You recall how man in great physical danger fights for his life! He exerts almost superhuman strength to save himself and does not give up until all of his strength is gone.
But what about death? It is the opposite of life. It
takes away this very mortal life that you would defend with all your strength. All
people down through the ages have had to die, but this is not a satisfying
answer when you yourself have to face it.
Is death the end of everything? Just what is the chance
of your coming back to life, of living again? Your only hope of living
again is by a resurrection. But what is your assurance, if any, of such an
Where can you look for such assurance? You can look to the
Bible! It will give you the answers to those important life and death
questions that no human mind can give! It is the revealed Word of
PREDICTED FAR IN ADVANCE
As usual, with great events, God has made the resurrection known
for hundreds of years in advance! Job, fifteen hundred years before
Christ, said: “Though after my skin worms destroy this body,
yet in my flesh will I see God” (Job 19:26). King David
said: “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for
he shall receive me” (Ps. 49: 15). These two were speaking
of their own future resurrection to immortality.
Isaiah 700 years before Christ, prophesied Christ’s resurrection;
for in Isa. 26:19 he says: “Thy dead men shall live, together
with my dead body shall they arise.” Also, David says of Christ’s
resurrection, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the grave);
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy one to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10). All
these resurrections are resurrections to immortality!
Daniel about 500 B.C., has foretold that there is going to be,
in the future, a resurrection which can also be followed by a sentencing
to eternal death, to everlasting contempt. “And at that
time shall Michael stand up, and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth
shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting
contempt” (Daniel 12: 1-2). But even
before Isaiah and Daniel prophesied the resurrection of Christ, in fact practically at the very time God
formed man, God, referring to Christ’s coming said, “I
will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it (the seed) shall bruise thy (Satan’s) head” (Gen.
3:15). Satan deceived Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge
of good and evil (Gen. 3:6), the penalty of which was death (verse 3). Had
Adam and Eve not eaten of this tree, they would likely have eaten of the
tree of life (Gen. 2:9) and they and we could have lived forever. A
just God made it possible that through woman’s seed, Christ (Christ
had no earthly father) all mankind could again have a chance to eternal
life through a resurrection from death ( I Tim. 2:14, and Isaiah 7:14). Romans
5:10 says “If we were reconciled to God by the death of his son,
we shall be saved by his life.”
Do you get the significance of this? We are saved, “by
his (Christ’s) life.” The Holy Spirit! Christ
had this by being begotten of it. (Ps. 2:7; Matthew 1:20). We
who repent and are baptized receive it as a gift (Acts 2:38)! We
were not born with an immortal soul. Now we are beginning to see why Christ’s resurrection was as important
and the shedding of his blood for the forgiveness of our past sins! It
means that if the same life (Holy Spirit) is in US that was in Christ,
God can and will resurrect us to IMMORTALITY; for Romans 8:11 says: “If
the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) of him (God the Father) that raised up Jesus
from the dead dwell in you, he that raised Christ from the dead shall also
quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit (Holy Spirit) that dwells in you.”
No wonder the resurrection of Jesus was such as important
event to the whole earth! It was to prove that the Holy Spirit
within a person would cause a resurrection to immortality after death!
The modern preachers of today do not grasp the fact that the whole
Bible deals with one subject only, the formation of the Kingdom of God!
It can also be called the family of God. It will be a family
Beings with God the Father as the head; Christ will be the eldest
son, and those who are finally saved at the resurrection will be the other
sons. (See parables on Kingdom of God, Matt. 13 & Mark4).
The resurrection to immortality represents the vital transition
from this mortal body, by being“born again” into the
Kingdom of God! “Except a man be born again he cannot see
the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
With such a close-knit message as this to tell, can any person
say the Old Testament is done away, or say that Paul’s writings should
be left out or only preach from section here and there? The entire
Bible is one Compact Unit and drives hard toward the subject it has to
reveal, once it is properly understood!
As we go on now to study the various resurrections, let us keep
in mind how the Mastermind, God the Father, reveals His Plan to us. It
will build our Faith in the resurrection! We will know that we are
in a world that is running according to a preconceived definite plan!
From the time Adam and Eve sinned, God foretold the coming of
one who would again give man an opportunity to immortal life, and foretold of his descent through Abraham. He who was to give us
the opportunity of a resurrection to eternal life, was Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was to bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15);
his origin to be through Abraham (Gen. 12:3); and to be through Judah branch
of Abraham (Gen. 49:10); and the Pharez branch of Judah (Gen. 38:28-30).
