The Resurrection

Nothing can be plainer or more positive than the Bible presentation of the Final Resurrection. It demonstrates the deliverance of universal humanity from sin and suffering. It describes a state in which evil has vanished from the moral universe. The resurrection is employed as a figure, sometimes, that is, as a national, or local, or moral awakening, and sin is said to follow it, but in all such instances the circumstances limit it, and show that it is not the final resurrection. Such a usage is the following:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about; and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O, Lord God, you know. Again he said unto me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them,

0 you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God unto these bones, behold, I will and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as

1 prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above, but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, Son of man, and say to the wind, thus says the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold they say our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, thus says the Lord God; behold, oh my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, says the Lord. Ezek. 37.

Had not the explanation in verse eleven been given, it might have been thought that this is a description of the literal resurrection, but it is seen to be a poetical statement of deliverance from the Babylonish captivity.

A similar use of language is found in the following passages:

I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. Rev. 3: 1. And you has he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. 2: 1. For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Luke 15: 24. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Phil. 3: 10-12.

This is a resurrection attainable in this life.

Not as though I had already attained, but if I might by any means attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

But the following is the most striking instance:

Marvel not at this; for 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 damnation. John 5: 28-29.

That this is not the general resurrection is evident.

1. Because it took place then, and is not now future, "The hour is coining, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."

2. Because in this account all are not said to be raised, but only those who had "done good or evil." This excludes half the human race, which, dying in infancy, never has done good or evil.

3. Or if it be claimed that all are raised, then only the good and evil are assigned and the rest are left unprovided for.

4. Because this resurrection follows the judgment, whereas, in the popular view, the final resurrection precedes the judgment.

5. Because in the final resurrection no judgment follows. See 1 Cor. 15.

6. Because the dead are not raised from hades, but from the "the graves," as in Ezek. 37

7. This is a moral awakening, of those dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore can only include those who have done good or evil, and not all men. It is parallel with Dan. 12: 2, and Matt. 24. Daniel says:

Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

That Daniel's is a local and figurative use of the word is evident:

1. Because it is not all men but "many" who are raised, and

2. Because this was to be at the second appearing of Christ during the lifetime of those who heard Christ speak. Daniel says:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time. Daniel 12: 1.

Jesus says:

There shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matt. 24: 21.

That the prophet and the Savior refer to the same event is evident:

When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (who so reads, let him understand,) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains? Let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house. This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Matt. 24: 15, 17, 21.

All these descriptions refer to the moral awakening, or anastasis that Jesus caused. But the final resurrection is a different event. It is described by Jesus and Paul.

The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him saying, Master, Moses said, that if a man die, having no children his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother; likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last or all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them: You do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of

Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Matt. 22: 21-32. And Jesus answering said unto them, the children of this world marry, and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain the world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him. Luke 20: 34-38. See also, Mark 12: 18-27.

1. All are raised according to this statement, "the dead are raised."

2. All the dead are immortal. "Neither can they die any more."

3. They are "angels."

4. They are like God in character.

5. All must be holy and happy forever, as all are immortal, godlike, angels.

The objection sometimes offered to this view is in the phrase Luke uses, but that the other evangelists do not. "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world." But this phrase is a reply to the Pharisees who denied that some would be deemed worthy to rise. Jesus having said that all will rise, says they "having been accounted worthy," (kataxiothentes) are immortal and holy. The lexicographers define this word thus: Donnegan, "To deem worthy, to honor, to esteem, to desire, to sue for." Greenfield," to account worthy, to esteem fit." Dr. George Campbell thus translates it:

But among them who shall be honored to share in the resurrection and the other world.

The "Emphatic Diaglott" defines the phrase " having been accounted worthy." The language is this:

The children of this world marry and are given in marriage but they having been accounted worthy to obtain that world, that is, the resurrection of the dead, are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

That he taught this doctrine is evident from verse 33. "And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine." What astonished them? In his audience were

1. Pharisees who believed in partial salvation. Had he taught that he would not have astonished them.

2. Sadducees, who denied the resurrection. Had he taught that, he would not have astonished them.

3. Heathen, who entertained views similar to those of the partialists of the present day. Had he taught endless punishment for a portion of mankind, he would not have astonished them.

The only doctrine that could have astonished all these classes, was the resurrection of all souls to holiness and happiness. He taught something new and different to what all these classes received. Universal salvation is the only possible view different from the doctrines of all these. Hence Jesus warned his hearers against the old ideas.

Then Jesus said unto them, take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matt. 16: 6, 12.

He rejected the idea of all and taught that the resurrection condition is one of universal holiness.

Paul's view accords perfectly with the doctrine of the Savior:

But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruit of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then, comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy (that) shall be destroyed (is) death. [The words "that," and "is" are supplied by the translators. What Paul says is, "The last enemy, Death, SHALL BE DESTROYED."] For he has put all things under his feet. But when he says, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body it is raised a spiritual body. And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.

Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15: 20-28; 42-58.

Here we see,

1. All mankind are included. The same all that die as Adam died will be resuscitated.

2. They are not merely to live, but are to live "in Christ." And as is the firstfruit so is the harvest.

3. They are to be new creatures, and wear the image of the heavenly. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. 2 Cor. 5: 17.

4. It is a condition of "glory," "incorruptibility," "immortality."

5. It is not the resurrection of the body, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."

6. Death is to be destroyed.

7. All man's enemies are to be annihilated.

8. And man is to be victor through Christ over all.

And in this mountain shall the lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow; of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall be taken away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it. Isa. 25: 6-8.

9. That the final resurrection is to holiness, is evident from Paul's words in Acts 24: 15, in which he hopes for "the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." It is not supposable that Paul could hope, that is, desire and expect, the resurrection of the unjust, if he believed that they would rise to endless torture. The fact that he hoped for the resurrection of the unjust proves that he regarded it as a blessing to them, even.

It is said that there is a resurrection to be attained by human effort. True, Jesus says:

Then said he also to him that bade him, when you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your brethren, neither your kinsmen, nor your rich neighbors; lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made you. But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and you shall be blest; for they cannot recompense you; for you shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14: 12-14.

This is the result, not of faith, but of good works, and gives a higher measure of glory to those who are worthy of it. "In the resurrection one star differs from another." Those who deserve it, have the larger measure of joy in the resurrection.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Heb 11: 35.

There are grades hereafter, all are not alike, though all are equal to, or like the angels.

The anastasis, or resurrection is not merely being, it is a rising, a moral and spiritual ascent ultimately to be experienced by all mankind, who are to be made alive in Christ, and become equal to the angels. It is "rising to a better life," in the words of Macknight, Scotch Presbyterian. This is the clear and unmistakable testimony of Jesus the Savior and Paul the Apostle. Well did this sublime consummation compel the apostle to exclaim:

For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Rom. 11: 32-36. And let all the people say Amen.

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