unadulterated milk, by which the young and reborn children of God are nurtured, until they attain to a mature man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. It is also solid food for the mature and aged in Christ Jesus. In short, this seed of the divine word is spiritual food, by which the whole inner man is established, so that he doesn’t perish and faint in this wilderness and desolate world. Everyone who does not daily gather the bread of the divine word to satisfy their starving souls will starve and faint, because “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Therefore, whoever hungers after this heavenly bread is blessed and receives the ingrafted word; because it will bring forth in due time, according to its nature, an hundredfold. For, says the Lord, “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please.” Is. 55:10,11

Look, this is the nature, character, and effects of the seed—the word of God—by which man is renewed, remanufactured, sanctified, and salvaged! It is the incorruptible seed, namely, the living word of God which abides forever. And whoever is clothed with this power from above, filled with the Holy Ghost, and thus united to God, may become a partaker of God’s character and be conformed to the image of His Son. He, Jesus, is the first of the remanufactured ones and the first of those who resurrected with Him from the sleep and death of sin. From there on, they serve Him not in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of the Spirit.

Funeral
Have you had a funeral yet for your old way of living and thinking?

Putting on Christ

He that is real, and has this nature and character in his heart, has “put on” Christ Jesus. Such a person has become like He is, has the image of God in his heart, and is spiritually minded. He is led by the Spirit in his spirit, and spiritual fruits are brought forth as a well springing up unto eternal life. For they are remanufactured through the word which was sown in their hearts, begotten of God, and born the second time to bring forth fruit of eternal life. They are therefore—as children born of God—the same as the Father; of one mind and character. They have the godly nature of their Father, who has begotten them. Such a person’s thoughts are heavenly, his words are truth, well seasoned, and his good works are holy, acceptable to God and man; because they are holy vessels of honor, useful, and ready to do every good work.

Paul exhorts those who are born of the corruptible seed of flesh and blood—who are earthly, carnal, without understanding and blind in divine things, yes, children of wrath—that they should die unto sin; kill and bury the lusts and desires of the flesh. Then, they should rise by virtue of the heavenly seed from the sleep and death of sin, and be remanufactured, and walk in newness of life. This is the first resurrection. Paul tells them, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Likewise, he also admonishes all remanufactured children of God, who have been changed in mind and outlook through the eternal, saving seed of God and who have been regenerated and are risen, that they should be godly, spiritually, and heavenly minded, and strive for and desire heavenly, incorruptible things. He also admonishes them that their heart should be where their treasure is, and their conduct “in heaven,” telling them, “If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Co. 3:1-4 These verses declare that the remanufactured children of God who have risen with Christ from the dead, and now live with him, talk about heavenly things. To the world, they appear as if they are virtually dead, for their life is hid in God. John says it this way, “Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 Jo. 3:2

With these and similar words, the Scriptures admonish the truly remanufactured and those who have resurrected, that they should take heed to their calling, and continue perfect in a new, godly walk. Because if they have been made partakers of Christ, they should persevere to the end, so that they do not again depart from the living God through the deceitfulness of sin and an evil heart of unbelief. They should remain steadfast and whole, as the chosen children of God, and inherit the kingdom of their Father. They should reign in eternity and rule over sin, death, the devil, and hell, and all the enemies of the kingdom, whom they overcome by means of Christ, as valiant men. If they do so, they will also sit with Christ at the table of the Lord, and eat the bread and drink the wine of the kingdom of heaven; just like Christ overcame, and sits with His Father in His kingdom which is prepared for them. They shall be as a city well fortified; free from all care of their enemies; in full rest, full of life and joy. Such overcomers eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of Paradise. This pleasure-garden is ever so close to the unregenerated, but they are still earthly and carnally minded and have by nature the veil and partition-wall of sin in front of their hearts.

The regenerated

These remanufactured ones are they who:

  • died unto sin with Christ, and have truly risen again
  • are the born anew, to whom the power is given to become the sons of God
  • were repurchased out of all nations and have on the wedding garments for the marriage of the Lamb
  • have received the sign TAU[5] in their foreheads, by which the servants of God are designated
  • are the spiritual bride of Christ, His holy church, His spiritual body, flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone
  • have come to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, which came down from heaven
  • have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly of the church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant
  • are fellow citizens in the household of God, who have put off the corruptible garment and put on the incorruptible
  • have acknowledged the name of God, and kept His commandments, and the faith of Jesus
  • are the true sheep of Christ, who hear His voice, and follow no other
  • are the firstfruits of His created things, who have the Spirit and mind of Christ, therefore, they know what the will of the Lord is

Summary

Yes, these are the chosen generation, the spiritual and royal priesthood, a holy nation, a unique people; who in times past were not a people, but now the people of God, for God had compassion on them. These are the souls who were slain, under the altar, for the word of God.

