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What Scripture Says About Salvation

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

Monograph 9:  The Resurrection as One Event


 

 

The judgment of the resurrection

Summary Highlights of Monograph 9

 

The word resurrection comes from anastasis, which means,

"raising up, or a rising up as from a seat, or from the dead." (Thayer, p. 585). 

 

Anastasis is a compound word made from the preposition ana, meaning up, or back, or again; and stasis, which means to stand, exist, or have stability (Thayer, p. 585). 

 

Stasis may also mean an insurrection or rising up against authority, strife or dysfunction.  As used in anastasis, it means rising up again, or a resurrection.  In other words, if someone who has lived and died is then resurrected, he stands again.

 

One of the few times that anastasis is not translated as resurrection occurs in Luke 2:34: 

"And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." 

 

His (Jesus) life was a revelation of God, showing us the meaning of eternal life, a life that manifests God's qualities to others. 

 

In Luke 2:35, Simeon continued: 

"(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 

 

Berry translated the latter part of this verse: "so that may be revealed of many hearts [the] reasonings," which is a richer interpretation.

 

Many fall into the error of reasonings; they offer works to God believing that their works will be pleasing to God and he will offer salvation in exchange.  This is a common error borrowed from pagan religions which were based on the assumption that if good works were offered to the gods, then the gods were obligated to bless those doing the good works.  This concept has crept into many so-called "Christian" religions.  Many still seek to do business with God by offering good works in exchange for eternal life.

 

Many of the uses of anastasis speak of "the resurrection."  This is true in the following scriptures:  Matthew 22:28, 22:30, 22:31; Mark 12:23; Luke 14:14, 20:33, 20:35, 20:36; John 11:24, 11:25; Acts 2:31, 4:2; I Corinthians 15:42; Philippians 3:10; II Timothy 2:18; and Revelation 20:5, 20:6. 

 

The definite article sets this apart as a special event, the event of the resurrection, a definite time to come at the end of this age.

 

Matthew 22:23-33 reports how the Sadducees and Pharisees accosted Jesus. 

"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." 

 

The Pharisees were looking forward to a resurrection, and Jesus was teaching that there was a resurrection which would take place in the future, an event called "the resurrection." 

 

The Sadducees, however, did not believe there was going to be any resurrection, and they were trying to trap Jesus over the issue of the wife with seven husbands.  Jesus said they erred because they did not know the scriptures or the power of God.  In the resurrection, people neither marry nor are they given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven.

 

Mark 12:18-27 concerns this same encounter with the Sadducees.  Mark 12:26-27 adds: 

"And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err."

 

The phrase, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead" (Matthew 22:31), shows that Jesus was definitely teaching that the dead were going to be resurrected.  In fact, Jesus taught the resurrection of all the dead.  One resurrection.  The resurrection.  By doing so, he was also teaching that God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

 

Jesus was definitely teaching about the resurrection, but his comments on the bush are also interesting.  Fire itself is not what is burned; fire is the result of something else being burned.  God is life, and God was symbolized in this bush as fire.  The fire was not burning the bush in order to subsist, because God subsists of himself.  He needs nothing else to sustain him.  He is without end and without beginning. 

 

Eternal life exists because it is of God.  It is not a matter of our doing that causes life to exist.  This life does not burn in men's hearts because of their works, but because of the grace of God.  It is the very life of God and it exists because God wills it to exist in us.

 

The Sadducees believed that life existed only in this age by what you did.  They wanted the life of God to subsist on their works.  Jesus told them, "Have not you ever read about the bush that Moses saw, how the flame or fire was in it but the bush wasn't consumed?"  Was not that an amazing thing?  How skillful and sneaky the flesh is concerning works and offering our works to God. 

 

The life of God subsists in us by his grace, not because of anything we do or don't do.  It is completely from God.  It is bestowed by grace, and sustained by grace.  Those truly living for God find they have been added to, instead of being consumed.  They are not worn out, but happy, joyful, peaceful, and serene people.

