Perhaps one of the most important, and yet misunderstood, concepts in the Bible is that of eternal life. Most Christians do not really know what it is, even though this is the very reason why Jesus came to the earth.

John 10:10 KJV: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Many Christians have a vague idea that eternal life means living forever, forgetting that even Satan will live forever, in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

What is Eternal Life? 

The New Testament English translators had a problem with the original Greek word from which eternal life was derived. The word is `ZOË’, and it was interpreted in several ways in an attempt to convey its true meaning. In some places it is called eternal life and in others it is called everlasting life, or just life. It is also referred to as living water. We can begin to understand its true meaning, however, when we consider the following scriptures:

John 5:26 KJV: For as the Father hath life in himselfso hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

John 1:4 KJV: In him was lifeand the life was the light of men.

I John 5:11 KJV: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1John 5:12 KJV: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 

Simply put, eternal life is the spiritual substance that God has in Himself. It is the spiritual substance inside God that makes Him, God! Eternal Life is God’s inherent nature. It is literally a spiritual living water which flows inside God like blood flows in the physical body. Just as the blood flowing in you makes you a living physical being, Zoë flowing in God makes Him a living spiritual being.

Leviticus 17:11 KJV: For the life of the flesh is in the blood:…

Zoë is called everlasting because it is unending in its quality inside God. What this means in practice is that if God, (hypothetically) has a certain amount, say 100 measures of Zoë in Him and He released from Himself 5 measures, by logic and simple arithmetic, you would expect to find 95 measures left. However, because of Zoë’s unending, eternal quality you would find that God has even more than 100 measures left. This is how the law of ‘give and it shall be given unto you’ works, and it is this unending quality of Zoë that defines that law (Luke 6:38).Zoe, eternal life is the life that God uses to create and sustain all that exists. It originates from Him, sustains all creation and circulates back to Him in a cycle so that it is unending in God:

Romans 11:36 KJV: For of (originating in) Him, and through Him (sustaining all creation), and (circulating back) to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Being Born Again 

Zoë, or the life of God, is what Jesus had in His spirit in an abundant measure when He walked on the earth as a man.

John 5:26 KJV: For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

It is Zoë in our spirits that makes us born again.

I John 5:12 KJV: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 

A Christian is not defined by the fact that he goes to church, helps the poor or gives his body to be burned. If he does all these good things and has no Zoë in his spirit, then he is still a sinner. But when a man renounces his life of sin, believes in his heart that Jesus rose from the dead for his justification and submits to the Lordship of Jesus, he gets born again. The blood of Jesus washes away the sin nature (spiritual substance) from your spirit and the Holy Spirit recreates and fills your spirit with Zoë.

Romans 8:10 KJV: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit (the born-again recreated human spirit) is (or has) life because of righteousness (i.e. right standing). 

After this point, most Christians do not see or understand the need for any further conscious interaction with Zoë as they live their daily Christian lives. After all, they are now born-again, they have eternal life and are heaven bound.

Continuing in Life 

It is not enough for you as a Christian to receive the measure of eternal life that got you born again and expect it to carry you through your entire Christian life. This is because eternal life is used up continuously during all activities, especially spiritual activities. You must, therefore, continue to receive eternal life by faith throughout your existence on earth as a Christian.

1John 2:24-25 KJV: Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

To understand this better you need to understand a little bit about how the human spirit operates. The bible says in

Romans 1:20 KJV: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

In other words, we can understand the way spiritual things (which are invisible) work by studying the way natural things (the visible creation) work. Let me, therefore, use the natural example of the human body. The physical body, with all its muscles, tissues and fat, is literally made up of the food that it eats, which means that food is used for the growth of the body. But that food is also used by the body for energy to work. Both functions are very necessary because it is not possible for the body to convert all its substance into energy. A man who dies from starvation, for example, will still have body tissue and bones. He cannot disappear completely. Likewise, the spiritual substance of the born again human spirit is eternal life (Romans 8:10). This means that eternal life is necessary for spiritual growth. But the born again human spirit is also a container (reservoir) which can be filled with eternal life meant to be used for spiritual work.

Ephesians 5:18 KJV: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;… 

Ephesians 5:18 NLT: Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you… 

Eternal life is therefore, essential for both spiritual growth and spiritual work. If you do not continue to receive eternal life after you get born again your spirit will gradually become empty of eternal life, after which your spirit will grow weaker and weaker and weaker as the very life substance that it is made of begins to wither away. This is the process of backsliding, for even though the spirit may still contain some life substance, it becomes functionally dead. We see this truth in:

Revelation 3:1-2 KJV: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 

Receiving eternal life by faith on a daily basis is, therefore, as essential to the human spirit, soul and body as eating food daily is to the body. This is clearly stated in Matthew 4:4 ; Luke 11:3; John 6:51 ; John 6:54:

Matthew 4:4 KJV: But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

Luke 11:3 KJV: Give us day by day our daily bread

John 6:51 KJV: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:54 KJV: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal lifeand I will raise him up at the last day. 