In short, with them old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. But this has all happened because of God, who has reunited us unto Himself through Jesus Christ. These are they who stand before the throne of God, with palms in their hands, and clothed in white, saying, “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and might be unto our God forever and ever, Amen.” Re. 7:12

Like begets like

Like begets like:
What God begets is like Him
in character.

This is a short instruction concerning the spiritual resurrection, or new birth. It reveals the difference between the natural and spiritual, between the earthly and the heavenly, and makes it clear how each type is disposed, inclined, and of what mind he is: it declares what a man’s birth or origin is. It clearly shows that a person is of the same character—of the identical mind and of the same nature—as that is of which he is born, that which generated him. Because man by nature is not inclined to follow after the spiritual. Likewise, the spiritual rebirth of God does not occur by means of flesh and blood. In short, like produces like: flesh births flesh, and Spirit births spirit. As the natural father is, so are they who are naturally born of him. Such as God is—who is a Spirit and dwells in heaven—such are also they who are spiritually born from heaven. The rebirth of God goes way deeper than the birth of flesh.

Here, as in a mirror, one may view and examine himself and judge of what birth, mind, character, nature, life, and conduct he is. Here a man, by taking a little pains, can judge and test himself. Because a man’s walk, words, and actions—and the thoughts of his heart—all show what he really is. A man knows himself best, and no one knows what is in man, but the spirit which is in him.

I will repeat: all those who find upon testing themselves that they are not renewed and remanufactured in mind, understanding, spirit, and character, but are still carnally, earthly, worldly, and devilishly minded—and from their degenerate, ingrained nature are prone and willing to do all kinds of evil—should humble themselves before God. As Jeremiah said, “Let us examine and prove our ways, and let us turn unto the Lord, let us lift our hands and hearts to God in heaven, and say, We have sinned before heaven and in thy sight, and have excited thy wrath; Let us weep and let our eyes run over with water.” They should also say with David, “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” We should beg Him that He would make glad the work of His hands, and renew us whom He created. Let us humbly ask Him for His Spirit, saying, “Lord, send forth your Spirit, and they will be created, and you will renew the face of the earth.” That is how they should continue in prayer until they are clothed with the power of the Spirit from on high, changed, and made new again in the spirit of their mind. Then with astonishment they will say, “This is the change wrought by the right hand of God, the most High.” Ps. 104:30; 95:6

Also let those, who, on examining themselves, find that they are born from above by the grace of God—and that they are new creatures in Christ, and have become a temple of God—take heed to themselves according to the counsel of the Scriptures, in order that, since they are washed, purified, regenerated and sanctified, they do not again defile themselves and pollute the temple of God. Because if any man defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him. These pray in the Spirit with assured confidence, to God their Father, with David: “O God, strengthen us and confirm in us that which You caused in us!” He will then hear in His holy temple, according to His promise, because He is faithful who has begun the good work in you. He will also continue doing it until the coming of Jesus Christ. Peter says, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Pe. 1:5-11

May the God of all grace, who will gather all His chosen in the last resurrection into His kingdom, grant us such hearts, minds, and characters, that we, by means of true faith, may die unto ourselves. May we deny and renounce ourselves, that we may have part in the first resurrection spoken of. This first resurrection does not take place at the resurrection of the body from the dead at the last day. That is the second resurrection. But this first resurrection consists alone in dying unto, killing, and burying the sinful element by means of putting off and dying unto the old life, and to rise and be received into a new, godly conduct and pious life. Amen! ~

[1] John 5:24-28. Notice that Jesus said “The hour is coming, and now is …” for the resurrection mentioned in verse 25, which indicates that this resurrection (resurrection from spiritual death) was becoming available to humanity at that time. For the resurrection mentioned in verse 28 (the bodily resurrection at the last day), the words “and now is” are not there, indicating a future event.

[2] I use the term “remanufacturing” instead of “regeneration,” since regeneration is often misunderstood. “Renovation” would also fit well into the thought.

[3] Think of seed that has deteriorated in quality from the original plant (by being cross-fertilized with another inferior plant), such as a tomato that only gives fruits that are one inch in diameter. The seed has become “corrupted,” or degenerated, from what the original plant was. The human race has become corrupted from what God originally made Adam to be, and this corruption is passed down through the generations. That is the reason all babies are—in spite of the fact that they can be quite cute—born selfish little fellows. No one has to teach children to be self-centered: they inherit that quality from Adam. “Self” is a corruption from the original character of God.

[4] The root “carn” (carnal, etc.) means “flesh.” “Carnal” simply means “flesh-centered.”

[5] Some early Anabaptists taught that the seal of Revelation 9:4 and Ezekiel 9 was the Hebrew letter tav, which originally was written as a cross, or the Greek letter tau—a ‘t’, or cross. This mark or seal represented all who had taken up the cross of self-denial and were following Jesus in discipleship.

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