 

Luke gave his version of the encounter with the Sadducees and Pharisees in verses 20:27-38.  Jesus, again, was speaking of the resurrection.  In Luke 20:34-38, he said,

"The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:  But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:  Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.  Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him."  

 

Luke's version adds a new dimension: the age to come and the resurrection from among the dead is for those who are accounted worthy to obtain it.  Many will not be permitted to enter that age because they will have no righteous works, indicating their worthiness.

 

The words to obtain come from tuchein, whose primary definition is "to hit the mark."  The antonym of tugchano is hamartanein, which is translated as sin and means to miss the mark.  Jesus was telling them that they must hit the mark of the next age, or they will not be able to participate in it.

 

The KJV reads, "resurrection from the dead," but the Greek manuscript actually says, "resurrection out from among the dead."  While all men will be resurrected, the righteous, or just, will be separated from the dead, or unjust.  That is what Jesus meant by saying "out from among" the dead. 

 

Jesus spoke of the age to come and the resurrection "out from among" the dead ones as equivalent to each other, or dependent on each another.  Those who "obtain" come out from the dead ones to "the resurrection," or the age to come.  The resurrection out from the dead ones is equivalent to obtaining the age to come, which this scripture shows quite clearly.

 

Luke 20:36 says,

"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." 

 

In Romans, Paul said that the whole creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God.  This verse identifies who they are: they are the sons of the resurrection, the ones who are separated from the resurrected dead, or unjust ones.

 

The word children comes from huioi, usually translated as "sons," which means one who has come of age or come to the age of responsibility.  So, becoming sons of God means they are responsible, or have reached a plateau in which God can give them responsibility and expect that they will carry it out. 

 

The responsibility of the sons of God in the next age is to be priests of God and priests of Christ.  They are going to carry out the will of God, rule and reign with Jesus Christ, and intercede with God for the other people upon this earth, including the resurrected unjust, or dead ones.  These sons of God will be a royal priesthood, a chosen people.

 

Notice the distinction here.  The first aspect Jesus dealt with concerned "the resurrection."  Everyone will be resurrected.  The second aspect comes after the resurrection takes place, when those who "obtain" will be separated from the resurrected unjust, or dead ones.  These obtainers will enter the next age in a place of blessing.  They will be chosen servants of God. 

 

John 5:28-29 says,

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

 

John 11:21-24 also talks about the resurrection: 

"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

 

Martha understood that the resurrection would be in the last days.  It occurs at the end of this age, something that has not yet taken place.  But it is definitely coming.

 

Then, in John 11:25, Jesus said,

"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." 

 

Notice that the definite article is used twice.  It is not only "the resurrection," a specific event, but "the life," a specific life.  When we speak of living the life of Christ, it is a specific kind of life, a life that is of God, and from God, an eternal life, bestowed by the grace of God, and not sustained by our works.

 

Our works only demonstrate the power of God working in us to bring forth those things which are pleasing to him.  They are then no longer our works, but the works of God.  As Paul said in Philippians 2:13,

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

 

This life, being a very part of God, is eternal.  It has the qualities of God's life, and is the manifestation of holy spirit which Paul wrote about in I Corinthians 12:7-12: 

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."

 

This scriptures tell us some of the qualities of eternal life.  When Jesus said he is both the resurrection and the life, he was simply stating that these events will take place because of him, and not because of our works.

 

Many of the learned philosophers of his day thought Paul was strange because he preached the resurrection.  Acts 17:18 says,

"Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." 

 

Paul tied Jesus and the resurrection together as equally important.  The resurrection is central to the gospel, or good news, that the apostles emphasized.  Remember, the people of that day did not grow up with the good news of the resurrection and its celebration at Easter.  Perhaps this makes it easier to understand their reaction in thinking Paul was a babbler.

 

Acts 17:30-31 says,

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." 

 

Here, again, the manuscript uses ek, out from.  Jesus was separated from all the dead.  He was resurrected out from the dead as a first-fruit unto God.

 

Acts 17:32 says there was a mixed reaction to Paul's message. 

