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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 


 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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A Better Resurrection

D.H. Hume

Johannesburg R.S.A.
(2005)

 

Contents.

In Search of a Better Resurrection 5

  • A Waiting Surprise in the Scripture 5
  • Paul’s Exposition 5
  • The Eternal Timeframe 5
  • Building Jig Saw Puzzles 6
  • The Historical Relevance 6
  • Time to Re-examine our views 7

The Better Resurrection in the Gospels 9

  • The Infinite Wisdom of our King 9
  • The Conflicting Views 9
  • Redemption and Resurrection 9
  • Reunification of the Kingdom 10
  • A New Covenant Relationship 11
  • The Harvesting of Souls 11
  • Two Kingdoms 12

The Better Resurrection expounded to the Corinthians 14

  • The Pre-Requisites 14
  • The Birth Right of the Saints 14
  • Correcting erroneous views 15
  • Comforting the saints. 16
  • Outlining the timing 16
  • The Two Major Covenants 17
  • The Rhetorical Question 18
  • Comparing proofs of the Resurrection. 19
  • Summarising the resurrection 20
  • The Promised Redemption 20
  • The Imminent Change of State 21
  • Passing over the great divide 22
  • Supporting the resurrection of the dead. 23
  • Following The Sounding of the Trumpet 24
  • The Gaining of a victory over death 25
  • Reinforcing the Resurrection. 25
  • The Judgement Seat 26

The Better Resurrection for the Thessalonians. 28

  • The timing of the Event 28
  • The Basis of the Resurrection 28
  • The Reunification of resurrected souls 29
  • The Collapse of the Modern Rapture hypothesis 30

A Better Resurrection in the Psalms 32

  • Calling the Worlds Attention 32
  • Why we need Redemption 32
  • Redemption of the Soul 33

The Better Resurrection in the Prophets 35

  • The Benefits of the New Covenant 35
  • The Rhetorical question about the New Nation 35
  • The Birth of the New Nation of Israel 36
  • The Primary Object of the Christian Faith 37
  • Rejoicing in the New Jerusalem 38
  • Isaiah’s Preview 38
  • Daniel’s Outline Isaiah’s Conclusion. 40

The Better Resurrection in the History of the Kings. 41

  • The Song of Redemption 41
  • The Glimpse of the Future State 42
  • Understanding the theme of the Song of Redemption 42

The Historical Account of the Start of the Better Resurrection. 44

  • 1. The Thief in the Night 44
  • 2. The Shout that raises the Dead 44
  • 3. The Place of his Return. 44
  • 3. The Opening and Closing of the Eastern Gate (Beautiful Gate) 45
  • 4. Bolt of Light shining in the temple 45
  • 5. The Redemption of the Purchased Possession 45
  • 6. The Day to be Remembered 45
  • 7 The sealing of the remnant of Israel. 46
  • 8. The Divine Order of the Gospel 47
  • 9. The Wise and the Foolish virgins. 48
  • The Historical Account in comparison to the scripture. 49
  • Summary 51

Addendum 53

Mosaic Feasts 53

  • The ‘Beautiful Gate’ 53
  • The Levitical Calendar 53

Bibliography 57

Books Available 57

In Search of a Better Resurrection

A Waiting Surprise in the Scripture

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

From this divinely inspired scripture contained in the divine cannon of the Christian Faith, we get a glimpse of the distinction between a physical resurrection and what is termed a better resurrection. The dead being raised to life is commonly known as resurrecting the dead. The women received the physical resurrection of a child that had died. The child was brought back from death into its human body, which was reanimated by the child’s soul

1 Kings 17:22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

The Author of the letter to the Hebrews intimates that there is a better resurrection than the case study above of the answering of Elijah’s intercession. The reason being that the child would still have to face death again during its temporal human life span.

 

Paul’s Exposition

The Apostle Paul expounds the Better Resurrection to the Church at Corinth. He goes into much detail of this better event than a physical restoration of a human body. There are many religious views in the current world that embraces reincarnation, the return of the human soul into another human body after death at conception. This is an endless cycle of death with a rebirth following it. By this view the human tragedy is repeated time after time, through endless wars, famines, diseases etc, and all are locked into it. One must beware confusing the better resurrection with the myths that prevail in society.

 

The Eternal Timeframe

This better Resurrection has an eternal timeframe attached to it, which some see as a future event following a future return of Christ, while others declare that Christ returned in Ad70 according to his oath, which may or may not imply that the resurrection is past. This is a question that plagues the view of a past fulfilment of the Apocalypse. This author holds to the veracity of Christ’s words to his followers in Ad30 of the great tribulation they would experience and his promised return within that generation.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, until all these things are fulfilled.

This implies that there is no other return in the scripture, because the Second Coming has already taken place. This leaves one with the dilemma, if the dead were raised when Christ returned, what hope do I have? If we accept the futurist view of dividing the resurrection into two separate events, one at the Rapture and another at the General resurrection of the last judgement, we still have the problem of an uncompleted salvation. This is because Christ has already returned in judgment, to the generation he lived amongst, which implies we are not part of his Church as it has already been removed and raised in the Rapture.

Solving this dilemma of believing the veracity (absolute truth) of Christ’s words means we have to re-examine our views on the resurrection, lest we be accused of preaching a false hope. Having once held the untenable position of a futurist, of mythical gaps in time frames, stopped clocks, a future tribulation etc, one cannot return to plausible falsehood.

It is this Authors intention to expound what he has discovered in Paul’s description of the better resurrection in the letter to the Church at Corinth in the first century AD prior to the complete destruction of Jerusalem by AD70 and Christ’s return during those events. To do this one has to stay in Context and avoid one verse contradicting another. The Futurist has avoided this for they strain out single verses to support their untenable position, which makes the scripture a mass of confusion, which only they can piece together.

 

Building Jig Saw Puzzles

If one has ever built a jigsaw puzzle, one will understand that pieces belonging to different parts of the puzzle do not interlock. When attempting to build a composite picture one needs to stay within the section one is working on, all the while considering the broader picture that it compliments.

Scripture supports Scripture and the divine Canon is not a mish mash of isolated verses to be used out of context. Of course there is a reiteration of certain events partly explained under the old Covenant, and completely explained in the New Covenant (testament). This partial understanding is illuminated by the glorious light of the grace and truth given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ through the aid of the ever-blessed Comforter the Holy Spirit of Truth.

As one draws closer and closer to your final moments on this planet, you become more aware of the effects of aging. While young people seem to have a whole life span still ahead of them. The glitz and glamour of this world hypnotizes them and it seems as though tomorrow never comes. But death is an ever-present realty, which so few actually think about. To some it comes as a shock when a beloved parent is wheeled into a chapel for the performing of the traditional last rites.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

The Modern American television evangelist’s hang out the carrot of an imminent Rapture, based upon news reports and speculative interpretation of the scriptures, as a solution to the anguish experienced at the loss of a loved one. But coercing others into believing myths is like administering snake oil to a wounded heart. The history of this prevalent myth in Christian circles has a long list of failed speculative predictions that are hidden from the unwary soul and put down to cultic extremes. These predictive speculations all have come about through unsound apocalyptic traditions still held today amongst the various denominations. These all have their roots in an ancient heresy known as Chiliasm, upon which Pre and Postmillennial views of the apocalypse are founded. The basic flaw in these views is that they do not take Audience, setting and timing into consideration when expounding apocalyptic passages. This means that the book of Revelation can be interpreted to fit modern day events almost two millennia after it was written.

 

The Historical Relevance

If the Revelation received by the Apostle John had no relevance to the churches in Asia (Modern day Turkey) at the time of writing, they were mere custodians of a letter that only modern technology could supply the answers too.

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

If the reiteration of Christ to the churches in Asia, in the Apostle John’s Life span, has not been fulfilled then those who oppose the Christian faith have proof of breach of promise by the one we worship and adore. Whichever view of the dating of the writing of this letter to the churches in Asia you hold this stumbling block remains.

Preterists believe it was written prior to the Destruction of Jerusalem (Ad 66-70) and that its contents have to do with the final fulfilment of the Mosaic Covenant and the proof of a completed salvation found in Christ. The conglomerate beast found in its midst is the Roman Empire headed by Neron Caesar whose name tallies to 666. Modern day interpreters preach a revived Roman Empire, using the European Economic union to support their claims. Then they claim computers will be used in the Great Tribulation to mark or implant silicon chips in the general population bodies, some think it is a bar code branding of people. The view is obviously ridiculous because those Churches to whom the letter was written would not be able to interpret it from its contents. There were no computers in the first century AD and their claim also makes the Letter irrelevant to the Historical setting of its context.

John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry (is still alive) until I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

 

From the Gospels we discover the same Dilemma about a yet future return of Christ almost two millennia after these statements of His were penned. Only a past return of Christ during the human life span of the Apostle John can answer this dilemma. The critics of the Church have ground for a failed promise of Christ should we try to explain away the fact that Christ used an oath to his disciples that they would personally experience his return. This oath is contained in the use of the word “Verily” and sets it as an absolute promise, which no man professing the Christian faith can go beyond. The Pre and Postmillennial views both declare that Christ is still to return at some yet indeterminate date in the near future. The consequence of supporting these views means that Christ never meant what he said.

