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PART 5: THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

 

Hebrews 6: 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (KJV)

 

The Resurrection of the dead is one of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. It’s foundation is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is closely linked to eternal judgement.

 

Christ’s Resurrection

1 Cor 15: 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Without the resurrection of Christ, Christian faith is useless. The reason Christ was raised from the dead is that through His death we may be forgiven and through His resurrection we may have newness of life.

 

15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.

Christians “fall asleep” when our mortal bodies die. We “sleep” while we await the return of Christ.

 

 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

 

The entire New Testament revelation rests on the historical fact that Christ was raised from the dead.
Jesus Himself spoke of His resurrection -
Matt 20: 17And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day He shall rise again.
Also in:  Mark 9:9 Mark 14:28 Luke 18:33 John 2:19-22

 

John 11: 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

 

Proof of His resurrection

Ten different appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament.

1. To Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ tomb. This is recorded at length only by John, (John 20:11-18) and referred to by Mark (Mark 16:9-11).

2. To certain women, "the other Mary," Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the tomb. Matthew (Matt 28:1-10) gives an account of this.

3. To Simon Peter on the day of the resurrection. (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5)

4. To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully by Luke. (Luke 24:13-35).

5. To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others "with them," at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. John gives an account of this appearance (John 20:19-24).

6. To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28; See also 1 Cor 15:5)

7. To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance John gives an account. (John 21:1-23).

8. To the eleven, and more than 500 brethren at once, at a place in Galilee (1 Cor 15:6).

9. To James (1 Cor 15:7).

10. To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend "till a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).

It is worthy of note that on most of these occasions our Lord clearly allowed His disciples the opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face, they touched him (Matt 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27) and He ate bread with them (Luke 24:42,43; John 21:12,13).

11. In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ’s manifestation of Himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3-9,17; 1 Cor 9:1).

1 Cor 15: 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

The resurrection of Christ is a public testimony of the Father’s acceptance of His work of redemption.   It is a victory over death for all his followers. His resurrection from the dead is evidence that his sacrifice was acceptable to God.

Romans 4: 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Remember the 3 fundamentals of faith – We have been justified, we are presently being sanctified, and we will be redeemed. Our justification was secured by his death, and His resurrection is proof that He made a full atonement for our sins, that His sacrifice in our place, was acceptable to God the Father. It is also a promise of the resurrection of all believers.
1 Cor 6: 14 By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.
Romans 8: 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

 

Philipians 3: 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.

This is a hint at what our bodies will look like once we are resurrected.

 

Luke 24: 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

Jesus was raised both spiritually and physically. His Spirit and His body were resurrected.

 

The Resurrection of the dead

 

Acts 24: 14But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Who gets resurrected from the dead? Everyone, the good and the bad, the just and the unjust will be resurrected. Who are the “just”? Those who have been justified!

 

How does the Resurrection happen?
I Thessalonians 4: 13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

The resurrection of the saints happens at the Rapture, when the Lord comes to fetch us. First the dead in Christ, all the saints throughout the ages, will be raised; then those Christians that are still alive on the earth will meet them in the air.

 

What will our resurrected body be like?
I Cor 15 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Remember how the rapture happens – in a flash, when the world is least expecting it. It is important to realize that we are raised bodily and in Spirit. Our bodies however, are somehow changed in a flash, from mortal beings to IMMORTAL, perishable bodies to IMPERISHABLE. This is even confirmed in Job, when Jesus comes back, although Job’s skin is destroyed, he still has flesh and eyes to see.

 

Job 19: 25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see Him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

 

John goes on to explain a little more of the mystery. We don’t know what our bodies will look like, because it has not yet been made known – but one thing is for sure – we will be like HIM!

1 John 3: 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

 

The Resurrection chapter

I Corinthians 15
35 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

Sequence of events – First and second resurrections
Rev 20
: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. 4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge...

 

Who has been given authority to judge, besides Jesus? 1 Cor 6: 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

So, after the rapture, during the Milennium reign of Christ, we know then that we will be on earth ready and waiting to judge, along with all the martyrs of the ages and those who are saved during the Great Tribulation.

 

4  …And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

So, after we are raptured, Satan is bound for 1000 years and we reign with Christ for that 1000 years. Meanwhile, the Tribulation has finished and those that are saved out of the Tribulation are with us. After this 1000 years, Satan is released again to deceive the world again, Gog and Magog gather against Israel for the battle of Armageddon when God devours them with fire. Then the resurrection of the dead takes place before Judgement Day.

 

Can you imagine what life on earth will be like after the Rapture? The Spirit of God will be removed… all the Christians will be gone… and to live like this for a 1000 years! Don’t miss the Rapture!

 

The Dead Are Judged

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.