John 1:14 KJV: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

John 6:63 KJV: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothingthe words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Measures of Life 

Just as you cannot eat one almighty meal and not be hungry for the rest of your life, neither can you do the same for eternal life. The manna the children of Israel received in the wilderness was daily, and each man went out to collect what he could carry daily. In the same way, we must receive life from God by faith daily, and what each man is able to receive varies according to our different spiritual capacities.

Words and Life 

When human beings speak or confess words, either in prayer or in idle chatter, our words contain spiritual substance which is released into the atmosphere. This spiritual substance could either be eternal life or death.

Proverbs 18:21 KJV: Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. 

This is so because words are containers or vehicles through which spiritual power is released into the physical world. The bible says in:

John 6:63 KJV: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life

If your spirit, or heart, is full of eternal life, then your words will also be full of eternal life. It is because God is always full of life that His words are always full of life, and so His words are living and powerful. They always come to pass.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV: For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Luke 1:37 KJV: For with God nothing shall be impossible. 

Luke 1:37 (Worrell’s translation): No word from God shall be void of power 

The reason why some Christians speak or confess God’s word and get very little, or no results is because their hearts are not full of life, and so their words are not powerful. This is one reason why the Lord Jesus said in

John 15:7 KJV: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

The born again human spirit is made of life, but it also contains life. When we speak, therefore, the power in our words is not determined by the life substance that the spirit is made of, but by the amount of excess, or abundance of life contained in the spirit. (For a sinner, and even for a backslidden Christian that abundance will not be life, but death).

Luke 6:45 KJV: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh

The good treasure that will bring forth good things of godliness, referred to in this scripture is Zoë. It is the abundance of Zoë in the spirit of a Christian that empowers him to be godly in his conduct and speech. It is also the abundance of Zoë in the spirit that makes your praying in other tongues (or praying in the Spirit 1 Corinthians 14:2) effective. Without enough Zoë you will simply be `a sounding brass or tinkling cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1).

1Corinthians 14:2 KJV: For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 

1Corinthians 13:1 KJV: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Therefore, the constant flow of Zoë (eternal life) into your spirit, and then into your soul (mind will and emotions), and from there into your physical body, is an essential and foundational prerequisite for an effectual prayer life and victorious Christian living. You need abounding life to overcome the abounding iniquity of today and live righteously.

Great and Precious Promises 

The word of God is highly specialized and there are scriptures in the Bible that promise us the life of God specifically:

2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (KJV)

God’s power is in His life. Therefore, the scriptures in the Bible that promise life, power, and strength all essentially promise Zoë, and we can be partakers of that divine nature by exercising faith in these great and precious promises. You must grasp the fact that the constant flow of Zoë into your spirit, soul and body is not automatic. Rather, this flow of Zoë will result as a consequence of your conscious and deliberate exercise of faith in the word of God that promises Zoë.

As a general rule, this is true of everything that your wish to receive from God. For example, healing is the right of every believer but God’s healing power does not flow automatically until you deliberately exercise faith in the healing scriptures. This is the same for all the other promises of the Bible, e.g. deliverance, prosperity, etc.

The Zoë you received when you got born again is constantly being expended. This is why you need to exercise faith in God’s word to get more. If you do not, after a while, the amount of life in you will be very small, and you will no longer see the fruit of the Spirit, or divine wisdom and power in your life to any appreciable degree. This does not mean that the life of God in you will be completely used up with none remaining; that can only happen if you reject Christ and are cut off from the body of Christ (John 15:6).

However, the amount of life in you can become so small that your life will not be fruitful to any significant degree, while your understanding of the scriptures will be darkened and all deep and intimate fellowship with God ceases. This sorry state of affairs in the Church has characterized generations of Christians since the dark ages, after the days of the early apostles and Church fathers.

As a result, therefore, the Church has experienced little, or at best, sporadic, manifestations of full spiritual growth and maturity in terms of fruit, divine wisdom, understanding and power. God in His wisdom, however, has privileged the present, end time generation of Christians to have an insight into the use and wisdom concerning the life and power scriptures, so that His people can have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Drawing Life 

Isaiah 12:3 KJV: Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Drawing life from God, using the exceeding great and precious promises is a technical thing (spiritually speaking). We can use the natural example of the physical body to illustrate this spiritual truth. Your physical heart pumps blood to circulate around the body. In exactly the same way, your born again spirit is a spiritual pump which pumps life. Jesus said:

John 4:13-14 KJV:  Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life

Jesus is telling this woman that He has come to give her spiritual water (life), and that if she believes in Him that spiritual water will create in her a well spring of life. The contemporary equivalent of this would be a pump connected to a well of everlasting life that you can always activate at will. The Lord Jesus is the well and your spirit is the pump-reservoir. If you are born again, then you have been connected to the well and there is no need for you to ever thirst again. Many Christians are thirsting today, however, because they are not consciously pumping from the well. This same truth can be seen in the illustration the Lord Jesus gave of the vine and the branches:

John 15:5 KJV: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

The vine is the source of life from which all the branches tap. The branches that tap the most life will produce the most fruit, while those that do not tap at all will wither or atrophy and die. Using the great and precious promises, you can pump spiritual water from the well (or vine) into your spirit (reservoir), and from your spirit into your soul, physical body and circumstances.