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)…. (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Both Pre and Postmillennial views shift the great tribulation, that Christ told the disciples in his presence on that day in AD 30 they would personally experience, to some yet future unfulfilled event. To defend their view they hold to some vague double sense meaning that makes the entire discourse a speculative event, which had no real bearing on the survival of the infant Church. Should the infant church have not heeded Christ’s explicit warning to them and taken flight then Christianity would not have survived. There are some theologians today who would even date the gospels after the fall of Jerusalem which implies that Christ’s prophetic warnings were made up by the writers to support their dissent and revolt from traditional Judaism. Such darkness expounded by apostate men of the cloth should be censured in the strongest possible terms.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

 

Time to Re-examine our views

Is it absolute Truth or Fiction? Upon this question the entire validity of the New Testament hangs. This quest of mine for a Better Resurrection hangs upon this balance.

Daniel 5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

The Modern Church needs to re-examine its Apocalyptic views, for should it fail to do so it will soon, in this time of easy access to the scriptures using computers and the world wide web to disseminate them, experience questioning about their double sense interpretations. Tradition can no longer come to their aid only a quest to re-establish the veracity of the scripture will. A modern reformation is in the wings and only the gullible like to have their ears tickled with mere speculation.

We all suffer from shortcomings and without God’s help we are doomed to failure. The space age is upon us and human colonization of other planets may occur before the end of this twenty-first century. Failed speculations of the previous centuries will be abandoned, and only the bringing in of a better hope will survive.

 

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

The Better Resurrection in the Gospels

 

The Infinite Wisdom of our King

The Logical place to start is with Jesus the son of man, for he alone being the Messiah (the Christ) having been in the form of man was God with us. His credentials give him absolute authority over matters of the Christian faith. All must bow the Knee to his infinite wisdom and righteousness.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

 

The Conflicting Views

The source of Christ’s wisdom is found in the Gospels often when he was in conflict with the religious leaders of his day. In his discourses with the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees great truths can be learned, for the light of Christ’s replies to them corrects their dark opposing views.

Mathew 22:23 ¶ The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, 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 of 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, “Ye 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 ye 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.”

And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

 

Redemption and Resurrection

The Sadducees set out to attack Christ on the link between Redemption and Resurrection, citing the Law of Moses that ensured widows were not left to fend for themselves, but were to be embraced into the family of their deceased husband. This tenet of the Law defines a Kinsman as the one who is to redeem his deceased brothers widow. They unknowingly set the question before Him who is their KINSMAN REDEEMER. Obviously Christ’s earlier discourse on the marriage supper had provoked their attack and attempt to entrap Him.

Mathew 22:1 ¶ And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Citing a hypothetical case of seven brothers who after the demise of the first of them had all been married to the same woman. They were attempting to prove that the Law of redemption discounted the resurrection. They vainly imagined some conflict between these brothers, if there was a resurrection, as to whom she actually belonged. “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her”

Christ’s reply astounded those who witnessed event, “And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine”, which draws our attention to the effect of his reply.

Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye 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 ye 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.”

The Sadducees envisaged that the resurrection entailed that people would retain their sexuality after being raised from the dead. So they did not anticipate Christ’s reply. For he has openly declared that in the resurrection there is a change of State. The word “angels” speaks of the celestial beings commonly called sons of God in some places. In addition by spanning the resurrection across three generations of the Fathers of the tribes of Israel, he has implied that it is not an event that occurs in a single period of time. He also brings eternity into the subject, by stating that Abraham Isaac and Jacob were living eternally and were not dead. Almost two thousand years previously Father Abraham inhabited this planet in a mortal body, Christ’s reply asserted he was still alive in God’s presence. The Sadducees contention that there was neither spirit nor a resurrection was quashed completely.

Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

We should rejoice at this declaration of Christ, that at our resurrection we shall be clothed in angelic splendour.

 

Reunification of the Kingdom

Mathew 22:1 ¶ And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them, which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants,” The wedding is ready, but they, which were bidden, were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage”. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, For many are called, but few are chosen.

It is interesting to note the depth of this section taken from Mathew’s gospel in this day and age when most are straining single verses out. This they do to motivate their congregations by preaching a gospel that is totally devoid of Christ. This section on the marriage supper follows hard on the heels of a previous parable about the returning king giving the Kingdom to someone else.

Mathew 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

This is the lead up to the parable of the marriage supper, which provoked the Sadducees into attempting to discredit Christ. So we see certain events being repeated, the Return of the Lord, The Judgement of the Husbandmen (Apostate Israel), followed by the question on the Resurrection. This is the common thread running through this section. What strikes me most about the Marriage supper is it is told in a narrative that declares it to be in progress at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry.

Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage” which is followed by “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city”.

It is self-evident from this portion of scripture that the events described undoubtedly place it in the period AD66-70 when the Roman Armies came and burnt down the temple. From this we gather that the Lord returns in Judgement at the second coming and the timeframe of his coming. Because at Christ’s return many hold that a rapture/resurrection takes place, which most set at some yet unspecified future date; they miss the context of the passages entirely.

 

A New Covenant Relationship

Here I really want to point out the following “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment” because being clothed in the resurrection as an angel is the benefit we receive at the supper table of the Lord, by embracing the New Covenant meal of bread and wine in remembrance of him. Here in this parable is an invitation to come into a covenant union with the Son.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son”.

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

The better resurrection is a Covenant promise from a Covenant Keeping God who has promised to be your God.

“Then saith he to his servants,” The wedding is ready, but they, which were bidden, were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage”. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests”.

 

The Harvesting of Souls

Following Christ’s return in Judgement, we see that the Gospel was to continue harvesting souls throughout the world. Highways are the roads that connect nations to nations; commerce and trade rely upon these collecting links. The harvest that began in Jerusalem continued by the bringing in of the Nations (Gentiles) to Christ. The Divine injunction by the King of Kings to the ministering spirits of God fulfils the prophecies of the times of the nations. Ministering spirits are sent into the four corners of the Roman Empire and beyond using their trade routes. Rome was famous for its paved routes, some of which are still evident today. Contextually these discourses are set in the time period when the Promised Land of Canaan was a vassal state of Rome.

Hebrews 1: 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

 

Two Kingdoms

Because of the Demise of the Kingdom of Israel in the Land of Canaan is implied in these linked portions, by the destruction of the Husbandman, one can only conclude that the Kingdom had been relocated. The messengers sent to furnish the wedding with Guests are the Ambassadors of the Divine Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. Many today fall into the trap thinking that the earthly Kingdom is to be established in the secular state of Modern Israel.

Mathew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

The arrival of the King (the Stone) the builders of the then Kingdom of Israel, under the Jurisdiction of an Edomite; Herod the Son of Antipater a descendant of Esau; rejected was to spell the end of their kingdom. A new nation was to follow the demise of their nation. This nation would be under the Lordship of the rejected king.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

One nation was in its Last Days and about to see its demise, as the messengers had already been sent forth to gather the guests of the wedding supper to form the nucleus of the new nation. One nation was a visible Kingdom in its death throes. While the other nation were to form part of the invisible Kingdom of Heaven. This duality of the two kingdoms in contrast with one another forms the backbone of these sayings of Christ. The one being populated by the resurrection through the new birth, the other dying in its sins, Jerusalem of old about to fall, the Heavenly Jerusalem to become the capital of the new nation.

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

The Better Resurrection expounded to the Corinthians

 

The Pre-Requisites

Of all the passages in the scripture this portion in the first letter to the Corinthians describes the pre-requisites to the afterlife most comprehensively. Although the scripture is given to us to mould our moral conduct in this present world, to stop at this point is only half of the truth. The scripture through this moulding also prepares us to inherit an eternal Kingdom. This Kingdom is not the product of human effort, as it was prepared for us from the foundation of the world. The two major requisites for entry into this eternal Kingdom are the gifts from God the Father of his Grace and Faith. The very purpose of God through the scripture is to prepare his predestined elect through the agency of the forever-blessed Holy Spirit for the better resurrection.

Faith, in the veracity of the divine Saviour’s mission to bring us Grace and truth, is a prerequisite. For none of those who fail to believe and follow Christ shall enjoy the benefits of the transfiguration described by Paul in this letter. Those Christ himself knows personally receive this joint inheritance of the saints; the scripture does not describe this as a universal right of every living human being. Notwithstanding this all of humanity shall stand at the Judgement seat of Christ after their demise. Some souls will be clothed in Glory while others will be in shaming nakedness.

The Birth Right of the Saints

This chapter from this letter is for the Church’s edification, and reveals a birthright of the saints.

1 Corinthians 15:12 ¶ Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And 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. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits 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 cometh 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 hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith 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.

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; 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. There is a natural body, and there is 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 doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew 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 thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

From the above passage, divided by the editors of the Letter into verses for easy reference we find a composite picture by Paul given to us to comprehend and understand. Its major subject is the resurrection of the dead saints, which he expands to establish the truth about their future resurrection at the time of Christ’s return.

But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

It may pay the reader to refresh his memory of this composite picture by reading through it in its entirety before continuing. For from this point onwards this Author intends to expound it, by examining each verse or section and drawing certain conclusions from them.

