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Resurrection of the Body

  • We've established that the Resurrection of the Dead is divided into two parts.
  • Now we will look at what actually happens to a person in the Resurrection of the Dead.
  • There are natural bodies, but there are also spiritual bodies.
  • The true nature of the Resurrection of the Dead, is the changing of a soul into a spiritual body.


In the Resurrection of the Dead, each person will receive a spiritual body that will replace their original flesh body.

When a person dies their soul separates from their flesh body, and goes to either heaven or hell (Hades). That person then continues on as a disembodied soul, having neither a flesh body, nor an angelic spiritual body. The Resurrection of the Dead is best characterized as a "raising up" from this degraded state of disembodiment, to one of completeness and incorruption, by the changing of a soul into a spiritual body. The person's original flesh body is superfluous to this process. It doesn't matter whether it was cryogenically frozen, mummified, or cremated, it will ultimately return to the dust from which it came (see Psalm 90.3, Psalm 103.14, and Ecclesiastes 12.7). There will also be people in the last generation who are resurrected while they are still living in their flesh bodies, but the key point is to understand the Resurrection of the Dead as a raising or "lifting up", from a lower state to a higher one, by the power of Christ.

In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul goes into detail about the true nature of the Resurrection of the Dead, specifically the resurrection of the righteous, "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened [made alive], except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body" (1st Corinthians 15.35-38 KJV bible). You wouldn't sow the stalks and leaves from last year's corn crop, because rather than rejuvenating they'd simply rot away. Instead, you'd sow a portion of the individual kernels or seeds from last year, and each one would sprout and grow to become a whole new plant. The kernel or seed is representative of our souls, which are the essences of us that continue on after we die. Just as it pleases him, God will give to each soul a whole new body, entirely separate from the body that was. The seed must die first, in the sense that it breaks open and sprouts, changing its form. So we can think of the resurrection as a changing or germination of souls.

"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory" (1st Corinthians 15.39-41 KJV bible). This passage is pretty straightforward when we break it down. Paul is explaining how there are different types of bodies. There are celestial bodies like the stars and planets, and there are also earthly bodies like we have. Now looking at these two categories, earthly and celestial, we can also recognize that there are different kinds of bodies within them. The flesh of birds is different from insects, and insects are different from plants, etc. In the case of celestial bodies, stars are different from planets, and planets are different from moons, and moons are different from comets. So all the different kinds of bodies have their own uniqueness or glory that is different from the others. Finally, stars are one specific kind of celestial body, but even they differ from each other in characteristics such as brightness and quality of light, so that no two are exactly alike.

The intent of this analogy is to instruct us about the differences between spiritual bodies and physical bodies. Planets, stars, animals, and plants are all different kinds of physical bodies, but there is also an entirely different class of bodies known as spiritual bodies. These come in many different types as well, such as archangels and cherubims, etc. So just as there are different kinds of physical bodies, with variations even among individuals of the same type, there are also different kinds of spiritual bodies with variations among individuals of the same type.

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (1st Corinthians 15.42-44 KJV bible). We've already discussed how there are natural and there are spiritual bodies. Our bodies are sown as natural bodies, but at the time of the resurrection they will be raised as spiritual bodies. They will be sown in dishonour, frailty and weakness, but raised in glory and incorruption.

These verses are commonly interpreted to be saying that the person's spiritual body will rise up from the remains of their flesh body. However, it's not saying that the body which is raised will emerge from (or be in any way connected to) the body that is sown. The scripture is simply referring to "our bodies" as whichever body belongs, or will belong to us. In other words the "it" in, "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption...", is whichever thing or creation given by God that acts in the capacity of a body, but not the same body. For example, consider the following statement, "the middle school was torn down and rebuilt amidst controversy". This doesn't necessarily mean that the new middle school is the same building, made of the same bricks, in the same location as the old. Rather the implication is that it's a new building that functions in the same role of middle school. The scripture has already made clear that the new body will be separate from the old, "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain" (1st Corinthians 15.37 KJV bible). So in a generic sense the "body" is sown in corruption and raised in incorruption, but the new body will emerge from the kernel or soul that remains, not the old body.

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1st Corinthians 15.45-49 KJV bible). Just as Adam preceded Christ, the flesh man precedes the spiritual man. The earthly ones, meaning flesh and blood people, naturally bear the resemblance of the first man, Adam, because they are his descendents. In contrast, the heavenly ones, being the angels, bear the likeness of the heavenly man who is Christ. As the saints have borne the image of the earthly man Adam, they will also bear the image of the man from heaven, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1st John 3.2 KJV bible). This is the nature of the resurrection of the righteous, the changing or metamorphosis of ones (whether on Earth or in heaven), to the spiritual likeness of Christ.

