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RESURRECTION

 

The aim of this article is to show what resurrection is through its contextual usage in scripture.

      That fact that there is resurrection is not controversial amongst professing Christians. The what, when, where, and how's, are controversial. There will be five main points in this article to show that the word resurrection is used to describe different things; and that the meaning of those things are shown in the context of that particular scripture. This as opposed to the idea or "hermeneutic" that seeks to make resurrection a one time future event based on a small number of the scriptures on the subject.  There is also no need to go into the Greek words for resurrection, arose, rise, raised ect ect.  These are used  interchangeably so often to describe the same events it renders it unnecessary. The five points in order will be:  

1. That depending on the context of the verses the word resurrection is used to convey the idea that there is immediate life after death that includes a physical body. (Not physical as we know physical, but a physical body none the less.)

2. Again, depending on the context of those scriptures the word resurrection is used to convey the idea of a flesh and bone body dying and that same body miraculously restored to life as in the case of Lazarus. 

3. Or, as the context dictates, that resurrection can mean a flesh and bone body dying and that same body being restored to life; but then also becoming a "glorified" body like Jesus. This would also include the case of one never dying first but being caught up or "raptured" like Elijah. 

4. Then resurrection depending on the context is used illustratively to describe those who are "dead" in sin yet physically alive, becoming "alive" to God or resurrected. In other words a "spiritual" resurrection that occurs while still in our body. 

5. Finally, as the context dictates, a word or a vision of resurrection is used to teach the realities of points #1, #2, #3 or #4. Unfortunately though, like all words or visions from God; there is a natural tendency to interpret them as an event; rather than  the use of illustrative language or pictures to describe basic truth.

 


1. That depending on the context of the verses the word resurrection is used to convey the idea that there is immediate life after death that includes a physical body. (Not physical as we know physical, but a physical body none the less.)

 

       Matthew 22: 23-32.  The same day the Sadducees came to him (Jesus), which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him………… 29. Jesus answered and said to them, You  err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, 32. 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  33. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. Jesus directly used the term “the resurrection” to describe the fact that the patriarchs were alive, not dead and the multitude was astonished by this statement. Why would that be? The belief that there was life after death was held by the vast majority of the multitude. They were certainly not astonished that Jesus would say the Patriarchs were alive anymore than Christians today would not be astonished; it is something they already believe. One can only assume they were astonished because they understood Jesus to say the Patriarchs were already resurrected, something that they understood to be a one time future event at the end of the world.  As Martha states here: John 11: 23. Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. 24. Martha said to him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: It was not unusual for Christ to differ with the culturally accepted beliefs of his day. What is strange, is that this scripture messes with consensus views of Christians today; as if nothing has ever changed in what believers hold to be true.
     Here's an example to bring the significance of this scripture to light. Say there was a funeral of a child who from a family where they were all professing Christians. How often would their fellow Christians seek to comfort them with the words, "your child is in a better place , he is with Jesus now alive and happy and will be in heaven waiting for you."  It's comforting and true! Yet if someone said the same words like this: "He is with Jesus now resurrected and happy and will be in heaven waiting for you."  There would be looks of puzzlement, people may be offended, in fact the person in question may get a call from the pastor. Yet this is exactly how Jesus used the word resurrection, to describe the fact of immediate life after death that has nothing to do with dead bodies made alive,  graves opening or future events.

      There is something further to notice about  Jesus’ answer in Matthew 22:30 concerning the physical nature of the simple life after death resurrected body: For in the resurrection they ….. are as the angels of God in heaven. The Bible calls angels spirits in Hebrews 1:14. Are they not all ministering spirits..... Yet angels throughout the scripture have physical bodies. They may not be physical as we understand physical, but in the scriptures they eat, drink, appear, disappear, walk through walls, are constantly mistaken for men, and take on different form, walk in fire, etc. etc. The point being is that our "inward" man is a spirit, just like the angels are spirits. We are not a cloud or a mist that floats around when these bodies die. When we step out of these bodies we step out on feet, we have legs, we have a body. It is physical, just not flesh and bone as we know physical right now. This can be seen in great detail in the scriptures below. 