 

 

Correcting erroneous views

12 ¶ Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And 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. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

The Apostle Paul obviously from this section had to correct a certain erroneous view held by some that there was no resurrection of the dead. In modern times some still hold to the swoon theory that Jesus never died, and was still alive after the punishment inflicted upon him by the Romans. This of course discredits the Gospel and the entire cannon of the scripture. Our Faith is based upon the scripture and this erroneous view turns the scripture into myth. The Muslims hold this view that Christ never died; hence there was no resurrection of Christ. One must beware of opposing views of those of other faiths, lest one imbibe a poison that destroys the soul and robs you of your birthright.

Without believing in the Resurrection, of our forerunner Jesus after he died, there is absolutely no hope for you after you die. Christianity has embedded in it the hope of an eternal existence in the presence of God. The words “then is Christ not risen” imply the ascension of Christ into heaven after his resurrection. “Because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ” The resurrection and ascension of Christ are an integral part of one another, as the ascension is the result of him being resurrected. Christ has been raised up to the right hand of the majesty on High.

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

 

Comforting the saints.

¶ But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits 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.

Paul assures the church that their faith is not in vain, and introduces the great hope of that faith. , “Even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. Thus the church is comforted to know that being in Christ, contains the promise of being made alive. Death is obligatory to all men " For as in Adam all die” which he reiterates later. “Thou fool, that which thou sow is not quickened, except it die”, this is a very important part of his discourse for he has reiterated it that there be no conjecture of a rapture before one has died.

 

Outlining the timing

But every man in his own order

Paul also outlines the timing of this event, which excludes the living from it. This order is death burial resurrection followed by ascension, which follows Christ’s example. Christ is the first fruits to ascend into heaven after his death burial and resurrection. Some contradict the earlier statement “For as in Adam all die”, which is as clear as daylight that everyone must die, by supporting their rapture while they are still alive. Paul reiterates his position again that all must die in the general subject of the resurrection. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” That is anyone still in a flesh and blood body cannot inherit the kingdom of God. My harping on this point is vital to your understanding, that death always precedes a resurrection and its timing is according to human order, that is as we each successively die after our allotted timespan on this planet. In fact if you take the time to go through the entire subject as outlined by Paul you will find that it is a common thread running through out it, from which I have extracted a few explicit examples. Eg: “neither doth corruption inherit incorruption”.

Now we are faced with a paradox “; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” which appears to contradict Paul’s statements that all must die. This implies that some will be left behind at Christ’s return, because they have not died yet. Because the scripture is sacrosanct, we cannot discount Paul’s reiteration that death precedes a resurrection (rapture), as the futurists do by selecting a single verse from the context and portraying it as the entire truth of the matter.

 

We, who hold that Christ has already returned to the generation he preached to, are some times charged with saying that the resurrection is over and done with. Whereas in fact the scripture supports an ongoing resurrection of the dead, which commenced when Christ returned, and is still in progress today, by the statement “But every man in his own order”. Of course someone will shout, “what about the letters to the Thessalonians”, to which I reply let us find out what Paul’s mindset was before we attempt to expound something which is hard to understand.

2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

We need to deal with this progressively, although I have had to jump a bit forward in order to show that views I hold are not uncorroborated. For I expect opposition from those who place a futurist emphasis on their creeds instead of an ongoing fulfilment of them. I reiterate that I was once a futurist. Now in the light of Christ’s oath, “Verily” contained in Mathew Chapter 24:34, when taken in the context of the entire discourse on the end of the Mosaic Covenant, the futurist view is incorrect, and only the Preterist view holds to the absolute veracity of Jesus of Nazareth words.

 

The Two Major Covenants

Then cometh 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, until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that He is the exception, 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.

The scripture is divided into two major covenants, the first is the Old (Mosaic Covenant a Covenant of Works) the second is the New Covenant (the ratification of the promise made to Abraham as reiterated in the prophets a covenant of Grace.) Eschatology must be based upon these two major divisions of the scripture. This is termed Covenant Eschatology. One of the presumptions of the futurist view is that the Church is in its last days. They hold this view to lend credence to an unfulfilled return of Christ, although it is erroneous and the result of poor exegesis. Their failure to understand the Historical setting and context of the Gospels has led them to the position, where current news reports and political tensions are used to support their views instead of the scripture. Because they fail to see the application of the major Covenants of the scripture, some even go so far as to denigrate the Covenant Christ confirmed at the last Supper in the midst of Daniel’s seventieth week, the Messianic Covenantal time frame. They have been waiting for an Antichrist to appear to support their deluded views. By splitting up divine fixed time frames and filling them with millennia long gaps they have made many deluded speculations on the return of Christ etc. They turn the scripture into modern day fiction. Because without understanding the end spoken of by Paul, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God”, to the Corinthians they are left in the dark. The letter was written before the Levitical priesthood was abolished and the sacrificial system abandoned at the demise of the temple Ad70. The fulfilment of the Mosaic covenant (end) had taken place and yet the Futurists still shift this, “end”, millennia into the future. This they do by reintroducing the Mosaic covenant prior to the millennium and proclaiming a rebuilt temple and an earthly Kingdom for the modern secular state of Israel in flat contradiction of the scripture.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

The old covenant was in a state of decay at the time the Letter to the Hebrews was written; its imminent demise is obvious from the words “is ready to vanish away”. Thus today with the abolition of the priesthood of the Levites and their atoning sacrifices at the destruction of Jerusalem, it is patently obvious that this scripture has been fulfilled.

Under the Covenant of Works, redemption was found through the sacrificial offering of Lamb, Christ being the Lamb of God laid down his life under the Law in order to fulfil the Law. Therefore there is no other offering for sin, because the once only perfect offering of the Lamb of God has accomplished the very purpose of the Law. Which is the reconciliation of the aggrieved party (God) to his predestined elect.

Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standing daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

Because the sacrifice of the Lamb of God was perfect, the Law having been fulfilled perfectly, there was no longer any need for the Aaronic Priesthood. This has been replaced by the coming of Christ our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Thus the old covenant, which was unable to bring about a perfect reconciliation through human mediators, is now no longer in force. It was fulfilled perfectly by God the Son, because at its core it had the promise of redemption from death. Death was consequence of failure to fulfil the law. Thus the promise found in the Psalms to the Messiah is fulfilled, of being the Melchizedek High Priest forever, whom the author of the letter to the Hebrews declares as being the accomplisher of our redemption. This redemption includes Christ conquering death on our behalf, and brings the promise of a better resurrection to the church.

“Romans 4:15 Because the law brings wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. “

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

It is evident even in Modern Israel today that the end of the mosaic covenant of the law is long past. The temple no longer stands, its priesthood and High Priest are no longer in existence its sacrifices have ceased and been replaced with a rabbinical substitution. Paul writing about those under the law describes that end of the Jewish economy has come upon them. “When he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power”, Christ’s return spelt the ruin of all in power over the Divided Kingdom of Israel, when he made those enemies, who crucified him, killed his disciples and murdered his prophets, his footstool. Some may object to this failing to understand that Christ’s Kingdom shall never end, therefore there are no last days for the Church as it is part of his everlasting kingdom.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

The Rhetorical Question

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what does it advantage me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

 

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?”

Paul concludes his Proof of Christ’s resurrection with this hypothetical question to those who did not believe in Christ’s resurrection and ascension. That is to ask, “why were you baptized into a still dead Christ”, we are not baptized into the dead Christ, but into the ascended resurrected Christ. There are still some cults that baptize their followers on behalf of a dead relative in order to secure their salvation. There is obviously no support for this based on Paul’s rhetorical question in the context, which it is made to support the resurrection of Christ.

 

Comparing proofs of the Resurrection.

35 ¶ But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; 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. There is a natural body, and there is 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.

Paul now goes into a comparison stage on this subject, where he separates the fleshly resurrection from the spiritual resurrection. Using the prophetic mode of similitude’s to illustrate a divine truth. “But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Here he gives us as composite an answer as is humanly possible to what the resurrected ascended human spirit will be clothed with.

And that which thou sow, thou sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

If one were to hold a acorn, one cannot avoid, by looking at its present image, the foreknowledge that one day it will be a mighty oak. Paul’s likening the body you are presently living in to the mere grain of something greater is the example he sets here. The seeded body through death and resurrection becomes something greater than that which was sown. This discounts the imagination that everyone returns to a seed stage when he is resurrected. If you have ever grown something from a seed you will discover that the acorn seed you planted no longer exists in its original form having been replaced by the Oak Tree.

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”

Paul by setting comparison’s here is getting across the idea that there is more than one type of clothing for the soul. He is not preaching reincarnation in the earthly realm, but the distinguishing between that which inhabits the earth in its three realms (Land, water, air) and that which inhabits the heaven of heavens. There is a body equipped for living in the Celestial realm and a body equipped for living in the earthly realm, which he reinforced by his comparison of men and beast’s versus fishes and birds.

“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory “

Paul is now likening the radiance of the glorified resurrected body by comparing it to the sun moon and stars also a radiance that is dependent upon our distance from it. Here by using the Sun, which is brightest, gives us a glimpse of the resplendent splendour of Christ that blinded him on the Damascus road.

Acts 9: 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel, which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Paul continues his comparisons of the difference between a physical body and a spiritual body. By these comparisons he cast down those imaginations of men who think they shall be glorified in an earthly body that is only designed to inhabit this planet. The earthly body he describes as corrupt, and the heavenly as incorrupt (a state of perfection) which offers great hope for those who have lived as cripples or have been maimed in life, or are mentally deficient etc. The heavenly state is one of eternal Glory, while the earthly state is one of diminishing vigor and the emaciating results of aging.

