The Death Sentence
Luke 3:38 tells us the Adam was "the son of God." This is because he was made in the Image of God. It was the divine purpose from the beginning to make men (and women) in His own Image. They were created with a physical body that housed the glory of God.
But when Adam and Eve later sinned, they lost the glory and were left only with the physical body that was made of the dust of the ground. The purpose and goal of history is to restore through Christ what was lost through Adam.
To put it another way, Adam was the son of God, but he lost his "sonship" through sin which separated him from God. And worse yet, he lost it for all of his children, and this had an adverse effect upon all of creation.
If there is one thing God possesses in abundance, it is Time. The divine law, which is the foundational expression of His Mind and Will, says that if a person cannot pay the debt incurred by sin, he must work off his debt for a certain time. Adam's case is expressed perfectly in Jesus' parable of the Debtor in Matthew 18:25,
25 But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children, AND ALL THAT HE HAD, and repayment to be made.
Thus, Adam, his wife, and his children (including us) were all "sold" in the slavery of sin. Not only mankind, but also "all that he had." Adam had been given dominion over the earth, and so Paul tells us in Rom. 8:22 that "the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now."
Paul calls it "the pains of childbirth" because he was talking about the birthing of the sons of God into the earth. Like a woman's childbirth, the earth itself is in pain to bring forth these sons of God.
The divine law also tells us that a sinner sold into slavery must be released at the end of six years (Ex. 21:2). This is not a permanent release, however. If he still owes more on his debt, he had to return after his Sabbath year to continue working as a slave. Only in the year of Jubilee was this debt fully cancelled, unless he succeeded in paying off the debt earlier.
If we look at the legal case against Adam, we see from Genesis 3:17 that the curse for Adam's sin was placed upon the ground:
17 . . . Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
Legally speaking, this means that that the ground itself redeemed Adam's debt note. This meant that the ground now had authority over Adam and his children, and Adam would have to "eat of it" all the days of his life. In other words, the ground would provide its slave with food and housing. And yet, Adam would have to work and toil on behalf of the earth.
19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Adam's body was made from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). He had lost the glory which this body had housed prior to his sin. That glory represented the presence of God in him, and this glory factor was what made him a son of God. He was supposed to be under the direct authority of God and led by the inner divine presence--but now, because of his sin, he became enslaved to the ground, including his physical dust-body. Keep in mind that this was by the decree of God.
Adam and his descendants would therefore be enslaved to the ground for "six years." Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 tell us that "with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." And so, in applying Adam's sentence in a large, cosmic picture, he and his children were sentenced to a 6,000 year time of slavery to the physical body.
We are now near the time of the 6,000 years since Adam's sentence began. The day is approaching when the first major Sabbath will be decreed, wherein the earth will be set free from its bondage to the world-system called by various names including "Babylon."
This is not yet the Jubilee, of course. It is only the first Sabbath land-rest, where the slaves must be given a "year" of rest.
The New Testament clarifies this and adds details. It tells us that this will be the time of the "first resurrection" (Rev. 20:4-6), in which the overcomers will receive immortality. These are the sons of God, who have "the hope of glory." They will receive full freedom from Adam's sentence. The rest of mankind will participate in that freedom, but they will not receive immortality until later.
In my book, The Purpose of Resurrection, I show that there are two resurrections in the future. The first is for the overcomers only at the end of 6,000 years from Adam. These are the first to come into full Sonship. The second resurrection comes at the end of the 7,000 years. Jesus speaks of this second resurrection in John 5:28, 29,
28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice 29 and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."
At this second resurrection, both good and bad people will be raised, both believers and unbelievers. The Bible says that those who believe in Jesus Christ will receive immortality in that resurrection. Paul says that they will be "saved yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15). They will receive a certain amount of judgment, as Jesus describes in Luke 12:47-49, but they will then be given immortality.
The rest of mankind, who will all be raised in this second resurrection, will not die from then on, because Rev. 20:14 says that death itself will be cast into the lake of fire at that time. Yet they will be sold to the sons of God and will have to wait until the great Creation Jubilee to be totally set free. During that time, their Debt Note will no longer be held by the ground, because the sons of God will "purchase" their debt note from the ground.
This will prove to be a great advantage for humanity, because at this point they will be enslaved to those who love them, rather than to the ground which is indifferent. The sons of God will be responsible to care for them and to teach them the ways of God, as Isaiah 26:9 says, "For when the earth experiences Thy judgments, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
This is how the "fiery law" works (Deut. 33:2). This is the nature of the "lake of fire" in Rev. 20:14, 15. The law does not prescribe torture for sinners. The divine law says they are to be "sold" for their sin (Ex. 22:3). The law restores, and the purpose of God is to restore the creation to what it was before Adam sinned.
This is why the whole creation looks forward to the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). In our next chapter, I will show how the feast days of Israel set forth the basic blueprint for coming into Sonship.