      Here are three Bible stories that demonstrate point #1 again but also point #3 where a mans earthy physical body was changed into a heavenly physical body.  Deuteronomy 34: 5. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab , according to the word of the Lord. 6.  And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knows of his tomb unto this day.  2 Kings 2:11. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  Luke 9: 28. About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up to a mountain to pray.  29. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30. Two men, Moses and Elijah,  31.Appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.:  We have two men. One of them, Moses; died, buried, his body still in the ground. The other Elijah, caught away to heaven. Yet here they are, both speaking to Jesus with the same bodies: they are alive, resurrected,  and they have the appearance of angels. If resurrection is a one time future event how did this make it into the Bible? Moses has the same body as Elijah, Moses dead and buried and Elijah "raptured." See how this  fits into the narrative of Jesus that in the resurrection they are physically. like the angels? 

     In another  example of point #1 we have a story that includes someone who did not go to heaven but hell:  Luke 16: 19. There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. 20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. 26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there. 27. Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house: 28.  For I have five brothers; that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. 29. Abraham answered him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30. And he said, No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. 31. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.  This is not the end of the world; the rich man still has unbelieving kinfolk on earth, and Jesus said there "was" a certain rich man, indicating this happened in the past, before Christ and the NT.  Also these individuals have physical bodies that are recognizable; the rich man recognizes both Lazarus and Abraham. Then there is the use of this language: he lifted up his eyes and saw; he is thirsty and wants a drop of water on his tongue because he is tormented in fire, clearly indicating a body. Plus he still cares for the welfare of his family even though he is in hell. These are not awaiting resurrection, they are already resurrected and it is the past. So how can it be said that the Bible teaches a one time future event called the resurrection when we have these examples of  people already resurrected? 

 


2. Again, depending on the context of those scriptures the word resurrection is used to convey the idea of a flesh and bone body dying and that same body miraculously restored to life as in the case of Lazarus. 

 

      In John chapter 11 the words for resurrection and rise from the dead are used to bring a dead man back to life. It is interesting though that Jesus finds a need to address her theology of the resurrection being a one time future event in verses 23-27. Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. 24.  Martha answered  him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25.  Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live: 26.  And whosoever lives and believeth in me shall never die. Do you believe this? 27.  She answered him, Yes, Lord: I believe that you art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. Notice her confusion at his sayings because she is wrestling with her theology, she does not answer his question directly. Yet Jesus is not only telling her that it is he who has the power to raise the physically dead but is also addressing point #4; that if a person believes in him he is "spiritually" resurrected, which will be addressed later. 

     Luke 7:12. Now when he came close to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and many people of the city were with her. 13. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, Weep not. 14. And he came and touched the coffin: and they that carried him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say to you, Arise. 15. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God has visited his people.

     Matthew 9:18. While he spoke these things to them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay your hand upon her, and she shall live. 19. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. ...... 23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24. He said to them, Depart: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they derided him. 25. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

     Acts 9: 36. Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. 37. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38. And for as much as Lydda was close to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent to him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. 39. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

     2 Kings 4:32. And when Elisha was come to the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33. He went in, and shut the door upon them both, and prayed to the Lord. 34. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child got warm. 35. Then he returned, and walked in the house back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36. And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in to him, he said, Take up your son. 37. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

     2 Kings 13:20. And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

 


3. Or, as the context dictates, that resurrection can mean a flesh and bone body dying and that same body being restored to life; but then also becoming a "glorified" body like Jesus. This would also include the case of one never dying first but being caught up or "raptured" like Elijah. 

 

      Matthew 28: 1. In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. 2. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5. And the angel answered and said to the women, Fear not: for I know that you seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.10. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles.

      Luke 24:11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulcher; and stooping down, he looked at the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. 13. Two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus..... 14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16. But their eyes were closed that they should not know him. 17. And he said to them, What manner of communications are these that you have one to another, as you walk, and are sad? 18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered Are you a stranger in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19. Jesus said to them, What things? And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22. Yes, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which went early to the sepulcher; 23. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25. Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28. And they drew close to the village, where they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to stay with them. 30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, broke it, and gave to them. 31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. 35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. 36. And as they spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. 37. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38. And he said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. 40. And when he had spoken this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Do you have here any meat? 42. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of  honeycomb. 43. And he took it, and ate before them.

     John 20:24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25. The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be to you. 27. Then he said to Thomas, Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach out your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28. And Thomas answered and said to him, My Lord and my God.

     These three examples of Christ's resurrected body point out it is the same body he had when he died, yet he can do with it whatever he wants with it. Appear, disappear, walk through walls, change his appearance. There are many examples of this same thing by angels throughout the Bible, even though they may have never had a body of flesh to start with.  This is not an attempt to scientifically say how he does this. Nor is it saying that science could never understand it. It is just pointing to the historical fact that God can do with the flesh body anything he chooses. Here is some other scripture that describes the same thing. 