David foretold Jesus’ resurrection about 1,000 years B.C.
(Ps. 16:10), and Isaiah about 700 years B.C. (Isaiah 7:14 and 26:19) Christ
himself foretold that his resurrection would occur the third day, 72 hours
(Not less than 2 days, 36 hours, as the churches teach today) and it happened
in exactly 72 hours!
Now, let us look back over these happenings, a sequence of events,
prophesied well in advance, and extending over a period of four thousand
years and always fulfilled! Should not this inspire your confidence in the One, the Supreme God, who saw that these events
were prophesied, and saw that they always came to pass? Whatever
God says by His Holy Word, the Bible, will be done! The resurrection
of Christ was an entirely different type of event than has ever happened
on this earth before or since. The pagans had taught about immortal
souls and that people returned to life after death in various other forms
( reincarnations), but they could never produce proof. Christ,
before his death, raised many of the dead back to life to fill out their
natural life span, (Matt. 9:24-25; Matt. 10:8, Luke 7:15 John 11:44)
These resurrections were all, only for a short return to a physical
life and were of no great importance except to the ones involved!
But on Christ’s resurrection depends the resurrection and
eternal life of all of us; for in I Cor. 15:17-18 says, “If
Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins. Then
they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Doomed
to eternal death!
Do you understand it? Had Christ been an ordinary mortal
man without the Spirit of God, he would have sinned sometime during his
life and could not have paid our debt for sin! “The wages
of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Eternal death! His
sin would have taken his own life and God would not have resurrected him! He
would have had no life left to pay for our sins, we could not expect to
be resurrected to eternal life!
It took on unusual human being to go through life without sinning. He
was known as the “Messiah” (John 1:41), the “Anointed
One” who was to come to redeem the people. He was begotten
of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), the power which strenghthened him against
temptation from birth! ( Corth. 15:17) says: “If
Christ be not raised your faith is in vain.”
Suppose Christ had died but set no times as to when he would be
resurrected and suppose further, that after a year or so his body disappeared,
You and I would have no evidence whatever that we would ever be resurrected
and become immortal! His body might only have been stolen. But
Christ has given us the evidence! When the Scribes and Pharisees
asked Christs for a sign (of his being the Messiah) he said he would be
three days and nights in the grave (Matt. 12:40), not one and a half days as the churches today teach and believe, but three! By
this teaching of a day and half the devil is trying to take our very evidence
of a salvation hope away from us.
Jesus Christ rose the third day! He was put to death late
Wednesday afternoon and arose late Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon. (Look
for a future article: The resurrection was not on Sunday)
The thing that confuses people is that they mistake the Sabbath
that is mentioned as drawing on in Luke 23:54 for a weekly Sabbath whereas
it was actually an annual Sabbath, which happened to fall on Thursday in
A.D. 31. After this came their weekly Sabbath on Saturday. Between
these days the women bought and prepared spices (Mark 16:1).
God has seen to it that these two world important events, the
death and resurrection have been well witnessed! Christ’s healing
and miracles had attracted a large following. People were interested
in him wherever he went. On the day of His death a large multitude
was present. (Matt. 27:24). Mary (Jesus’ mother) and the other
two Marys and John were present (John 19:25-26) also.
As Christ said he would rise the third day the chief priests and
Pharisees took great precautions to see that his body did not disappear
by being stolen by the disciples, so a guard was set and a great stone
was rolled over the sepulcre entrance (Matt. 27:63-66). Christ’s
body did disappear though! (John 20:19). He had been resurrected
from the dead the third day and Mary Magdalene (John 20:14), the disciples
(John 20:19), and after that about 500 people saw him at one time! (
I Corth. 15:6). Fifty days later in Jerusalem a large number gathered
from all over the world to observe Pentecost and await the coming of the
Holy Spirit (Acts. 2:2).
From this point, the news “of the resurrection was spread
by the apostles” (Acts 4:2), and their converts. Gibbon,
in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, says that the resurrection
is one of the best authenticated facts in all history. Also
Gibbon says, “it is no wonder that so advantageous an offer
(resurrection and eternal life), should have been accepted by great numbers
of every religion.”
