Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us. As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god. Acts 28:1-6 NLT
Apostle Paul was a man of like passions like us. That means he felt everything any other human being felt. However, his life was characterised by the supernatural. Our opening scripture clearly conveys this reality. It uncovers the story of Paul being bitten by a poisonous snake and how he not only shook it off but was unharmed by the entire incident.
The questions that should linger upon our minds are why didn't the Apostle die? Why wasn't he unharmed?
When one studies the Epistles that the Apostle wrote they get to understand that Paul had a peculiar kind of knowledge and understanding of the word regarding the new creation, cultivated a consciousness of who the new creation is, what he has and what he can do that ultimately affected his speech.
Scriptures declare that sons of the Most High God are gods (Psalm 82:5-6) this connotes that a Christian is born of God, however, the psalmist continues to say “...But...[they] shall die like mere men, And fall like one of the princes.” Psalm 82:6 because they lack knowledge and understanding Psalm 82:7. The above gives an indication that sons of the Most High are not meant to experience death in their path. However, it is possible for them to experience it due to lack of knowledge and understanding.
This is what distinguished Paul. The reason Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and was neither infected nor harmed was because he knew and understood something. This is why it is in my heart to share with you about the Apostles Knowledge, consciousness and daily declarations that he made. Subsequently, if we could get a hold of the Apostles' knowledge and understanding we could easily develop the same consciousness and make the same declarations he made.
Paul cultivated an extraordinary consciousness of Life and Immortality and as we look into scripture we will fully understand why he lived above the worl
Eternal life is the very life and nature of God. In Christ Jesus, we have obtained eternal life as a gift. What does one do with a gift? You celebrate it! Celebrate this life you have received by speaking forth that you have received Eternal Life. This is what Paul knew and understood. He knew that he could not die nor be infected because he carried the life and nature of God which caused him to be not subject to infections and death. Recall that before the birth, earthly ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the bible records that man's lifespan was reduced to 120 years because of sin. Now, Jesus has dealt with sin. So if Jesus has dealt with sin this means the lifespan of a human being is no longer 120 years rather we have the ability to live as long as we choose to live.
Furthermore, Paul says “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” 2 Timothy 1:10 NKJV
The New Creatures’ present hour reality is that Jesus has abolished death. This means death and all its associates have been destroyed. It further means death has been rendered harmless and ineffective in the new creature’s life. It cannot just show up. Moreover, the bible declares that Jesus has brought life and immortality to light. Hallelujah! Now in order to walk in the reality of this glorious truth you need to receive and celebrate life and immortality. This you do by constantly declaring that death has been destroyed in your life and now you have received life and immortality.
It is pivotal for us to understand that Eternal life was God’s plan all along before creation and Paul understood that he had to proclaim it. “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” Titus 1:1-2 NKJV however, eternal could not manifest before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This connotes that Jesus Christ destroyed death and made it possible for us to walk and experience eternal life. This was Paul’s consciousness. This was what caused Paul to be uninfected nor cease from death even after he was bitten by a poisonous snake.
Furthermore, Paul was so conscious of life that he declared, “But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work, then I am not sure which I should choose. I am pulled in two directions. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ, which is a far better thing; but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive.” Philippians 1:22-24 GNT
So then regarding death and life we can no longer say death is from God neither is it from Satan. To live or to die is a choice. The Apostle understood this. He said if he chooses to die it would be far better for him for he would be with Christ, But if he chooses to live it would be for the benefit of the church; the propagation of the Gospel. Philippians 1:23-24. This is why even Jesus said no one can take his life; he lays it up whenever he desires John 10:18. If Jesus and Paul knew that to live or to die is a choice then you have a choice. Choose life.
In the book of 2 Corinthians 15:55 Paul declares, “But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die...”1 Corinthians 15:51 MSG What a remarkable truth! Paul said we’re not all going to die. Many declare that we’re all going to die but we’ve just discovered there’s no truth in that statement. Death is an enemy. That's what Paul the Apostle said 1 Corinthians 15:56 NKJV. If death is an enemy this means it does not come from God. The likes of Enoch, Moses, Elijah, Jacob and Abraham knew when it was time for them to depart. They were not taken by surprise, continuing to explain why Paul was neither infected nor died after a poisonous snake bit him.
Finally, the Apostle Paul declared, “...the law of the Spirit of Life works in us...” Romans 8:2 NKJV therefore, we cannot just die. Jesus made a powerful remark and said even if we drink anything deadly, it shall not hurt us Mark 16:17. This means all we need to do is cultivate a consciousness of Life and Immortality through the art of meditation. However, it doesn’t end there. As we cultivate this consciousness we also ought to make constant declarations of these truths and as we do so our lives will be an unending stream of the miraculous and perpetual victory.
CONFESSION Dear Father, I thank you for the Holy Spirit dwells in me and that I’m conscious of his indwelling presence in me. The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus is at work in me causing me to repel death and its associates. Jesus has abolished sin and death and has brought life and Immortality to light. Today I receive Life and Immortality into my spirit, soul and body. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Further Study Romans 6:23 NKJV
Romans 8:2 NKJV 1 Corinthians 15:56 NKJV
2 Corinthians 15:55 MSG
2 Timothy 1:10 KJV
Philippians 1:23-24 NIV