     The story of Elijah and presumably Enoch is the same in the sense of flesh bodies somehow being "transformed" or "swallowed up" by the power of the spiritual body.  2 Kings 2:11.  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  
Luke 9: 28.  About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up to a mountain to pray.  29.  As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30.  Two men, Moses and Elijah,  31.  Appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.  Genesis 5:23. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

     One more example that is most likely along the lines of flesh bodies resurrected from the dead and afterwards being "swallowed up and transformed"  by the power of the spiritual body, along the lines of Jesus, rather than Elijah or Enoch is  Matthew 27: 51.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks broke; 52.  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53.  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. It does not say all the saints who were buried rose, but many. My assumption is that these were saints that had recently died, but that may not be true. The fact of the matter though is this is a mass resurrection of physical bodies that I am assuming were then glorified like Christ’s. Once more we have a testimony of scripture does not line up with a statement of faith that the resurrection is a one time future event that happens at the end of the world. What is one to do with this scripture and others, ignore them? As a further note the wording "swallowed up and transformed by the power of the spiritual body" is not an attempt to create a doctrine or even explain what happened or how it happened. It is being used in the descriptive or illustrative sense to describe something beyond my understanding. 

 


4. Then resurrection depending on the context is used to describe those who are "dead" in sin yet physically alive, becoming "alive" to God or "resurrected."  In other words a " spiritual" resurrection that occurs while still in our body.

 

     Going back to John 11:23-27: Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. 24.  Martha answered  him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25.  Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live: 26.  And whosoever lives and believeth in me shall never die.... Here resurrection is being used in a much more figurative sense.  Describing the eternal life that begins when one puts trust in Christ as opposed to when ones physical body dies. The next few sets of verses are the same, words like resurrection and death are used in an illustrative sense rather than a literal one. 

     Ephesians 5:13. But all things that are reproved are made known by the light: for what ever make it known is light. 14. Therefore he says, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. Colossians 2:12. Buried with him in baptism, where in also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead. 13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Chapter 3:1. If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

     Ezekiel 37:1. The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2. And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3. And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? and I answered, O Lord God, you know. 4. Again he said to me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say to them, you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5. Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: 6. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord. 7. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8. And when I looked the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9. Then said he to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus says the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11. Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off from our parts. 12. Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14. And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, says the Lord.

     John 5:20. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater miracles than these, that you may marvel. 21. For as the Father raises up the dead, and and makes them alive; even so the Son makes alive whoever he wants. 22. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son: 23. That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He does not honors the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24. Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. 25. Truly, truly I say to 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. 26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27. And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

    The first thing to notice about those verses in John 5 is that it is not damaging at all to sound biblical teaching by viewing them verses strictly in a figurative sense. It is the exact same illustrative language used by Christ in many instances to describe the realities of the Kingdom of God and spiritual things taught throughout scripture. Look at Matthew 8: 21. And another of his disciples said to him, Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father. 22. But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Johns gospel especially was filled with illustrative/figurative language to describe basic truth like: John 6:35. And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst......49. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of, and not die. 51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53. Then Jesus said to them, Truly, Truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54. Who ever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. 57. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. 58. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers ate manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever. 59. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can understand it? 61. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said to them, Does this offend you? 62. What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63. It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life. Compare what you just read in John 6:35-63 to John 5:24-25; 24. Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. 25. Truly, truly I say to 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......28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation. Can you see that the "the dead" who hear the voice of the son of God and live are living human beings illustratively dead in sin and not physically dead and buried in their graves? That they are illustratively in their graves and when they actually die will go to heaven or hell? . In other words all of this illustrative language is conveying the simple truth that when we leave these flesh and bone bodies we will go to heaven which is the resurrection of life; or hell which the resurrection of damnation. That is the simple doctrine of resurrection that has nothing to do with flesh and bone bodies, most of which have long ago turned to dust.

 


5. Finally, as the context dictates, a word or a vision of resurrection is used to teach the realities of points #1, #2, #3 or #4. Unfortunately though, like all words or visions from God there is a natural tendency to interpret them as an event; rather than illustrative language or pictures to describe basic truth.