"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter." 

 

It is still the same today when people hear something they haven't heard before.  Those open to learning will at least weigh, balance, and study to see if what they hear comes from God.  Those not open to learning will dismiss it and mock the speaker.

 

Acts 23:6 says,

"But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." 

 

Remember, the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection.  This passage is not referring to a resurrection "out from" among the dead.  Paul was talking about the resurrection of all the dead.

 

Paul made a distinction when he spoke of the resurrection of all men, and when he spoke of the resurrection "out from among the dead ones."  Please follow this closely, because there are two different aspects of the resurrection, which is what causes much of the confusion on this point. 

 

The most common teaching is that there is one resurrection at the beginning of the 1,000 year reign, and another resurrection at the end of the 1,000 year reign. 

 

Another common teaching says that there is a spiritual resurrection which has already taken place, and Christ is now reigning spiritually in the world.

 

Look closely at what Paul said.  He was not talking about Jesus being resurrected out from among the dead ones, but arguing the fact of a resurrection which is to take place.  A resurrection of the dead.  All the dead.  He made no distinction. 

 

Acts 23:7-8 continues: 

"And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.  For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both." 

 

Paul said he was being judged because of his teaching that there will be a resurrection of the dead.

 

The mob was so violently excited that Paul had to be rescued.  What upset them so much?  Two groups of religious people were gathered in the same place.  Paul knew what each believed, and he knew exactly what they both needed to hear.  He substantiated part of what each believed and denied part of what the other taught.  Neither side was a winner, which is why the ruckus developed.

 

The Sadducees said there would not be a resurrection of the dead.  Paul said there would be, and for proof he told them Jesus was raised from the dead, out from among the dead ones.  This point needs to be emphasized.  Jesus was not only resurrected, but he was resurrected out from among the dead ones because he was altogether without sin. 

 

God raised Jesus first, not only to demonstrate that Jesus was without sin, but also to demonstrate his power.  According to Romans 1:4, Jesus was,

"declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." 

 

God's power raised Jesus from the dead to demonstrate what he has in store for others who are obedient to him.  Namely, a resurrection out from among the dead ones.

 

Some think the dead stay dead.  In a certain sense, this is true.  In "the resurrection," although some will come forth displaying attributes of physical life (they will move, breathe, understand, see, hear), according to the Bible definition of death, they will still be dead. 

 

Death is a spiritual reality as well as a physical fact.  It may also be a state of mind, a state of circumstance, or a state of sin.  For instance, Paul spoke of gossiping women as being dead while they yet lived (I Timothy 5:6). 

 

People may be operating in the sphere of death, thereby being what the scriptures call "dead" even though they are still physically alive.

 

Many people who look physically alive today are spiritually dead.  They are leaving God out of their lives, and therefore they are dead.  They do not glorify God, nor are they thankful.  Just by watching people at work, at home, or at play it is difficult to tell whether they are "dead" or "alive." 

 

It is not so much what people do, but why they do it.  Two people may do the same thing, one unto God, the other unto self.  The former is living and operating in the sphere of life, the latter in the sphere of death.

 

When Paul was defending himself before Felix, he spoke of the resurrection (Acts 24:10-21).  In Acts 24:15, he said,

"And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." 

 

By including both the just and the unjust, Paul was referring to the resurrection of all the dead.  This is one complete resurrection, not two different resurrections.  Paul said there will be one resurrection, a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.  In other words, one resurrection which has two aspects.

 

Notice that Paul said "hope."  It is a hope, not an established fact.  Not just anyone will achieve the "out from among the dead ones" aspect of resurrection. Regardless of whether people are just or unjust, they will be resurrected at the same time.  That is the fact.  The point is that when believers hope in the resurrection, it is not just to be resurrected, but to be resurrected "out from among the dead ones."  To achieve this aspect, they must be accounted worthy.

 

To be judged worthy does not mean people must be sinless.  Only Jesus has ever been without sin.  All others have sinned and therefore are not without sin.  People can only claim righteousness by faith in the accomplished righteousness of Jesus Christ.  This was why God raised him out from among the dead ones to be the first to experience the ek, out from, resurrection. 