 

Summarising the resurrection

” There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body “

This is the summary of all that he has compared in likeness, to those who are desiring to have their old bodies back in the resurrection, I say keep them. I desire the perfection of a spiritual body after my death, you can burn my remains and scatter them to the four winds for my naked soul will be clothed with the immaculate wedding garment he has prepared for me, that I may appear in his presence unashamed. I shall glow with the glory of an angel as my Messiah has promised.

 

The Promised Redemption

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.

Our natural body we inherit from Adam, our spiritual body we inherit from the glorified resurrected Son of the Living God who in splendour exceeds the radiance of the Sun at midday in the middle of the Sahara Dessert in the height of summer.

“ Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

Without the change made within us through the earnest of the Holy Spirit, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The rebirth precedes the entry into this Kingdom, for the resurrection is the culmination of the conception of Christ within us. We may proclaim by faith we are born again, but the manifestation of fully-fledged Son of God only occurs at the redemption of our body, which is the great hope of salvation. To those who think they are already manifesting what they in fact hope to be, I say go back and read the context in the book of Romans.

Romans 8: 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

There is much erroneous teaching amongst Pentecostal sects about being a manifested son of God. Having totally missed the point that at the redemption of the physical body (I.e.: the Resurrection) one then becomes like an angel (A Manifested Son of God). But this manifestation occurs in the Heavenly Jerusalem the city of the Living God. The descendants of Adam, who are the creation spoken of here, are groaning to be clothed with immortality. Adam being created in the image and likeness of God, thorough transgression brought his future descendants (creation) into the bondage of sin and the resulting aging process (corruption) that leads to our death. If Paul was still hoping for the resurrection (I.e.: the redemption of his body) how can these blind guides make the claim that they are presently one of the manifested Son’s of God?

 

The Imminent Change of State

“ ¶ 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 thy sting? O grave, where is thy 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.”

Perhaps at this point you may have caught a glimpse of this great mystery of the Gospel. Men try to hide this from the unlearned, to keep them in bondage to the regalia and pomp and splendour of deftly clothed Evangelist’s and other self-proclaimed prophets.

“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.”

Not everyone will have tasted death when Christ returns (has returned) but all in the Christian faith will be changed. Paul declares the imminence of Christ’s return in these words to Corinthians “Behold, I show you a mystery’; we shall not all sleep”, which limits the return to occurring within the lifespan of the congregation he was writing to. This unexpected event within their life spans is declared a mystery. Those who shift the return into the distant future far beyond the expected life span of the audience, the time of Paul’s writing, blind their congregations to the fact that Paul had asserted that he himself saw it as an imminent event. It has remained a mystery to the blind futurist’s until this day. The mystery is we are in a Post rapture time frame to think otherwise turns the discourse into a myth.

Paul has brought the final act of redemption into the life spans of the congregation he was overseeing. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” these words introduce a finality to the resurrection he has been describing to them. The Corinthian church being a mix of the descendants of Jacob and the Gentiles who have been brought into the promises and covenants of hope, they are themselves a sign of the end of the time of Jacob’s travail. The last trumpet signalling the end of one covenant age and the introduction of a new covenant age to the children of the promise was about to sound within their life span..

Galations 4:21 ¶ Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

The New Jerusalem, which is above was about to be populated, the earthly Jerusalem was about to be cast out, the children of the promise born of the free woman (the Church) was about to inherit a city made without hands. The old Covenant had a promise within it of Final redemption from its greatest enemy, which was “Death” which laid claim to all under the “Law”. The Last Trumpet signalled a victory of this greatest enemy of mankind. The old Generation would pass away at the clarion call of the trumpet and be succeeded by the New Creation.

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

 

Passing over the great divide

Christ, replacing the old Passover that celebrated their redemption from the Egyptian bondage, had introduced a New Covenant Passover. The old celebrated their freedom from the tyranny of foreign dominion over them and the new life in the promised earthly land. This being the mere shadow of the better hope to be found in the Messianic Covenant age. Resurrection restores the right of freedom and escape from this world into the world of the new creation found in Christ.

Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

 

During communion we are told to bring into our remembrance the focal point of our faith that is the Death, burial and resurrection/ascension of Christ our Saviour and Lord. Not only does he save us from this world, but also he brings us his victory over Sin and Death. Passover was a feast instituted originally and celebrated under the Law of Moses, but after Christ’s return we are still required to celebrate it in memory of his covenant keeping Fathers kingdom promise. Today we should be celebrating our resurrection/ascension through him as the glorious hope set before us. Paul is explicit to the Galatians that we are not to return to the Law of Moses. This may seem as paradox to many, but the New Covenant scripture is full of this type of duality, we are naturally earthbound but spiritually we are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father. This duality can be illustrated from the following passage.

Joshua 3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

The Covenant remains firm until all Israel had passed over into the Promised Land. A slow moving column with some already in the Land of promise, while others are still beholding it by Faith that entails a duality to those who are still in a land that is not yet theirs. By faith we see beyond the Jordan and our future inheritance as a joint heir with Christ who has passed over ahead of us. Where the Head of the body has gone the tail is sure to follow. The first sounding of the trumpet to cross over (Passover) begins the progressive journey of the whole body of Israel with the Jews first then the Gentiles (a numberless multitude) following. The trumpet sounded in the Generation Paul preached to and each successive generation of Christians have followed Christ into the promised Kingdom.

Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

We no longer have to wait for a returning Christ as he has returned and has not tarried for thousands of years, and the church is steadily following those who have gone on to be with the Lord, by faith in Christ we follow the Captain of our salvation, who has returned to lead us Like Joshua and Caleb our forerunners into the promised Land in our Father’s Kingdom.

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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

Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

This promise of a Better resurrection into the New Jerusalem in the Fathers Kingdom is the prize at the end of a life of Faith founded upon the great hope of the Redemption from our Mortal Bodies.

 

Supporting the resurrection of the dead.

Because Paul has been explicit throughout his discourse that death precedes the resurrection the change has to be one that occurs over a progressive period of time from Christ’s return at the fall of Jerusalem.

“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen” death preceded Christ’s resurrection and Ascension.

“ ¶ But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowed is not quickened, except it die:” self-explanatory.

 

“It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” A seed when it is sown is buried under the soil.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order:” no human exceptions to this rule.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Your human bodies while still alive cannot ascend into the Kingdom. There is a difference between being in the spirit and being in the flesh, the apocalyptic visions of John were in the spirit, while his body was still in Patmos.

“ the dead shall be raised incorruptible” self explanatory.

“John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Christ’s oath upon the matter.

 

“John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” Christ’s oath here denotes a period of time longer than a single instance as an Hour is made up of 3600 seconds or 7200 half seconds. The length of the twinkling of an eye being the fraction. In one hour Babylon the great whore (Jerusalem) was destroyed. “Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate”. Yet the Roman siege lasted three and a half years. This event cannot be pushed multiple millennia ahead, because the Hour had already started in Ad 30.

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

 

 

Following The Sounding of the Trumpet

“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”

Having established from this discourse on the resurrection that death always precedes the change that takes place following the sounding of the last trumpet. Because it is evident that this trumpet signalled the return of Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem in Ad 66-70 it is also patently obvious that the resurrection is an ongoing event from that time.

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

From Christ’s oath that within the life spans (Generation) of those he ministered to, while on the earth the sounding of the great trumpet would take place. The unknown time and hour of the return was limited to a period within that generation of mankind.

When a farmer puts the sickle in to gather his field he begins at a point and continues working his field until his entire crop is harvested.

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Revelation 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

 

The Gaining of a victory over death

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 thy sting? O grave, where is thy 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.”

The victory we gain from Christ is his victory over death, and we only experientially taste that victory at our death. Then in the twinkling of an eye at our last gasp we will understand in the courts of glory the fulfilment of the passage “O death where is thy sting”.

 

Reinforcing the Resurrection.

2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. ¶ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

Even if we lose our physical body that houses our spirit, we are assured of the Spiritual Body (our house from heaven) that will clothe our naked spirit. Paul’s confidence of this stretches to the point where he declares outright “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”, and the reader should note it is not a isolated statement but part of Paul’s reiterating the resurrection in his second letter to the Corinthians to establish their faith. “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”. Our appearance at the Judgement seat of Christ follows our resurrection for the Judgment seat of Christ is where the Disciples of Christ sit.

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Regeneration is the process whereby that which is mortal puts on immortality. (I.e.: The resurrection of the dead”.)

 

The Judgement Seat

Human court procedures deal with cases one at a time, and some imagine that billions upon billions will suddenly arrive in heaven in an instant and be judged. It is totally an illogical imaginary scene they set having failed to see a continuous resurrection of Christ’s followers since His return.

1 Corinthians 6:1 ¶ Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

It is interesting to note that Paul declares that the Church will judge angels, this harmonizes with Christ’s words, that we shall be as angels in the resurrection neither giving in marriage or taking in marriage. There will be no sexual differences visible in the spiritual body.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

In the natural body we are still separated by these differences, but when we are clothed with our glorified body, that which we have now by faith, we shall then have in reality.