 

     This section will get pretty deep, it will require some thought. Don't get discouraged, God created you to think, and to think deeply. It will be good for you, spiritually and physically.  Mankind comes to Christ as unspiritual,  real spirituality is unknown to us. The spirituality that may have been claimed before one gets right with God was in reality pseudo. In fact as far as personnel experience is concerned this is one of the things Jesus means when he says we are dead. We are unaware, or barely aware of spiritual reality as it relates with God. Jesus said God is a spirit, therefore they that worship him must therefore worship him (with their) spirits, and the truth, (John 4:23.) 
      It is almost impossible to relate to God the way one related to the world around them before they came to Christ. The scripture describes this as: "everything is new." So there are practical problems with this, mainly, the learning curve. Many never really find their way through the "toils and snares" into a real maturity in this "new and living way." These, even though they may be very serious about their walk,  get most of their truth through a system of education modeled exactly like the public school. It is not that God does not use a Christian educational system. It's just that it should only account for 25% or so of their learning in this "new and living way." Yet many  have made it 95%. This is how the culture in Jesus' day got their "consensus" view of a one time future event of the resurrection of every flesh body that ever lived,  and many other subjects. For God to teach someone different once an erroneous cultural consensus takes place means they will have to buck the whole culture, making themselves a prey. Jesus however "overcame the world,"  he overcame the pressure to conform. You see, once one conforms to popular yet erroneous views they must by necessity violate the new and living experiential relationship they had found.  It becomes difficult for God to find a place in their spirits or hearts to guide them outside of that conformity once they firmly believe they have found the truth in that conformity.  1 John 2:26-27 says as much:
26. These things have I written to you concerning them that seduce you. 27. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you do not need any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.

      The apostles themselves were not free of these pressures to conform. Long held "truths" of their culture and their system of education did not die easy. They did not all of a sudden jump into the "understand all truth" mode by the time Acts 2:4 rolled around. This is evident throughout the NT as the Word of God does not bother to hide their blemishes and warts. It really showed itself more than anywhere else in their understanding of things future. They heard words that absolutely came from God, and as such were accurate.  They also saw visions with their eyes but their interpretation of these things were not perfect.  Now, how could it be expected of them to do anything different? It even says in Acts 1:6-7 that it was not given to the Apostles to understand the times and the seasons that lay out way beyond them. Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Here they are asking Jesus "are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?" This was one of those consensus views that Jesus had been instructing them against, yet they still did not get it. He taught, he prophesied, he rebuked them about it, that the Kingdom of God will never come back to ancient Israel as a political entity. That it was taken from them as far as their nation was concerned and given to those of faith of all nations including Jews. Even says this way back in the book of Genesis. The First and Second Covenant as revealed in the book of Genesis.

     Now, if the Apostles at that point could not even grasp the subject of the political nation of  Israel's relationship to the Government of God in prophecy.  How could they understand the "times and the seasons" of prophecy in general?   Things that were literally thousands of years in the future? The fact of the matter is it takes divine enlightenment to understand Bible prophecy at all, and here in Acts 1:6 the Bible states plainly that the apostles were not being given that enlightenment. Along side divine enlightenment though, to really grasp Bible prophecy it takes hindsight, (in most cases.) It takes it coming to pass for human beings to really grasp what was actually said. The good news prophecies about the transformation of the world were literally thousands of years off. There is just no capability in human beings to understand exactly what God is speaking about and the dynamics that ultimately bring those things to pass. Matter of fact John, supposedly,  was the only one of the apostles to live beyond the fulfillment of the end time prophecies of the first covenant age. He received his vision\visions of the book of Revelation right at the beginning of the war in Judea that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. God showed him the the good news prophecies of an age where the earthly promises of God would begin to come to pass in the lives of believers was quite a ways out. In other words the fulfillment of the end time prophecies concerning the the horrors that were to happen in Judea and the Jewish people were not going to herald the beginning of the era he and other believers were hoping for. There was a whole different set of end time prophecies about the age of those four gentile empires ruling over Gods people that were to be fulfilled first. Then Gods people would begin to live out the prophecy like this, The Bride of Christ, spoken fourth millennia ago.