 

In the same sense, those judged worthy will also be raised out from among the dead ones.  Although they are sinners, their obedience, their hope, their faithfulness, will result in their being raised out from among the dead ones, those who are unbelieving, disobedient, and hopeless.

 

In Acts 24:16, Paul said,

"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." 

 

Why did Paul add this thought?  He not only taught one resurrection with two aspects, but he also based his obedience on this view of the resurrection.  He wanted to be accounted worthy of obtaining the life to come.  This does not mean Paul never offended some people from time to time, but he was careful to make sure it was because of his godliness and not his carelessness.  Thus, his conscience was clear.

 

Many people make mistakes concerning this point.  If the word of God is taught, it is impossible not to offend some people.  The word is always offensive to those whose minds are closed.  It always has been; it always will be.  Those who are not seeking God will be offended by God's word because of their prejudices and closed minds.  Many are more interested in having other people think well of them.  If some of our thoughts in this study are different from yours, please do not be offended.  Study the scriptures to see what is true.

 

In Acts 24:21, Paul again mentioned the one resurrection and said he had been called into question because of it. 

"Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day." 

 

Now, if you recall our comments about the preposition ek, you will see that the aspect Paul was seeking in the resurrection is the "out" aspect.   It does not mean the unjust dead are not going to be resurrected, but Paul was seeking the aspect which will separate him from the dead ones, or the unjust, who will not enter the kingdom of God but will be condemned to outer darkness.  To see this aspect is a real blessing.

 

In II Timothy 2:18, Paul dealt with the statement by Hymenaeus and Philetus that the resurrection was already past.  In verses 2:18-19, he said,

"Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 

 

Paul's correction of this error destroyed the theory of a spiritual resurrection (which is still prevalent today).  Otherwise, he would have agreed with Hymenaeus and Philetus.  The word of God does not condone teaching a resurrection which is already past, except for that of Jesus Christ.  The resurrection of men is therefore not past, but still to be expected.

 

There is only one resurrection, with two aspects.  Both the just and the unjust will be resurrected at one time.  The just and the unjust will then be separated, and the just will participate in the ek, or out, resurrection.  They will be resurrected "out from among the dead ones."

 

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The judgment of the resurrection

 

In John 5:24-29, Jesus spoke in rebuttal to the Jews:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  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.  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

 

This scripture contains several truths.  Everyone in the graves will hear his voice and come forth.  Those who have done good will be resurrected to life, and those who have done evil will be resurrected to a verdict of guilt. 

 

The word damnation comes from kriseos, which literally means to be accounted guilty.  However, it does not include any sense of what the penalty will be.

 

There is one resurrection, which includes a separation for two groups of people, the just and the unjust.  The just are resurrected to life, the unjust to judgment.  Just because the bodies of all are quickened, it does not mean all are alive the same way.  The unjust are physically alive, but they do not necessarily have the life of God, nor are they necessarily in a place of blessing.  The evil dead come forth physically alive, yet they are considered to be dead ones, spiritually speaking.

 

In John 11:25-26, Jesus said to Martha,

"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" 

 

Jesus was referring to the two spheres of spiritual life and spiritual death.  Though believers may die physically, they never enter the sphere of death, or that of evil, or unbelief.  They still have the life of God, and are in a place of blessing with the Lord, awaiting the resurrection (redemption) of their bodies.

 

In Matthew 27:53, the KJV translated the word egersin as resurrection

"And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." 

 

This word, egersin, should have been translated as "arising."  Egersin comes from the same base word as logos, which means word.

 

Logos is the word used when referring to Jesus as "the word."  Logos is also used to indicate speech.  For instance, when Jesus raised Lazarus, he spoke to him, and Lazarus came forth (John 11:43).  Lazarus was resurrected only to a physical life, in his same corruptible body which would die again.  He was not resurrected to "the life," or an incorruptible body.