How Do We Pump? 

Basically, what you must do is to take the promise, believe it in your heart and confess it with your mouth. When you do this your heart acts like a pump and draws life from the well (Jesus via the Holy Spirit) into your heart, from where it can flow up to the rest of your system.

Proverbs 18:20 KJV: A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

The belly here refers to the human spirit. God wants our bellies to be filled with life all the time, and this must be done by praying from many life scriptures (… the increase of his lips… i.e. many confessions). The more scriptures which promise life that you confess, the greater the amount of God’s life and power is deposited in your spirit, soul and body. Each time you pray from a life scripture you will receive a measure of life. This is another concept that is unknown to many Christians. Life is not ministered all at once, but in measures, and the size of these measures increase as you grow spiritually.

Romans 12:3KJV: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

This measure of faith and the consequent life it makes available can grow or increase:

2Thessalonians 1:3 KJV: We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

Mark 4:24 KJV: And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye meteit shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

John 3:34 KJV: For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

When you want to eat dinner, you cannot swallow the whole meal in one gulp, you must eat it in mouthfuls. The mouthful of a small child will be smaller than the mouthful of an adult. Also the full capacity of the small child’s belly will be smaller than the full capacity of an adult’s belly. Everything in God is a gradual process. The bible says the measure of the capacity of our hearts can be enlarged:

Psalms 119:32 KJV: I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

2 Corinthians 10:13-15 KJV: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measureas though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

Spiritual Work 

Proverbs 10:16: The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

Drawing life is spiritual labour, and if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are better equipped for that labour. The difference between a person baptized with the Holy Spirit and one who is not, is that one draws water with a pump while the other draws with a bucket: it is the efficiency that differs. The one gives rivers of living water and the other just gives a spring of living water: the measure of water you get from rivers is far greater than the measure you get from a spring:

John 4:14 KJV: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 7:38-39 KJV: 3He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Whether you use the pump or the bucket illustration, however, the principle is the same. The scripture promise is represented by the bucket (or the pipe connecting the well to the pump), the life of God is represented by the water in the well, and your mouth or tongue is represented by the rope (or the pump switch).

Your human spirit can be seen as the pump-reservoir which is filled by pumping water from the well, and which then supplies water to the soul, body and circumstances. To draw life, you must tie the rope to the bucket (switch on the motor).

Then you must throw the bucket into the well and make sure it hits the water and is filled with water (the pump must be primed) before you draw it up. This tells us that the labour of faith needed to draw life is one that requires more than just a mechanical recital of the life scriptures. It requires you to concentrate when you are praying from any particular scripture, and visualize (see by faith) the flow of life as it flows from the well via the pump into the reservoir, and into your soul, body and circumstances, according to the specifics of each scripture. When life is drawn mechanically it is akin to the bucket not being allowed to hit the water before it is drawn up, or perhaps the bucket is not filled properly (or the pump is not primed). Another hindrance to efficient drawing of life is your attitude towards those in spiritual authority over you.

The Bible says:

1 Peter 5:5 KJV: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

If you do not have an attitude of honesty and humility towards those in authority, then, God will resist you, and you will not be able to draw life efficiently. But when you have an honest and a humble heart, God’s mercy and grace will be available to you, and you will find that in all your spiritual labours, His yoke will be easy and His burden light.

The Days of Ignorance 

You may ask the question, if receiving eternal life by faith daily is so essential, how is it that the 99 percent of the Church who are ignorant of this have not perished? This is because in the days of ignorance God winked (Acts 17:30).

Furthermore, we need to understand that you receive eternal life every time you fellowship with God in prayer, worship, bible reading, preaching and teaching and corporate Christian fellowship. This is because God is life personified and any fellowship with His presence whether individual or corporate causes life to flow from Him to you. This means any Christian who simply loves to pray and read his bible daily will receive eternal life and refreshing from the presence of the Lord, even though he may not be aware of precisely what is happening.

This can be compared to a man leaving an empty bucket out in the open. Every time it rains or even when the dew falls every morning he is sure to collect a certain amount of water; however the amount collected will be limited and can easily be contaminated by impurities (like bird droppings) from the open environment. Conversely water that is pumped deliberately from a well or river through pipes and purified will be both pure and in abundance.

So, Christians who get the life of God without the knowledge and faith of deliberately drawing life from God through the scriptures receive a limited amount of life which can easily be contaminated by sin and demonic forces because of their ignorance or carelessness. However, Jesus did not just come to give us eternal life, but He came to give it to us more abundantly:

John 10:10 KJV: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have itmore abundantly.

This scripture has not yet been fulfilled in the Church, but we are now living in the days of its fulfillment. It, therefore, becomes necessary for God to restore the understanding of how to consciously and deliberately receive eternal life by faith. This is like taking that bucket to or pumping water from the well instead of just leaving it in the open and waiting for rain or dew.