Because futurists believe that Christ has not returned yet, they look for two imaginary future events, one a rapture the second a general resurrection. By ignoring Paul’s distinction of two differing kinds of bodies they loudly proclaim we shall be raised in a physical body, at what stage of life they do not declare, implying that women will still have their sexual differences after being raised. This is much like the Papacy claiming that Mary is the mediatrix between men and God, which is a totally unfounded claim. They also make claims of her appearing as a female apparition to her devotees.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Of course we have to take the heathen into consideration, when discussing a future state after death. It is sufficient to say their spirits will appear naked, without a wedding garment on, not having clothed themselves in Christ’s righteousness, but in the fig leaves of human endeavour.

Mathew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

If one studies the timing of the parable of the Marriage Supper one discovers it is an ongoing event. It accords well with an ongoing resurrection of those who have partaken of tokens New Covenant at the Lords supper table, where the Bride is brought into Covenantal union with the Bridegroom and inherits his righteousness as the Garment that adorns her.

 

 

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.

Many evangelists use this passage above in a different sense to the actual words, which are an invitation to sup with Christ by eating the spiritual food he has provided in the New Covenant meal. Obviously the Laodicean’s church had not accepted the New Covenant, and it was still naked and unclothed under the old covenant. Christ had been shut out of a church that had returned to the weak beggarly elements of the law.

Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Paul had similar problems with those who were advocating circumcision as the seal of the New Covenant to the Galatians.

Now we shall deal with the like passage in Thessalonians having understood Paul’s mindset on the matter for the letters were circulated amongst the churches.

 

The Better Resurrection for the Thessalonians.

 

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we, which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together (also) with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

The timing of the Event

When you read the passage above, you find Paul comforting the Thessalonians who were mourning the death of their members and revealing a hope before them. In this context the passage should be fairly easily understood. Paul reveals a very near event that would cheer up the mourners, which he declares as something that will occur in their own life spans. The word “we” is used five times in the passage and its use is obviously directed to people alive at the time of its writing. If the word “they” was used in its place then and only then can this event be shifted into a yet future time frame. To declare almost two thousand years later that these people now all dead and buried will still be raptured at some indefinite future date, is to accuse Paul of misleading those he ministered to. Only a resurrection /rapture occurring in their personal life spans lends credibility to Paul’s assertions. It is obvious that Paul was convinced that some of the Thessalonians would be still alive physically at Christ’s return, “that we, which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord”, only those who make excuses for an still unfulfilled promise by a man who was dead and buried before AD70 can attempt to prove otherwise.

 

The Basis of the Resurrection

Paul in this discourse also reminds the Thessalonians of the basis of the coming resurrection be established upon Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Which is supported by his discourse to the Corinthians. Having understood that death precedes a resurrection according to Paul and Christ one cannot jump to the conclusion that this is an exception to the rule of faith. The purported exception of the dispensational futurist who somehow manages to exclude the death of the members of Thessalonians Church from this requirement is exposed.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him (KJV)

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For, if we believe that, Jesus, died, and rose again, so, also will, God, bring forth with him, them who have fallen asleep through Jesus; “Rotherham Translation of the New Testament”

The vagueness of the KJV, of the event, the Rotherham translation clarifies. For within it we see that just as God the Father raised Christ, so to he will through Christ raise those who have died in the infant Church. The KJV through its vagueness appears to imply that the dead saints return with Christ at the resurrection/rapture. It also seems to Imply that the Father will leave the throne and be present at the event. There is no other scripture to support this, without the required two or three witnesses to confirm the KJV, the alternate translation is superior.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

 

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep” once again Paul draws the distinction that the livings do not precede the dead during the event. The archaic word “prevent” does not mean to stop them, but to be ahead of those that follow afterwards.

 

The Reunification of resurrected souls

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air

There is a word contained in this sentence, which is often overlooked as though it were written this way: “Then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds”. There is a distinction between the example and the actual, because the example omits the word “REMAIN” which denotes a period of waiting until they themselves have died. Which also implies that the return of Christ would occur during the life-span of the members of the church he was writing to, for Paul does not use the phrase “they which are alive” but includes himself by using the phrase “we which are alive”.

Secondly the word “together” from the Greek “Hama” is used differently in various places in the scripture, I believe Paul’s use of it here should be translated “also” so that it harmonizes with the other scriptures on the resurrection.

The NIV translation has “After that we who are still alive and are left ” which denotes two separate events occurring, one which follows the other..

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Afterwards we who are alive and are still on earth will be caught up in their company amid clouds to meet the Lord in the air.(Weymouth)

The Weymouth translation separates this into two distinct events. The dead being raised first and the still living following afterwards. It also uses the words “will be “ explaining the catching away which does not necessarily imply a simultaneous event. Notice also where the KJV uses “remain” this translation uses “and are still on Earth”. Also there is more clarity as to where the re-unification of the resurrected souls take place. They are seen to be amid the clouds, the carnally minded assume that this occurs in the earth’s atmosphere and witnessed by the entire world. When Paul saw the resurrected/ascended/glorified Christ those in his presence did not see it.

Acts 9: 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

To be amid the Clouds is to be in the New Jerusalem. The Clouds prophetically speak of the Glory of the transfiguration-taking place at the time.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. …22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord

Air is all around us, it touches the surface of the planet, it can be found under the ground in the Mines of this world. Paul’s us of it here is metaphorical, and signifies being in the visible presence of God or rather in the sense of being in the Atmosphere of God’s Presence. So may go so far as to imagine this to be the arrival of a mother ship from an alien culture like they do when reading the prophet Ezekiel. Spiritual things are discerned spiritually and not naturally.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul declares to Timothy that Christ our King and our God is immortal and invisible to the Naked eye. So in the resurrection that which was only visible in the Spirit on occasions, becomes eternally visible when this mortal becomes immortal in the spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

The Collapse of the Modern Rapture hypothesis

From these comparisons we see that the instant Rapture theory of the dispensationalist’s view of yet future rapture before the great tribulation or after it, is only supported by two fragmented portions from Corinthians and Thessalonians and is subject to how it has been translated. The view that the tribulation is a still future event occurring after the deaths of those who listened to Christ’s Olivet discourse (Mat 24), millennia later, is not supported by the scripture.

 

Thus the Dispensational view collapses when one takes audience, context and setting into consideration and understands that the Great tribulation occurred during the period Ad 66-70 and was the culminating judgement ending the appended Law to the promise of the New Covenant given to Abraham. Thus the Mosaic Priesthood, it’s atoning sacrifices and temple disappeared forever, never to be re-instituted again.

For we have in its place the once only perfect sacrifice of God, the Melchizedek High Priesthood, The Eternal Jerusalem, the eternal King of Kings reigning in an everlasting Kingdom. The old Mosaic Covenant fully replaced by the glorious New Covenant our Lord and Saviour confirmed by shedding his blood as the permanent seal of it’s eternal validity.

There are some amongst those deluded dispensationalists who vainly imagine that the New Covenant still has not been ratified, and can only take place in the modern secular state of Israel after the Temple is rebuilt and the Mosaic Covenant is revived from its death knell. Taking the promises of God as promises to the modern secular state of Israel instead of the spiritual Israel (the Church) they stumble in gross darkness and lead many astray. The true Israel is made up of both Jew and Gentile and is the church, so the promises cannot be treated as exclusively for the secular state.

Ephesians 2: 14 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

 

 

A Better Resurrection in the Psalms

<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.>>

Psalm 49

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? ¶ They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.¶ But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

 

Calling the Worlds Attention

“Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. “

 

 

The Psalmist calls the entire world’s attention to this ode of his. This is not something only for the elite, but for all no matter what their status in life. Describing it as wisdom and the product of much meditation, a dark saying, something that common lot of humanity fail to perceive. He writes it as an ode to humanity a song to be considered using a parable that reveals the state of mankind.

“Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

 

Why we need Redemption

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? ¶ They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:

His discovery of indwelling sin that plagues his journey through life brings a certain fear to mind. The question is “who will redeem my soul”? No amount wealth or the trust in it to purchase the redemption of a soul will suffice. God cannot be bribed by earthly status to redeem your relatives or purchase the position an office in the Church that will ensure their redemption. The cost of redeeming a soul is priceless, beyond human ability and the loss of your soul has an eternal consequence.

Mathew 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

“That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.”

Redemption would require something that the natural man does not posses, that is immortality that prevents the decay of the human body. Wise men and fools go to the same destiny, thinking that they will live forever in the memory of the next generation. By leaving behind some human legacy they hope that posterity will remember them. No matter what their station in life is, they are no different from a dead dog. Death is at work in this world and soon any honour they have gained disappears along with them. That which excited their souls in this life is of no worth in the next life. International colours and the accolades of the men that exalt them soon become a dim memory of past achievements. The path they have chosen with the reward of human adoration is the path of the foolish, even if all concur with them.

“Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.¶ But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.”

 

Redemption of the Soul

Often those in the Christian faith are considered fools by the worldly, for they seek the Kingdom of God and the redemption of their souls from the power of the grave. Death feeds on all who are worldly and their perceived beauty soon perishes. For all that shall be left is an emaciated corpse. A light burst’s forth like the first rays of the dawn amidst this dark saying of the psalmist. Mankind is concerned with adorning the tombs of the lifeless corpses, while he looks forward to the redemption of his innermost being (his soul) not his corpse.