 

Romans 2:5-11 says,

"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  For there is no respect of persons with God."

 

Paul was teaching about the judgment to come.  Notice that the separation is made according to people's deeds.  The fact stressed is one of obedience to the truth.  People will be rewarded according to their works.  In other words, the people will not be judged, but their works will be.

 

Paul taught more about the coming judgment in II Corinthians 5:10-11. 

"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." 

 

Here, again, is the element of judgment.  There is a reward for doing good and a reward for doing bad.  One is a blessing; the other is not.  This is very important; Paul even said that because he knew the terror of the Lord he persuaded men.

 

Why was Paul so emphatic about persuading men to do good?  In the KJV, the word "done" is italicized, which means it does not appear in the Greek manuscript.  Without this word, the verse reads:  "that may receive each the things in the body, according to what he did, whether good or evil."  Berry said, "Everyone may receive the things in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad."

 

This is probably one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible.  The word in comes from dia, which is usually translated as "through" instead of "in."  Paul was not saying that everyone will receive the things they did while in their bodies here on earth, but everyone will receive, in their resurrected bodies, the things, or results, of what they did while here. 

 

In other words, their resurrected bodies will give evidence of their judgment, whether their deeds were good or bad.  This judgment will be received dia, through, the body.  Good deeds will result in a spiritual body, while bad deeds will result in another physical body.  No wonder Paul sought to persuade people.

 

In Galatians 6:7-9, Paul said,

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." 

 

The reaping of corruption will be a future reaping, just as the reaping of life everlasting is in the future.  This reaping will take place at the judgment seat of Christ.

 

Paul was not speaking about the natural process of corruption which takes place after the natural death of the body.  He was referring to the bodies people will receive at the judgment mentioned above. 

 

Jesus resurrected Lazarus, but not to life everlasting.  Lazarus came forth in a natural body to face death again.  Perhaps Jesus was trying to  demonstrate a great truth to those who could comprehend. 

 

Men can be raised again in natural bodies of corruption, to face a second death.  Men can also be raised, or resurrected, in a glorified body, like that of Jesus, to everlasting life.

 

Paul was again speaking about the separation during the resurrection.  Perhaps this is why he repeatedly mentioned that he desired the ek resurrection, out from the dead ones.  If people sow to the flesh they shall reap a physical body of corruption at the resurrection.  If people sow to the spirit, they shall reap life everlasting, or a spiritual body, at the resurrection.

 

Do not be deceived.  Lazarus did not have a spiritual body because Jesus was the first to be resurrected out from among the dead ones.  Jesus was resurrected in a glorified body subject to the spirit, and he demonstrated this new body on many occasions. 

 

For instance, Jesus appeared in the midst of the disciples while they were in a locked room, and they thought he was a ghost (John 20:19, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:36-37).  Jesus said he was not a ghost, or a spirit, but flesh and bone, and he told them to feel him and see that he actually was flesh and bone (Luke 24:39).  He had reaped life everlasting in his body.

 

The judgment here is not sending people to either heaven or hell, as is so often preached.  It is the reward for what people have done with their lives.  The judgment for what many call "heaven or hell" took place at the cross when Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world.  That judgment was settled once and for all, for everyone.

 

The judgment described in II Corinthians 5 concerns people's works, and it determines the condition of their resurrected body.  This is the reward for their works, whether good or evil. 

 

People need to remember that God loves them and has provided the means for them to accomplish everything he requires of them.  If people love God in return, and serve him on the basis of love, there is no need to fear the resurrection judgment.  If men live in rebellion to God's love, looking forward to the judgment can indeed be fearful.

 

Even though people believe that Jesus died for their sins, if they live in rebellion they will reap a body of corruption at the judgment of their works.  James said, "faith without works is dead." (James 2:20).  Proper faith will produce proper works.

 

Everyone's works will be judged, those who are still alive when Jesus returns, as well as those who will be resurrected.  Those whose works are judged good will be rewarded with a spiritual body like the one Jesus has.  Those whose works are judged evil will be rewarded with another natural body, as corruptible as the ones we have now.