The world was convinced of this resurrection to a different type
of being! To immortal life in the Family of God. You have probably
been taught that you have been born with an immortal soul which goes immediately to heaven, purgatory or hell when you die. This
is not true! Your Bible does not teach it! “The first
man is of the earth, earthy” ( I Corth. 15:47). The same word “Nephesh,” which
means flesh, whether of animal or man was translated “creature” in
Gen. 1:24 where is was associated with animals, and “soul” in
Gen. 2:7 where the Bible speaks of man becoming a living soul!
In other words, both animal and man are composed of one thing,
the same thing, mortal, flesh, as born into this world, one has no more
an immortal soul inside him than the other! (Ecc. 3:19-20). No one
would contend that any beasts are in purgatory or eternal torment.
Another passage, that shows that anyone that dies goes to his
grave and is there now, is Act 2:29 which shows that David is now in his
grave, “David is both dead and buried, and his sepulcre is with
us unto this day.” Notice this; if anyone is in heaven,
purgatory or hell where most preachers today say they are, then they are
still alive; therefore they could not be resurrected, for the very word
resurrection itself implies that those resurrected were dead!
Therefore a resurrection is necessary if a person who once died
is brought to life again! How sadly and without reason have the Bible
teachings been distorted! We could not attain immortality and God
would be defeated in His main purpose of creating man, the creation of
a spirit being! But we do have this Hope of a Resurrection!
“. . . There shall be a resurrection of the dead,
both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15). Paul
said this when he was being tried before Felix. Do you grasp the
meaning of this? Everyone is going to be resurrected! “The hour is coming, in which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that
have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection
of judgment” (John 5:28-29). A resurrection
Now you are going to be in for a surprise! You are going
to learn of one resurrection that you never heard of before and possibly
two or three!
Yet, they are in your Bible. The things that are in the
Bible are just not being taught today!
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
The first resurrection of man to immortality that has ever occurred
in this world (except Christ’s) will occur when Christ returns at
the last trump. I Thessalonians 4:17 describes this: “For
the Eternal himself shall descend from heaven with a great shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (last trump) of God: and the dead
in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Eternal in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Eternal.” They
will go immediately to Jerusalem to start their 1,000 years rule. Read
This is the resurrection just ahead now! I Corth. 15:51-56 describes
this same resurrection and Rev. 11:15 describes the blowing (sounding)
of the “last trump” which ushers this period in.
The JUST dead will be raised by the power of God exerted through
the medium of Jesus Christ (John 6:44). These are they who have repented
(turned from their former ways), been baptized, received the gift of the
Holy Spirit, and were overcomers to the end (Acts 2:38 & Rom. 8:11).
This Holy Spirit is a gift that is given only to those who qualify
to receive it! This is the nearest thing we ever have in this life
to the imaginary immortal soul that people wrongly think everyone is born
with. Of this resurrection, Rev. 20:6 says, “Blessed is
he that hath part in the “first resurrection” on such the second
death (eternal death) hath no power.”
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment
was given unto them” (Rev. 20:4). This
is the resurrection to the Spirit Form ( I Corth. 15:44) just described. Now
notice verse 5, “but the rest of the dead lived not again
until the thousand years were finished.” All but the
good dead stay dead through the 1,000 years! There are no resurrections
in the millennium of those long dead!
A thousand year period follows Christ’s second coming and
during this time Christ rules this earth. (Isa. 11, Jere. 31:1-18;
Ezk. 36). This one thousand years is the time represented by the
Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34) and Exodus 23:16 in God’s Holy
Days. It is a time when God really begins in earnest to save people
who live in the end of this age and into the world tomorrow!
At the end of the thousand years, during which time Christ has
been ruling this earth and the earth has been full of the knowledge of
the Eternal, ( a condition that certainly has not been present up to now),
there will be another resurrection!
Most of you have been told by the churches ever since you could
remember that if anyone is not saved in this present life then he or she
is eternally lost!
But what about all those millions and millions of people back
there who were born before Christ’s time who never had the chance
of salvation because Christ had not yet come to make it available? Remember
that your Bible says “if the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) of him
(God the Father) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that
raised up Christ shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit (the
Holy Spirit) that dwelleth in you.” But the Holy Spirit
from the Father was not available to people on the earth until after Christ
Jesus Christ had to ascend unto heaven first! Christ said
in John 16:7
“For if I go not away the Comforter (the Holy Spirit)
will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” The
Holy Spirit first came to this earth to be available to all men 50 days
after Christ was put to death. It came on the day of Pentecost (Acts
These millions are not lost forever! They never were called
to be saved! God is a just God and he has provided a way whereby
they can be saved! Also, what about the great number since Christ’s
day who have shown very little interest in religion and have died? Are
they lost forever? No, because they have never had a chance to salvation. They
are blinded. God is not trying to save many now. He has blinded
them! Read Romans 11:5,7,8,25; Acts 7:42, Isaiah 28:13, Matthew 13:10-13.