Acts 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

The upright one (Christ) the only man who was sinless, would have dominion over their souls in the dawning of the new Day. His identification with Christ’s resurrection as the redemption of his soul was the hope he puts forth in the psalm. “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.”

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Human Glory does not follow one into the grave and clothe one’s naked soul. Many perish that fail to understand that redemption from the grave is found in Christ the Light of the world. For throughout this psalm he has put forth that man is a sinner and cannot redeem himself.

 

Just as David looked forward to the redemption he saw in the upright one, we also should look to the Glory of Christ, as that which will redeem our priceless Soul from the power of the grave.

 

 

The Better Resurrection in the Prophets

 

The Benefits of the New Covenant

One may think that the resurrection is merely a new Idea that arrived with Christ. But it is a long held view of one of the benefits of the coming new Covenant that Christ confirmed.

Isaiah 66: 5 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.¶ For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

 

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” Before Zion (the Church- Christ’s Kingdom) travailed Christ the Son of Man was caught up to God in the ascension.

Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Before the commencement of the Great tribulation the Son of Man was caught up to God and his throne. Heavenly Israel portrayed by the symbol of the Sun and the Moon and the twelve Stars that gave the fruit of her virgin daughter’s womb (Mary) to the world, was soon to suffer her pain.

John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

 

The Rhetorical question about the New Nation

“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.”

This piece in Isaiah has a rhetorical question, which follows the birth and glorification of the Son of Man . The answer to the question is obvious, that a nation is produced as the population of a tribe grows over a period of time through successive generations. A single Couple may be the cause of a nation, but the populace that makes up that nation is something that has accrued over a period. Is the womb shut after the birth of the first of many siblings, again the answer is no. Due to Christ being the first to ascend into the Kingdom of Heaven, those who follow afterward continue until a nation exists in its fullness. Here the ongoing resurrection/ ascension is revealed in Isaiah as the rest of the passage deals with the future destruction of Christ’s enemies.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

The Birth of the New Nation of Israel

The Church is called a Holy Nation and a Royal priesthood in the epistles, and here Isaiah points to the Gentiles being grafted into the Kingdom as part of the nation that is born over a period of time.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

During the preceding century of the 1900’s, much emphasis has been placed upon this oath of Christ. The term born again became a cliché for the work of regeneration begun by the Holy Spirit in the followers of Jesus. The flaw of this mode of thinking is to assume that receiving the earnest of the spirit was the be all and end all of Christianity. Some even go so far to declare that it is an act of human ritual that causes this to take place. Failure to understand, that birth is the end result of being born by ones parents into this world, that conception is a primary decision of a willing father, leads to many misnomers. Following conception within the realm of a mother’s womb a child only sees the earthly realm after delivery nine months later. Within the womb it cannot see the human glory of modern Day City like Paris, with all its parks, boulevards and other attractions.

John 3:4 Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

In the language of the day Nicodemus understood that to be born again necessitated the need for someone else (his mother) to carry him for nine months. In his mind he had no thoughts of an instant birth at the moment of conception. Christ never corrected him on this but expanded this into the realm of the spirit, comparing the natural with the spiritual.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

In this analogy a circumcision takes place, for when a child is birthed it is separated from its mother by the cutting off of the life supporting umbilical cord, that which sustained it in its previous realm of the womb. Like so in death we are cut off from that which sustained us namely the world.

The end/object of spiritual regeneration has a similar object in view, that is to be born into the kingdom of God. Only after our resurrection shall we behold the glory of the New Creation, the Heavenly Jerusalem in the Kingdom of God. The Church is the womb of Christianity and within it we are fed with the milk that nourishes us to eventually present us perfect in Christ.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Just as Jesus explains to Nicodemus that the Son of Man must be lifted up before all are drawn to him as part of his explanation of being born again, likewise Christ is the first born of many brethren.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Isaiah prophetically under the unction of the Infallible spirit of God, portrays the Church as Mount Zion travailing in birth to bring forth a nation of Kings and priests, Paul portrays God’s predestined purpose of many brethren making up the elect of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a Church that is within the womb of the Blessed Holy Spirit who carries us into our Fathers House. Because the Holy Spirit is an ever present reality, there is on going regeneration taking place daily in the natural world of the church, along with an ongoing delivery of children into the Heavenly kingdom of God as they are cut off by death. Regeneration and Resurrection are the Alpha and Omega of the Christian faith. Christ calls us to follow him and through this call we are invited to partake of death by being baptized into Christ that we might be raised with him.

Romans 6: 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

 

The Primary Object of the Christian Faith

The Christian faith’s primary object is the Resurrection and ascension of Christ, and by faith it has a great hope of being delivered after death into the Kingdom of God in like manner.

Philippians 3:8 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

¶ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

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.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

The Apostle Paul was fully persuaded that in his own lifetime he would accomplish being resurrected. To him it was an imminent event that all the Church should be aware of. That is he expected to experience his resurrection at the return of Christ. The question arises if one is a futurist. “Was Paul deluded?” The imminent return of Christ is a major theme that the early infant church was well aware of. Some of this fervour, which I term “Rapture Fever” has been re-instilled in the ill informed modern church. The Preterist view that Christ has already returned based upon the weight of evidence for it in the Gospels and the Historical events at the fall of Jerusalem, reintroduces the same hope Paul had of being resurrected upon our death. The Gospel’s begin with the Conception of Christ in the blessed virgin’s womb by the Holy Ghost and ends with the Death, burial and Resurrection/ascension of Christ. This is the primary model of faith for the Christian Church. Raptures while still alive in the flesh are the mere supposition of deluded dispensationalists, who spuriously and continuously have made false predictions of it from the first century Ad after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Church history is full of the results of the effects of these false prophets’ delusions throughout history.

 

Rejoicing in the New Jerusalem

“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies”

Isaiah under the unction of the ever-blessed Holy Spirit extends this vision of Israel in mourning for the Destruction of their Mother City Jerusalem, by announcing the coming of the Comforter to Jerusalem who would extend the gospel to the Gentiles (the nations) as her consolation. This vision of the church being conceived by the coming of the Holy Ghost and expanded to the Gentiles would bring Joy to the inheritors of the New Jerusalem. He follows this with Gods Favour upon the Church and his indignation against the enemy of the Church, namely the apostate descendants of Jacob who handed Jesus over to be crucified. Note that the flow of the Gentiles into the New Jerusalem is likened to that of a river, which once started it continues through countless generations. Just as rivers endlessly flow into the sea and are reunited with the source of the rain that sustains its flow so to the resurrection once started continues on unabated.

 

Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Isaiah’s Preview

Isaiah multiple centuries before outlines the events leading up to the ongoing resurrection of the Church.

The Ascension of Christ the man-child.

The Coming of the Comforter.

The engrafting of the Gentiles into the Church.

The destruction of the enemies of Christ and the tribes of Israel in Mourning for the loss of the mother City.

The Chariots of God surrounding Jerusalem.

The Continuous ascension into the Kingdom of Heaven of resurrected saints of both Jews and Gentiles.

 

“¶ For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”

The Chariots in the clouds are part of Josephus’s historical account of the portents in the heavens at the destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus the leading Jewish Historian whose works are available today , lived amongst the generation Christ preached to. From his writings we have a full historical account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Herod’s Temple. Isaiah a major Prophet in the divine canon closes his book with this glorious revelation of the coming of the Lord in Judgement at the destruction of Jerusalem.

Josephus War of the Jews Book 6 Chapter 5 section 3. (288) Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. (289) Thus there was a star {d} resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. (290) Thus also, before the Jews’ rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month of Xanthikos {e} [Nisan], (Niese: April 25, Capellus: April 8) and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone around the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright daytime; which lasted for half an hour. (291) This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. (292) At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. (293) Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and extremely heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and fastened with iron-bound bars, and had bolts sunk very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. (294) Now, those who kept watch in the temple, came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up there, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. (295) This also appeared to the common people to be a very happy prodigy, as if God thereby opened to them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. (296) So these publicly declared that the signal predicted the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month of Artemisios [Iyyar], (Niese: June 8, Capellus: May 21) (297) a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those who saw it, (298) and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen (299) running about among the clouds, and surrounding the cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner {f} [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, (300) and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “We are departing from here.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1 ¶ But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

The coming destruction of Jerusalem at the Lords return is well supported in the Gospels. Paul’s reason for not producing a Dispensational diagram outlining the mythical gap between the sixty- ninth and seventieth week is obvious from the copies of the Gospel’s that would be in the Thessalonians possession.

Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

They were well aware that it was something that would occur in the generation alive at that time. Here this authors object is to show how Isaiah foresaw the travail of Israel and the ongoing resurrection, should any be interested to know in detail, there is a major treatise by James Stuart Russell on the Parousia that covers the return of Christ.

 

Daniel’s Outline Isaiah’s Conclusion

Daniel the prophet outlines the consummation to us.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The consuming wrath of God poured upon the abandoned City of Jerusalem brings a close to Isaiah’s prophecy after the glorious New Covenant was confirmed by the once only perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. The temple lay desolate at the time of Gabriel’s appearance to Daniel. The rebuilt temple became desolate when the veil was rent and the Shekinah glory departed. The consummation closed the chapter on the Natural Kingdom in the control of the usurping Herodion dynasty the descendants of the hated Esau. In its place a gathering of all nations and tongues into the Heavenly Jerusalem of Mount Zion commenced as the Lord of Glory spread the gospel of the confirmed and ratified New Covenant to a thousand Generations.