 

In Philippians 3:9-16, Paul gave an overview of his hopes.  He said he wanted to 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.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."

 

Paul wanted to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law or works, but the righteousness which is of God by faith.  Paul said his own righteousness, or works, would not cause him to be found in Christ, but only the righteousness which was wrought by Jesus and his faith.  The faith of Jesus declared all men righteous at the cross.  Paul was saying that this fact must undergird all our works.

 

With our faith on a proper basis, God works through us to bring forth the works which will stand the scrutiny of Jesus when he judges our works to determine what kind of resurrection body we will receive.  When Paul said he wanted to know the power of his resurrection, he was referring to the power which judges our works.

 

The word translated as resurrection in Philippians 3:11 comes from exanastasin, which is a compound word of ek and anastasis, which means the resurrection out from the dead ones. 

"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." 

 

Paul again emphasized that he not only wanted to be resurrected, but he wanted to be resurrected out from the dead ones, or those who will come forth with corruptible bodies.

 

In Philippians 3:12-14, he said,

"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." 

 

Although he did not think he had attained it yet, Paul continued to pursue the goal of the out-resurrection.  He wanted a glorified body like that of his Lord Jesus Christ.  In Philippians 3:20-21, he said,

"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

 

What Paul was talking about is the new birth Jesus told Nicodemus about.  John 3:3-8 says,

"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.  Nicodemus saith 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?  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.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." 

 

This is the confirmation that we are responsible sons of God.

 

Being born again is another commonly misunderstood issue.  We are not "born again" when we ask Jesus to be our personal savior and forgive our sins, as many churches preach.  Rather, we will be "born again" when we receive spiritual bodies at the ek, out, resurrection.

 

In Acts 13:33, Paul said,

"God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." 

 

Jesus was begotten as the Son of God on the day of his resurrection.  Furthermore, those who come forth with a spiritual body will not see corruption again.  As Acts 13:34 says,

"And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David."

 

Paul spoke further about this in Romans 8:18-23. 

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth 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 groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  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."

 

This all takes place at the resurrection.  This is the hope the believers wait for with patience.

 

In I Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul also talked about the out-resurrection. 

"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 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."

 

In this scripture, Paul spoke of those who are in the graves as sleeping, not dead.  He was not referring to both the just and the unjust as he had before, but only dead believers.  He did not refer to them as dead, but spoke of them as sleeping, through Jesus as agency.  Evidently, believers who die physically do so only in the sense of sleeping.

 

In verse 4:16, Paul referred to them as

"the dead in Christ [who] shall rise first."  

 

This provides the proper sequence of the resurrection for those who will obtain the out-resurrection.  Those dead by the agency of Jesus, or the dead in Christ, shall rise first.  Then, the believers who are alive will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 

 

If men come forth with a body like the Lord's, they will be able to rise and meet him in the air.  Those with natural bodies will be unable to go to him.  This is the separation, or the out-resurrection judgment Paul has been talking about.

 

Notice that this resurrection is accomplished by a shout of power, egersis.  Everyone will come forth.  Only those who are dead in Christ will be able to meet him in the air and escort him back to rule and reign over this earth.  What a joy to participate in his return!

 

The word coming is derived from parousia, which was used to express the activity when a king came to rule over his city.  The citizens of that city would go out to meet the king and escort him to the city over which he would reign.  Those who are dead in Christ, or living in Christ, will go out at his parousia to escort him to his kingdom.

 

Revelation 20:1-15 refers often to a 1,000 years and the participation of those who obtain the out-resurrection in it.  Verse 20:4 speaks of those who live and reign with Christ for 1,000 years.  Verse 20:5 says that the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1,000 years were finished.

 

The words "lived not again" were not used in the sense of resurrection.  Lived not again comes from ouk anezesanAnezesan is a compound word formed from ana, again, and zoe, spiritual life.  The resurrected unjust come forth with natural bodies, and they cannot have spiritual, or eternal, life (zoe) until some time after the 1,000 years, in the ages of ages.