   Keep these things in mind now as scriptures about resurrection, teachings verses prophecy and teachings about prophecy are looked at. 1st Thessalonians 4:13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not proceed them which are asleep. 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: 17. 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. These verses correspond with that. 1st Corinthians 15 :51. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52. 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. These are prophecies that the apostle is teaching about. The word "we" is emphatic. He actually means themselves and not some future generation hundreds years in their future. Some might say that would make it false prophecy. No, it only means the apostle doesn't have a perfect understanding of the prophecy he is teaching about, its exact meanings and timings. That does not make the prophecy false. So lets look at this in two lights. One in the light of the doctrine about resurrection and the other in the light of prophecy and what exactly did occur to that generation he emphatically referred to.

     Doctrinally speaking, Paul words correspond exactly to Jesus's. That that those believers who have died are already with the Lord. Remember Jesus said Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were alive and used the word resurrection to describe that fact? So in this word or vision from the Lord Paul says that those who die rise, or are resurrected first, just like this. 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. In a very simple manner this is stating that any believer who dies will be in heaven, with Jesus, resurrected before anyone who hasn't died that might get caught away or "raptured." Now to look at it in the light of prophecy, specifically the end time prophecy about the Old Covenant era that was upon them.

 The coming or day of the Lord that was soon to befall Judea has a lot of end time prophecy about it. Like this:  Mathew 24 :32. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is close: 33. So likewise, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.  Mark 13: 28. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: 29. So in like manner, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that it is close, even at the doors. 30. In truth I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.   Luke 21:29. And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30. When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now close at hand. 31. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is close at hand. 32. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Or  Mark 14:61 ...Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62. And Jesus said, I am: and you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Or Matthew16: 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. 28: Truly I say to you, There are some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matthew16: 28. Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Mark: 9: 1. And he said unto them, Truly I say to you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Luke 9: 26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

      Here is a little more of it from the article The Coming Or Day Of The Lord.  Another one that goes into great detail on this particular day of the Lord as opposed to the other days of the Lord when he came in great judgment recorded in scripture is Matthew 24. Please remember, this discourse is speaking from the standpoint of looking back at what actually transpired and interpreting the prophecy from that viewpoint rather than from the greatly disadvantaged viewpoint of speculating what the illustrative language of prophecy actually means before it transpires.  If you read the links provided you'll find that they use the same type of illustrative language Paul is using in 1st Thessalonians 4 and 1st Corinthians 15.  You'll also see that in multiple places dates about when they would be fulfilled are provided. Even way back in the book of Daniel. They all say these things will happen to the generations directly ministered to by Jesus and the apostles. The question is did this come to pass? Lets look at a prophecy from Daniel about this time period to help answer this. Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. AKJV  Ask yourself. Was everyone "written in the lambs book of life" delivered during that time period in the first century? Were they saved, heaven bound and if they died obtained the resurrection of life eternal? Just as the New Testament uses the language illustratively about sinners being dead; during this time period are those who are "dead in the dust of the earth" being raised to new life in Christ? Are those who are refusing Christ in that generation "waking up to their shame," by not only facing the culmination of "wrath" for their sin in the destruction of Judea but also the resurrection of damnation in hell when they die? Are the believers, especially the apostles shining like the stars in the sky and winning tens of thousands of Jews and Gentiles to the Messiah? Yes all these things absolutely came to pass in the first century! It really only leaves question about people being caught away or "raptured."

      As far as history is concerned no one knows that any believers perished in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Yes they were persecuted and murdered for their faith but history records that they did not suffer the same fate as the wicked did. The vacuum in ancient Israel left by the persecution,  driving believers out of the land, the political leaders of ancient Israel separating those of faith from the nations heritage was filled by demonic powers bent on destroying the nation. Just like Lot, or Noah or Daniel. The believers were not to suffer complete destruction caused by the deeds of the wicked. Jesus told those who had already not left Judea but found themselves trapped in Jerusalem as recorded Matthew, Mark and Luke. *15. When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:)16. Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: *14. But when you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that reads understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains: *20. And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation of it is near. 21. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains;..... The specifics of how this happened and how they were able to flee are in the article Matthew 24. Now, looking back at what Paul is teaching in 1st Thessalonians  and Corinthians.  Could a vision of a mass catching away be an illustration of God miraculously delivering his people from the destruction of Jerusalem? Historically speaking, in hindsight they were delivered. Was Paul with very limited foresight and the burden of the highly illustrative and symbolic language that God usually used to prophecy future events not understanding it perfectly? That would be the most simple explanation. Much simpler than saying Jesus and the prophets and the apostles in multiple places prophesied this would happen in the first century and therefore prophesied falsely because it did not come to pass when they said it would. However the scripture does not limit it to that possibility alone as being caught away is not an new concept in scripture exclusive to the NT.