Deuteronomy 9:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repays them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hate him, he will repay him to his face.

 

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

“For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”

This glorious conclusion by Isaiah foreshadowing the inauguration of the Eternal Kingdom of Christ our Lord and Saviour that commences with the ingathering of resurrected men into the Eternal City in the Heaven of Heavens. Just as the gospel has been continuously preached of the Eternal City made without hands amongst mankind, following the destruction of the earthly city at its final trumpet, so to the resurrection has continued unabated populating mount Sion with the spirits of Just men made perfect.

 

 

The Better Resurrection in the History of the Kings.

 

Just as I started with the writer to the Hebrews declaring the hope of a better resurrection using Elijah’s raising of the woman’s child as the example of a physical resurrection, we shall examine Elijah’s resurrection.

 

The Song of Redemption

There is a spiritual song with the words “Swing low sweet chariot, coming forth to carry me Home” and with this in mind we shall look at the parting of Elisha and Elijah.

2 Kings 2:1 ¶ And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. ¶ And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. ¶ He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?

 

Under the Mosaic Covenant we have this example of the catching away of Elijah, who later appeared on the mount of Transfiguration in a glorified state with Christ.

Mathew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.¶ And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

This section in the Gospel is one of the many supporting proofs of the Preterist view of a fulfilled return of Christ. It is interesting to note that Christ’s oath (verily) to those in his company that some will not have died before his return with the angels of God. Including the supporting instruction to them about the vision, which was not to be revealed to any until after his personal resurrection/ascension into heaven. So in the context of the passage we have a glimpse of the Glorified state of the resurrected Moses and Elijah in the light of Christ’s promised return. So bright did their faces shine that the disciples wanted to start building an earthly temple for each of them. Also the Cloud of God the Father’s Glory instructing them to follow Christ and pay attention to his words. Which the reader should also heed and take note of, because it gives them a glimpse of their future state.

 

The Glimpse of the Future State

The disciples had a glimpse of the Future state of those who heed God’s words, the state of the Glory that we inherit as a bond of the New Covenant. Here the better resurrection is revealed for the entire world to see. Elijah is no longer earth bound but able to travel across the boundaries of time and space in an instant. One minute upon the Mount the next vanished into the Kingdom.

John 17:2121 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world.

Christ’s intercession for us, who believe, contains the request for our glorification, and our perfection, and this we know is part of what is termed a better resurrection.

 

Understanding the theme of the Song of Redemption

In the light of Isaiah speaking of the resurrection being accompanied by the coming of the chariots of God and his whirlwind, and Josephus’s historical account of it at the fall of Jerusalem, perhaps we now may understand the song writers theme of the Chariot coming to carry him home.

Isaiah:“¶ For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”

 

Elisha: “ And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. ¶ He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.”

 

Josephus: “Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month of Artemisios [Iyyar], (Niese: June 8, Capellus: May 21) (297) a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those who saw it, (298) and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen (299) running about among the clouds, and surrounding the cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner {f} [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, (300) and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “We are departing from here.”

The Songwriter looking over Jordan into the Promised Land. :“Swing low sweet chariot, coming forth to carry me home”

Let the reader ponder this for I conclude that like Elijah, when our time comes to depart this planet, we will join the company of a great cloud of witnesses clothed in the Glory Christ obtained for us by his petitioning of our Heavenly Father.

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

 

The Historical Account of the Start of the Better Resurrection.

We shall now examine the secular historical witness of Josephus at the destruction of Jerusalem.

In order to examine this section our minds need to be refreshed from the scripture, that we may establish the evidence from which we will draw a conclusion.

 

1. The Thief in the Night

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

Firstly we note that Christ returns as a thief in night, and by his own description it is to remove some property, and to kill his enemies and destroy their house. So his return will be at eveningtime.

Zechariah 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

Mathew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Christ reiterates Zechariah’s understanding of the Day of the Lord.

 

2. The Shout that raises the Dead

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Matthew 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

 

His return is to collect his saints in the strong mans house.

 

3. The Place of his Return.

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

42 days after commencement before Pentecost Christ ascended into Heaven and the return is in similar manner.

Mathew 24:29 Immediately after (GRK: ”Meta” S/be read “ with”) the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The sign of the Son man that the Magi (three wise men) followed was a star in the heavens. So in like manner at Christ’s Return there shall be a similar sign in the Heavens and a falling star.

Note: In order to Harmonize this with Luke 21:28, ”And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh”, this Author favours the translating of the Greek word “meta” as with. In every other passage in the four Gospels where the equivalent Greek word for “Immediately” is used “Meta” is translated as “with” instead of “After”.

 

3. The Opening and Closing of the Eastern Gate (Beautiful Gate)

 

Isaiah 24:12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Ezekiel 46:12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.

Psalms 24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

There is a tradition held by modern day Judaism that when the Messiah comes he will enter in by the Eastern Gate.

 

4. Bolt of Light shining in the temple

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

5. The Redemption of the Purchased Possession

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Should one read through the 21st Chapter of Luke, we understand that Christ was dealing with the same event’s that signalled the coming Apocalypse and his Parousia. From the above verse we establish a time frame for the beginning of the redemption of our Bodies. This is not to be confused with the redemption purchased by Christ for us through his sacrificial death.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

 

6. The Day to be Remembered

Exodus 13:1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. This day came ye out in the month Abib (Nisan).

And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.

Israel is given an express command by the Lord of Glory to remember the day of Redemption of the firstborn through an annual feast in the month of Nissan. So Israel’s redemption in the promised land was to be remembered and taken special note of. The required Sacrifice would be a lamb. The timing of this event is significant for it would take place forty years later in the Promised Land. From the time John the Baptist Declared “Behold the Lamb of God” to celebration of this feast at the beginning of the Roman siege forty years elapsed. The Law being a mere shadow of the fulfilled redemption of the elect remnant of Israel.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The final stage of our redemption is when our human body is changed (redeemed). Redemption begins in the spirit, transforms the Soul and resurrects the body. This feast celebrating redemption occurred 42 days after commencement of Passover. This in the Christian Calendar is celebrated as Ascension day. Christ being seen Alive on the third Day, his appearances continued for forty days..

 

7 The sealing of the remnant of Israel.

Revelation 7:1 ¶ And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

In this section from the Apocalypse we note that a remnant of Israel made up of a 144000 of Israel receive the seal of their redemption.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

 

8. The Divine Order of the Gospel

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

Salvation includes the victory over death and the imminence of that Hour of redemption that commences first with the Jews and then gathers in the Gentiles is part of the order Gospel.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

In the Apocalypse we note that an unfulfilled number (Numberless Multitude) from the nations of the world are to find redemption following the Jews. That they are in a resurrected state is obvious from the text, for they are in the Heavenly Jerusalem that has no need of the Sun to give it Light. Because they follow after the sealing of the remnant 144000 firstborn of Israel and are declared numberless we reiterate the ongoing Salvation/resurrection taking place amongst the nations of the world.

Romans 11:4 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.

I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them, which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

So little of election is preached today, even though this doctrine was one of the primary causes of the Reformation, this is one of the reasons why the futurists who preach salvation by works lead so many astray. I cannot within this discourse expound election and predestination, which are the primary cause of our redemption/resurrection in Christ. So when the remnant are raised from the Dead (received into Heaven) and the apostates are Cast away then the nations of the world will follow and their personal reconciliation with God will be complete. The destruction of the old covenant people at the time of God’s indignation brings in the Hope of a better resurrection for the nations of the world by their embracing of the New Covenant.

Revelation 14: 1 ¶ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

 

 

9. The Wise and the Foolish virgins.

Isaiah Chapter 25-26 (wise and foolish) hide until indignation is over for the blood of the prophets Prophets.

Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.¶ LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. ¶ Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Mathew 25:1 ¶ Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

Mathew 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

 

At the time of God’s Judgement of Apostate Israel the elect are called to depart and hide themselves until God’s indignation with his chosen nation is over.

 

The Historical Account in comparison to the scripture.

Excerpt from Josephus War of the Jews Book 6 Chapter 5 section 3.

(288) Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. (289) Thus there was a star {d} resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.

(The sign that proceeded Christ’s birth was a Star, secondly the most significant event in Gospel was the cross upon which Christ was crucified, which resembles the shape of a sword these two are both known traditionally as the signs of the Son of Man also Christ’s return is portrayed as when the stars are visible see 3 above .)

(290) Thus also, before the Jews’ rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month of Xanthikos {e} [Nisan], (Niese: April 25, Capellus: April 8) and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone around the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright daytime; which lasted for half an hour. (291)

(This great light shining in the entrance of the house at the altar through into the Holy of Holies would travel from east to west as the temple was laid out in this fashion see 3,4 above)

This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. (292) At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.

(This feast is culminated by remembrance of Israel’s Redemption; of which the Lamb is the symbol of according to Moses’ injunction to Israel, the final redemption is the resurrection see 6 above.

(293) Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and extremely heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and fastened with iron-bound bars, and had bolts sunk very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night.

(294) Now, those who kept watch in the temple, came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up there, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again.

( The Messiah enters by the Eastern Gate like a thief in the night and after his departure the Gate (Door) is closed see 3,1 above ) Note see Addendum Alfred Edersheim’s desciption and Graphic picture of Herods Temple

(295) This also appeared to the common people to be a very happy prodigy, as if God thereby opened to them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies.