 

This verse does not say they will not be resurrected; but they will not be in the state of blessing as the resurrected just ones who have a body like Christ.  Verse 20:5 says this is the first resurrection.  In the Greek, this was written in an emphatic manner and probably means the most important, or chief resurrection.  This is the resurrection of the sons of God, which is the resurrection of utmost importance to Paul.

 

In the latter part of Revelation 20, John described the great white throne judgment, which is the judgment that takes place at the end of the 1,000 years.  When the 1,000 years are expired, the resurrection and judgment of those who have died during the 1,000 years will take place at the great white throne.  This is a judgment of those who do not have spiritual bodies, those who continue to live in natural bodies during the next age, the kingdom of God, the 1,000 year reign of Jesus, the Christ.

 

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Summary Highlights of Monograph 9

 

#  Many people offer works to God believing that their works will be

     pleasing to God and he will offer salvation in exchange.  This is a

     common error borrowed from pagan religions which were based on

     the assumption that if good works were offered to the gods, then the

     gods were obligated to bless those doing the good works. 

#  Jesus taught that there was a resurrection which would take place in

     the future, an event called "the resurrection."  

#  Jesus taught the resurrection of all the dead-one resurrection-the

     resurrection.  

#  The KJV reads, "resurrection from the dead," but the Greek manuscript

     actually says, "resurrection out from among the dead."  While all men

     will be resurrected, the righteous, or just, will be separated from the

     dead, or unjust.  That is what Jesus meant by saying "out from

     among" the dead.  

#  Jesus spoke of the age to come and the resurrection "out from among"

     the dead ones as equivalent to each other, or dependent on each

     another.  Those who "obtain" come out from the dead ones to "the

     resurrection," or the age to come.  The resurrection out from the dead

     ones is equivalent to obtaining the age to come. 

#  Becoming sons of God means being responsible, or having reached a

     plateau in which God can grant responsibility and expect that it will be

     carried out.  The responsibility of the sons of God in the next age is to

     be priests of God and priests of Christ.  They are going to carry out the

     will of God, rule and reign with Jesus Christ.  

#  The first aspect Jesus dealt with concerned "the resurrection" when

     everyone will be resurrected.   The second aspect comes after the

     resurrection takes place, when those who "obtain" will be separated

     from the resurrected unjust, or dead ones.  These obtainers will enter

     the next age in a place of blessing.  

#  When we speak of living the life of Christ, it is a specific kind of life, a

     life that is of God, and from God, an eternal life, bestowed by the grace

     of God, and not sustained by our works.  Our works only demonstrate

     the power of God working in us to bring forth those things which are

     pleasing to him.  They are then no longer our works, but the works of

     God.  

#  When Jesus said he is both the resurrection and the life, he was simply

     stating that these events will take place because of him, and not

     because of our works.  

#  Paul tied Jesus and the resurrection together as equally important.  The

     resurrection is central to the gospel, or good news, that the apostles

     emphasized.  

#  God raised Jesus first, not only to demonstrate that he was without sin,

     but also to demonstrate his power.  God's power raised Jesus from the

     dead to demonstrate what he has in store for others who are obedient

     to him.  Namely, a resurrection out from among the dead ones.  

#  Paul made a distinction when he spoke of the resurrection of all men,

     and when he spoke of the resurrection "out from among the dead

     ones."  There are two different aspects of the resurrection, which is

     what causes much of the confusion on this point.  

#  Jesus was not only resurrected, but he was resurrected "out from

     among the dead ones" because he was altogether without sin.  

#  There is one resurrection, not two different resurrections.  Paul said

     there will be one resurrection, a resurrection of both the just and the

     unjust.  In other words, one resurrection which has two aspects.  

#  Two people may do the same thing, one unto God, the other unto self.

     The former is living and operating in the sphere of life, the latter in the

     sphere of death.  

#  Regardless of whether people are just or unjust, they will be resurrected

     at the same time.  