     In 2nd Kings 2 that story of Elijah and Elisha  shows that that being caught away, miraculously transported to another place on earth was not unknown to the believers in ancient Israel. That is why they sought Elijah when he was caught away.  2: 11 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. 12 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. 13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 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 here and thither: and Elisha went over. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah does rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said to him, Behold now, there be with your servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray you, and seek your master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up, and cast him on some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, You shall not send. 17 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. 18 And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said to them, Did I not say to you, Go not? AKJV You can also see that it is a reasonable assumption that being caught away to another place on earth was not unknown to them because Phillip in the NT was also caught away. Same Greek words as Paul uses to describe the "rapture" by the way. Acts 8: 26 And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran over to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understand you what you read? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. So hear we see scriptural examples of being caught away to places on earth. In the relationship to the word or vision from the Lord Paul is teaching about. Not only is it not outside the realm of possibility that the vision of believers at the end of that age being caught away was a illustration of them escaping and finding places of refuge from that tribulation. There could also have been cases of some actually being caught away to those places.

     A third possibility was that God did actually did catch some of his people away to heaven to deliver them from the destruction the wicked brought on in ancient Israel. Or more accurately, as in all of the above. The vast majority were led by Jesus's instructions and the Holy Spirit plus the angels of the Lord to places of refuge. A few might have been caught away to places of refuge and maybe some were taken to heaven. Not inconceivable but you cannot just take prophecies that include the time period they will happen in, especially aided by the fact they came to pass when they said they would and then because parts were beyond the Apostles understandings place the entire prophecy contrary to scripture as a whole in our future. Can rapture or being caught away to heaven happen in the future? Absolutely!  The only issue is that there is no specific end time prophecy in scripture that addresses the end of this particular age and no end time prophecy that addresses the end of the world. What there are is one hundred plus chapters of prophecy about the transformation of the world we see happening right before our very eyes. A transformation from the cruelties and madness of the despotic and idolatrous ancient world to a world where Biblical principle is the greatest of  influences among many other influences that guide the affairs of nations. A world where Gods people can have the opportunity to freely serve him and become what he created mankind to be in the first place. An age that is literally just in its beginning stages compared to earths history. An era when the wicked are not able to bring the entire planet under the dominion of despotic government as it had existed for the prior 6-8 millennia. Does that mean the world will have no end? No and it that were the case thousands of years from now one could be entirety reasonable in an expectation of a mass rapture of the saints.  However lets get back to the issue of Resurrection.

      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? 13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15. Yes, 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. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. 18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable......30. And why do we stand  in jeopardy every hour? 31. I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day. 32. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, of what advantage is it for me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.  First it is important to notice the subject as spelled out in the first sentence, is: "Since we are preaching that God raised Jesus from the dead, how can some of you follow Christ and not believe in resurrection?"  The subject is not: "Since we preach that at the end of time all flesh bodies that ever died will be brought back to life. How can you not believe in the resurrection?"

     Then after some teaching about some of the results of Christ's physical resurrection, continuing in the chapter: Paul talks about the word resurrection in the context of section 1 of this article: 35. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36. You fool, what you sow is not made alive, except it die: 37. And what you sow is not the body that shall be, but bare grain (you are the bare grain, not your flesh body)..... 38. But God gives it (the bare grain, which is figurative\illustrative way of saying the person) a body as it has pleased him, and to every seed (person) his own body ........ 40. There are also celestial bodies, and  terrestrial bodies: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another......... 42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is (You are) sown in something that decays; it is (you are) raised in something eternal: 43. It is (you are) sown in dishonor; it is (you are) raised in glory: sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44. It is (You the bare grain are) sown in a natural (flesh) body; it is (but you are) raised in a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. ......... 50. Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does something that decays (the flesh body) inherit eternal qualities. Hopefully the way that is written you can see that Paul is allegorically using the word "grain" to describe a person, the inward man or the spirit. The flesh body is not the thing that gets "sowed" into the ground. The inward man, the spirit, is the thing "sowed." So it is not talking about a flesh body being sowed into the earth, decaying and then getting miraculously turned into a spiritual one. Rather it is talking about a person is sowed into a flesh body, could even say that person dying to self (as Paul says in verse 31, "I die every day.") Then that person being raised from that death in a spiritual body.  So we started in 1 Corinthians 15 talking using the word resurrection to describe Christ's bodily resurrection as described in sections 2 & 3. Then it shifted to talk about resurrection like section 1 of this article that has nothing to do with physical bodies being restored to life.  Then in this last part he talks about resurrection like Elijah experienced.  51. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52. 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. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54. 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. ......