(Christ’s ministry was concentrated amongst the common people, but the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees rejected him. The common people were lifting up their heads for their promised redemption was coming see 5 above)

 

 

(296) So these publicly declared that the signal predicted the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month of Artemisios [Iyyar], (Niese: June 8, Capellus: May 21) (297) a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those who saw it, (298) and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen (299) running about among the clouds, and surrounding the cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner {f} [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, (300) and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “We are departing from here.”

(In Isaiah 66 we have the Chariots of God as well as at Elijah’s resurrection (Refer to previous Sections). An earthquake accompanies the resurrection of the two witnesses in the book of Revelation. Tacitus describes this as a superhuman voice (see below) see 2,7 above). This is the departure of the elect remnant the 144000 see 8 above)

 

 

Tacitus (A.D. 115) - Roman historian

"13. Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world." (Histories, Book 5, v. 13). Comp. Tacitus, Annals, xiv, 12, 22; xv, 22, 47; xvi, 13. ( The coming in of the Gentiles (Orient) is part of Isaiah’s description of the Day of the Lord)

 

Summary

There is sufficient proof from these two Historians accounts of the Prodigies occurring during the apocalyptic destruction of Jerusalem to conclude that the words of the Lord Jesus Christ have been fulfilled. I have endeavoured by drawing as much as I can from my limited knowledge of the scripture to support my views on the better resurrection. Some may differ, because the traditional creeds of men have a different opinion.

Dear reader I have put forth my case, the decision to accept or reject it is in your hands.

Mathew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

I Believe the Lord Christ has fulfilled what he has promised to do. And my Faith in the veracity of my Saviours’ words has been strengthened by this exercise of mine, I hope yours is as well. If we never meet in this life, I hope to see you in the better resurrection clothed in the Glory of the wedding garment at marriage supper of the Lamb.

Yours in Christ,

David Harry Hume

2005.

Addendum

 

Mosaic Feasts

The ‘Beautiful Gate’

These eight side gates, as we may call them, were all two-leaved, wide, high, with superstructures and chambers supported by two pillars, and covered with gold and silver plating. But far more magnificent than any of them was the ninth or eastern gate, which formed the principal entrance into the Temple. The ascent to it was from the terrace by twelve easy steps. The gate itself was made of dazzling Corinthian brass, most richly ornamented; and so massive were its double doors that it needed the united strength of twenty men to open and close them. This was the ‘Beautiful Gate’; and on its steps had they been wont these many years to lay the lame man, just as privileged beggars now lie at the entrance to Continental cathedrals. No wonder that all Jerusalem knew him; and when on that sunny afternoon Peter and John joined the worshippers in the Court of the Women, not alone, but in company with the well-known cripple, who, after his healing, was ‘walking and leaping and praising God, ‘ universal ‘wonder and amazement’ must have been aroused. Then, when the lame man, still ‘holding by’ the apostles, again descended these steps, we can readily understand how all the people would crowd around in Solomon’s Porch, close by, till the sermon of Peter—so fruitful in its spiritual results—was interrupted by the Temple police, and the sudden imprisonment of the apostles.

The Levitical Calendar

For the convenience of the reader, we subjoin a calendar, showing the occurrence of the various festive days—

 

1—Nisan

Spring Equinox, end of March or beginning of April.

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 14. The preparation for the Passover and the Paschal Sacrifice.

Day 15. First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Day 16. Waving of the first ripe Omer.

Day 21. Close of the Passover.

2—Iyar

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 15. ‘Second, ‘or ‘little’ Passover.

Day 18. Lag-le-Omer, or the 33rd day in Omer, i.e. from the

presentation of the first ripe sheaf offered on the 2nd day of

the Passover, or the 15th of Nisan.

3—Sivan

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 6. Feast of Pentecost, or of Weeks—7 weeks, or 50 days after the

beginning of the Passover, when the two loaves of first ripe

wheat were ‘waved, ‘commemorative also of the giving of the Law

on Mount Sinai.

4—Thamus

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 17. Fast; taking of Jerusalem on the 9th by Nebuchadnezzar

(and on the 17th by Titus). If the 17th occur on a Sabbath,

the Fast is kept on the day following.

5—Ab

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 9. Fast—( threefold) destruction of the Temple.

6—Elul

Day 1. New Moon.

7—Tishri

Beginning of Civil Year

Day 1&2. New Year’s Feast.

Day 3. Fast for the murder of Gedaliah.

Day 10. Day of Atonement; Great Fast.

Day 15. Feast of Tabernacles.

Day 21. Close of the above.

Day 22. Octave of the Feast of Tabernacles. (In the Synagogues, on the

23rd, Feast on the annual completion of the Reading of the

Law.)

8—Marcheshvan or Cheshvan

Day 1. New Moon.

9—Kislev

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 25. Feast of the Dedication of the Temple, or of Candles, lasting

eight days, in remembrance of the Restoration of the Temple

after the victory gained by Judas Maccabeus (BC 148) over the

Syrians.

10—Tebeth

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 10. Fast on account of the Siege of Jerusalem.

11—Shebat

Day 1. New Moon.

12—Adar

Day 1. New Moon.

Day 13. Fast of Esther. If it fall on a Sabbath, kept on the Thursday

preceding.

Day 14. Purim, or Feast of Haman.

Day 15. Purim Proper.

* The Megillath Taanith (’roll of fasts’), probably the oldest Aramean post-biblical record preserved (though containing later admixtures), enumerates thirty-five days in the year when fasting, and mostly also public mourning, are not allowed. One of these is the day of Herod’s death! This interesting historical relic has been critically examined of late by such writers as Derenbourg and Gratz. After their exile the ten tribes, or at least their descendants, seem to have dated from that event (696 BC). This appears from inscriptions on tombstones of the Crimean Jews, who have been shown to have descended from the ten tribes. (Comp. Davidson in Kitto’s Cycl. iii. 1173.)

Footnotes:

{1} These are: the first and the seventh days of the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread, ‘Pentecost, New Year’s Day, the Day of Atonement, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and its Octave.

{2} The term is rendered in the Authorised Version, ‘Sabbath of rest, ‘ #Le 16:31 23:32.

{3} Because on a Thursday Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai, and came down on a Monday, when he received for the second time the Tables of the Law.

{4} The only public offerings, with ‘imposition of hands, ‘were the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement, and the bullock when the congregation had sinned through ignorance.

{5} This happened therefore on eighteen days of the year. These will be specified in a subsequent chapter.

{6} Tradition has it, that neither high-priest nor king ever took part in these deliberations, the former because he might object to a leap-year as throwing the Day of Atonement later into the cold season; the king, because he might wish for thirteen months, in order to get thirteen months’ revenue in one year!

Excerpt from “A Edersheim “The Temple”

Bibliography

All scripture inserted into this text is by means of the Online Bible to which this author expresses his gratitude to those who have made this possible. This includes the Historical Account from Josephus’s war of the Jews. Their Internet address is www.onlinebible.net.

 

Books Available

The seventy weeks of Daniel and the great tribulation by Phillip Mauro.

The Parousia by James Stuart Russell.

Bishop John Lightfoots commentaries on the New Testament.

Adam Clarkes commentaries by Gary Gallant.

Works of Flavius Josephus translated by William Whiston revised by Larry Pierce.

The Temple ministry and its services by Alfred Edersheim.

Revelation Articles by Arthur Ogden.

All scripture is from the 1769 Authorised King James Version except where other translations are specified. In some places this author to add clarity to the meaning has upgraded the archaic words.
 

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Date: 27 Dec 2005
Time: 10:34:29

Comments:

Very good study. Thank you.

PL


Date: 30 Dec 2005
Time: 21:23:19

Comments0:

I've been studying this subject for many years. Many statements in the bible just didn't make sense when applied to the "established" models presented by others. You have opened my eyes to a new way of looking at eschatology. I will study hereout with this definitely in mind. Thank you for all your hard work. Jack B


Date: 08 Jan 2006
Time: 04:09:18

Comments:

If Christ was the first fruits, and rose physically and bodily from the dead, (the tomb was empty, he ate food, the apostles could touch him etc.) then why are we to believe that "our" resurrection will not be physical or bodily in new immortal physical bodies?

Even if Christ came back in 70AD the dead had to rise physically to be like Christ and the living had to be changed while alive into immortality so they could ascend into heaven.

Plus revelation mentions "two" resurrections separated by 1000 years.

The new heavens and new earth are different and have no oceans. Peter said that when Christ returns the whole universe will be dissolved in fire and a new heaven and earth will be made.

None of these things ever happened so it is hard to accept Christ returned in 70AD. Plus evil is rampant, the devil continues to deceive the nations. How could he do this if he was cast into the lake of fire?

But most importantly death still exists, the punishment for sin. In the new heavens and new earth there is no death anymore.

Sorry the preterist view simply doesn't fly. It has some good points but can not answer all the questions properly.


Date: 19 Jun 2006
Time: 21:12:55

Comments:

what about the darkening of the sun and a red moon.
what about" happy are those who are found in the first resurection and after 1000 years the wicked are reserected.
do you hplease have an explanation for my questions i would love to hear them thats the only thing holding me back


 

 

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