#  The point is that when believers hope in the resurrection, it is not just to

     be resurrected, but to be resurrected "out from among the dead ones."

     To achieve this aspect, they must be accounted worthy.  

#  To be judged worthy does not mean people must be sinless.  

 

#  Those who have done good will be resurrected to life, and those who

     have done evil will be resurrected to a verdict of guilt.  

#  Just because the bodies of all are quickened, it does not mean all are

     alive the same way.  The unjust are physically alive, but they do not

     necessarily have the life of God, nor are they necessarily in a place of

     blessing.  The unjust come forth physically alive, yet they are

     considered to be dead ones, spiritually speaking.  

#  Though believers may die physically, they never enter the sphere of

     death, or that of evil, or unbelief.  They still have the life of God, and

     are in a place of blessing with the Lord, awaiting the resurrection

     (redemption) of their bodies.  

#  The separation is made according to people's deeds.  People will be

     rewarded according to their works.  In other words, the people will not

     be judged, but their works will be.  

#  There is a reward for doing good and a reward for doing bad.  One is a

     blessing; the other is not.  

#  Paul was not saying that everyone will receive the things they did while

     in their bodies here on earth; but everyone will receive, in their

     resurrected bodies, the things, or results, of what they did while here.

     Their resurrected bodies will give evidence of their judgment, whether

     their deeds were good or bad.  

#  Good deeds will result in a spiritual body, while bad deeds will result in

     another physical body.  

#  Some will be raised again in natural bodies of corruption, to face a

     second death.  Some will be raised in a glorified body, like that of Jesus,

     to everlasting life.  

#  If people sow to the flesh they shall reap a physical body of corruption

     at the resurrection.  If people sow to the spirit, they shall reap life

     everlasting, or a spiritual body, at the resurrection.  

#  The judgment at the resurrection is not sending people to either heaven

     or hell, as is so often preached.  It is a reward based on what people

     have done with their lives.  

#  We need to remember that God loves us and has provided the means

     for us to accomplish everything he requires of us.  If we love God in

     return, and serve him on the basis of love, there is no need to fear the

     resurrection judgment.  

#  If we live in rebellion to God's love, looking forward to the judgment

     can indeed be fearful.  Even though we believe that Jesus died for our

     sins, if we live in rebellion, we will reap a body of corruption at the

     judgment of our works.  

#  Everyone's works will be judged, those who are still alive when Jesus

     returns, as well as those who will be resurrected.  Those whose works

     are judged good will be rewarded with a spiritual body like the one

     Jesus has.  Those whose works are judged evil will be rewarded with

     another natural body, as corruptible as the ones we have now.  

#  When we yield ourselves to God, he works through us to bring forth

     the kind of works which will stand the scrutiny of Jesus when he

     determines what kind of resurrection body we will receive.  

#  Being "born again" is commonly misunderstood.  We are not "born

     again" when we ask Jesus to be our personal savior and forgive our

     sins, as many churches preach.  Rather, we will be "born again" when

     we receive spiritual bodies at the resurrection.  

#  Jesus was begotten as the Son of God on the day of his resurrection.

     Furthermore, those who come forth with a spiritual body will not see

     corruption again.  

#  The dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then, the believers who are alive will

     be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.  

#  Those who receive a body like the Lord's will be able to rise and meet

     him in the air.  Those who receive natural bodies will be unable to go to

     him.  This is the separation, or the out-resurrection judgment Paul

     talked about.  

#  The resurrected unjust come forth with natural bodies, and they cannot

     have spiritual, or eternal, life (zoe) until some time after the thousand

     years, in the ages of ages.  

#  The great white throne judgment, which is the judgment that takes

     place at the end of the 1,000 years.  When the 1,000 years are expired,

     the resurrection and judgment of those who have died during the 1,000

     years will take place at the great white throne.  This is a judgment of

     those who do not have spiritual bodies, those who continue to live in

     natural bodies during the next age, the kingdom of God, the 1,000

     year reign of Jesus, the  Christ.

 

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© 2009, Fred Kenison and Merrill Douglass. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.