     The next scripture is 2 Timothy 2:18. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. The error that Paul speaks of is one of the conclusions that can be made if the resurrection is a one time future event. Since there is resurrection already in the Bible, like Matthew 27:51-53.  It would stand to reason that this was it. Radical Preterists  actually believe "the" resurrection to be an event that already happened in the past and therefore there is no resurrection,  no life after death for those who are alive now. A very weird form of materialism.

      The last scripture in section 5 is Revelation 20: 5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.........11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This scripture is the main basis for the teaching of a one (or two) time future resurrection of dead bodies. To justify this many will say that they take the Bible literally.  The fact of the matter though is they do not.  They pick and choose what is literal and what is illustrative to fit their notions. That is easily proven by looking at their teachings regarding the the book of Revelation. Dear brothers and sisters. Everything in John's revelation is truth. It is however all illustrative\figurative\symbolic. The prophecies contained in picture form (visions) are illustrations of past, present and future. Then aside from the prophecies these illustrative chapters teach basic Bible truths. Yet they are ALL illustrative\symbolic\figurative. The scriptures about resurrection are just that, illustrations of eternal truth: Teaching just as the rest of the Bible does that there is life after death and we will all be judged according to what we have done. The "first" resurrection would represent those of the household of faith, past present and future. The implied "second" resurrection would represent those who refused to answer him who called them, past, present and future. This is a teaching in vision form, taken as a one time future event by those who do not understand the nature of the book of Revelation.  

  It cannot be pretended that this article alone will bring any kind of convincing clarity about the claims it is making about end time prophecy. It is not meant to. The most it could do is cast a few doubts on the veracity of pop culture end times teachings. That clarity is reserved for another article on Wordservice.org called End Time Prophecy.


 

In Conclusion

     The Biblical doctrine or teaching about resurrection is a doctrine or teaching about life after death as opposed to: The teaching that there is no life after death, materialism, agnosticism, reincarnation, and the many other pagan and non-pagan "isms" that exist in the world. Physical as in "flesh" bodies being raised from the dead is incidental to the great truth of life after death and what becomes of us once we die. Resurrection is not a prophetic event. The fact that there are scenarios in the scripture that great edifices of "faith" are built around should not hinder one from the simplicity of immediate life after death called the resurrection lived out in our spiritual bodies that are far superior to the one we are "clothed" with now.

     A word of caution to those who think they could claim that what this article teaches is somehow outside the pale of "historical Christian faith," delivered by the "fathers." The scripture is what has been appealed to and brought forth. It is you that will have to wrestle with the "faith" you claim to be historically authentic. You cannot hold to a teaching that says the resurrection is a one time future event without ignoring the very words of Christ. Hopefully, many who thought differently before they read this can see that what is implied by this article does no damage whatsoever to their faith, nor to any realities of the unseen world. Basic and necessary universal truths that accord with Bible based Christian faith are upheld. The only damage that is done is to certain pop eschatology's that change with every wind that blows over the earth anyway. There is no "hope" lost by tossing out an "article of faith" of a supposed resurrection of our flesh bodies coming out of the dust to meet up with us in the sky in the future.  God, according to the scripture has already given us a body like the angels, we nor he has any need of the molecules that made the flesh one. As a matter of fact, I would say "hope" is clearly on the side of the scriptures as laid out in the article. Because now there are no weird questions without answers about "what are we in the interim", or does "our soul sleep" are "we conscience," are we "a conscience without a body." ect. ect. Personally I would rather know that when I die I will immediately be with the Lord; interacting with him and others with a body just like theirs. That's what the Bible calls hope.

     Finally, what is implied in this article takes nothing away from actual cases of flesh and blood resurrection, especially the Lords as taught in the scripture. It does not imply in any way shape or form that what pop culture calls rapture has not, does not or will not happen. It does not impugn the doctrines were resurrection is used illustratively either. It simply states that the general doctrine of resurrection teaches us what Christians and most others already intuitively know. That when these flesh and blood bodies die our spirits that have their own bodily form, like the angels, live on outside the flesh and bone body to face our maker and receive for what we have done while living inside the flesh body.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” ESV
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

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