Now notice when God is going to give these people their first
chance for Salvation! Note this carefully! You have probably never
heard it explained before in its true meaning!
“. . . . . . Ye shall know I am the Eternal, when I
have opened your graves and brought you up out of your graves, and shall
put my spirit in you and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your
own land” (Ezk. 37:13-14). This is speaking of ancient
Israel, a people who had been scattered among the nations almost 150 years
before this was written!
When does this take place? It can not take place before
Christ returns to this earth at his second coming because that will bring
about the first resurrection. It will not take place then but only
after one thousand years have elapsed from the time of the first resurrection
because as we have already seen only the good will be resurrected then!
Therefore there are only two classes this resurrection can possibly
refer to, the evil dead who have knowingly rejected the truth and the dead
who never had a chance! The evil dead are those who deliberately
decided they did not want to be ruled by God. There is no reason
to give them a second chance to attain immortality! They had their
chance and turned it down!
Therefore it is the class of people, the vast blinded majority,
who never really had a chance to accept God’s way of life, who are
Read what Revelation 20:11-12 says about this resurrection: “and
I saw a great white throne and I saw the dead, small and great stand before
God (these people are standing, a resurrection), and the books were opened:
and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were
judged out of those things which were written in the books, according
to their works.
It is the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT!
Even the worst of the sinners who never had a chance, will be
in this resurrection for even the inhabitants of Sodom will be there! “When
thy daughters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate,
and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then
thou (Jerusalem, refer to Ezk. 37) shall return to your former estate” ( Ezk.
16:55). Isaiah 65:20 indicates all will live to be a hundred
years old in this age at this time. God is indeed a just God (Deut.
32:4) and all will have their chance to be saved!
THE FINAL RESURRECTION
Revelation 20:13-15 describes the final resurrection in which
the sea, death, and hell (Hades, the grave) give up their dead to be judged! These
are they who, after being begotten by God, rebelled, and those who have
lived contrary to God’s way of life and have refused to repent, be
baptized, and thus receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. These are
cast into the lake of fire, which is described in verse 14 as the second
death. It is the everlasting death!
WHY SO MANY RESURRECTIONS?
At first glance it seems strange that there are so many resurrections,
but let us examine. God the Father is forming a spirit family of
his very own from us mortals here on this earth, but he is also seeing
to it that we develop into BEINGS OF CHARACTER, beings that can ultimately
be trusted with great power that God will give us.
This will take time in order that man may learn that his (man’s)
own ways of doing things, guided by his own natural tendencies, are wrong.
And, that he must be guided by God’s laws in all his activities
or only wretchedness and death will result! We are just starting
to see the terrible end results now of man’s own way of running this
earth! God is going to enlarge his Kingdom gradually. An increasing
number will be given immortality at each resurrection. Only those
who qualify to become a spirit being and are changed into spirit can enter
into his kingdom; for I Corth. 15:50 says: “Flesh and blood
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Matthew 13:31-32 describes the manner of growth of this kingdom: “The
kingdom of heaven (or kingdom of God) is like to a grain of mustard seed
which is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the
greatest among the herbs, and becometh a tree.”
Only one person has been born into this kingdom so far, this is
Jesus Christ. This was done by his resurrection to immortality. (Rom.
8:29 and Col. 1:18). These resurrections to immortality which are
to give birth to the rest of the citizens of this spirit kingdom have not
started yet, but will start at Christ’s second coming! When
these do start, there will be a shorter space between each succeeding resurrection.
These people who are transformed into spirit beings, will be used
to govern the mortal beings here on this earth. These spirit beings
of the Kingdom will be rulers, priests, and judges. (Rev. 1:6, 20:4,
I Corth. 6:2). Ultimately all mortal men must be in this spirit kingdom
or cease to exist! All of the Bible does start to make sense once
God’s Plan is understood.
No wonder the apostles who were all witnesses to the resurrection
of Christ to immortality (Acts 2:32; 3:15) were so joyous that they went
diligently up and down the land preaching this hope.