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1st Corinthians 15.50 KJV bible). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Flesh bodies grow old, they get sick and hurt, and inevitably deteriorate. However, that which is spiritual is built to last, being fully set free from the decay of the material world. This is why Paul refers to spiritual bodies as our eternal dwellings in the heavens, "For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life" (2nd Corinthians 5.1-4 NASB bible). Our flesh body is our earthly tent or house, in which we feel naked, but we look forward to being clothed with our eternal dwelling out of heaven, wherein we will be made whole. The house of flesh will not be taken into the eternity, but torn down, and replaced with an eternal one.

The saints who are alive on Earth at the time of the first resurrection will be changed while they are still living in their flesh bodies. These are the ones being referred to when it says that the "mortal will be swallowed up by life", because in their case the spiritual will overcome the physical. This same event is being described in Philippians when it says, "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" (Philippians 3.20-21 KJV bible). At the resurrection of the righteous, those who are alive on Earth and abiding in Christ, will have their bodies of low-estate transformed like unto the Son of God from heaven.

Paul also looks forward to this future event, when he says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1st Corinthians 15.53-54 KJV bible). This speaks directly to the final generation of God's people, who will not sleep, but be delivered out of tribulation to rejoice in triumph at the resurrection of the righteous. In holding fast to the testimony of Jesus Christ, their corruptible flesh bodies will be overtaken by incorruptible spiritual bodies, and they will have obtained an everlasting victory over the power of death.

However, the saints who dwell in heaven will not be resurrected from the flesh, but be transformed in heaven, "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God...and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (Revelation 20.4 NASB bible). For them, the resurrection will be from life in Paradise (see ch.4 Souls in Heaven), into greater life within the eternal Kingdom. Instead of being resurrected from flesh bodies on earth, they will be raised up into spiritual bodies in heaven.

Beyond changing into spiritual bodies, God's elect will be raised into an eternal place and inheritance with him.

Part of the spiritual reality of becoming a Christian is that those who receive Christ are ransomed from the bondage of sin and death, by the price that he paid for them on the cross, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1st Corinthians 6.20 KJV bible). However, though Christians are bought and spoken for with Christ's blood, they have not yet been fully received back to the Lord. To this end, they are given the Holy Spirit as a pledge or deposit that looks forward to that day of reconciliation, "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [deposit or pledge] of the Spirit" (2nd Corinthians 5.5 KJV bible). They are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the hour that they will be fully redeemed back to the Father, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4.30 KJV bible).

This is the deeper nature of the resurrection of the righteous; that beyond just changing into spiritual bodies, it will be the moment when the faithful ones are reconciled back to the Lord as the possession he has purchased from death, "in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest [deposit] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1.14 KJV bible). All of the saints, both asleep in heaven and alive on Earth, have received this seal of the Spirit. They are awaiting the first resurrection when they will be taken in by God as his eternal children, and brethren of Christ, "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 [or the body of us]" (Romans 8.23 KJV bible).

At the resurrection of the righteous, the body of the true church (which is the ones who are called, chosen, and faithful in Christ), will be adopted into the eternal house of God. As Christ is the firstborn from the dead and the heir of all creation (Revelation 1.5), he will raise up all of the sanctified ones to share in his Kingdom. This includes God's elect from the first covenant, who will be gathered in with the rest of their brethren, "they [the righteous ones] wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Hebrews 11.38-40 KJV bible).

Though the saints rest in heaven, none of them have yet arrived at their eternal destination. They are awaiting the first resurrection, in which they will be perfected or completed in Christ. It is at this time that they will each receive the promise they have faithfully sought; an everlasting place and inheritance in God's Kingdom, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1.3-4 KJV bible). This is why the Spirit is called the earnest or deposit of our inheritance, because it looks forward to when this inheritance is received at the first resurrection, "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1.14 KJV bible).

This inheritance is also the same incorruptible treasure that is being stored up for the righteous in heaven, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6.20-21 KJV bible). So whereas receiving Christ in this life is the purchasing of souls out of the bondage of sin and death, the resurrection of the righteous will be when they receive the eternal reward that is awaiting them. It will be the final destination and planting of God's people, when they are resurrected into an incorruptible place and inheritance in the eternity.



Comments

Augustina Patrick      02 Sep 2009, 09:59

Pls i want to know more about the resurection of the dead. Thanks

Doug Buckley      02 Sep 2009, 22:17

Hi Augustina,
So, you want to know more about the Resurrection of the Dead? Chapters 14-21 lay out pretty much all I know about it.

villamor galicia castro      25 May 2010, 11:33

why the Jehovah witnesses insist that the ressurection of the dead will ressurect after death in the same physical body or same flesh body when they die. where can i find this passage in the bible? or any teaching with regards to this faith?thanks you very much, and God Bless us all.

Doug Buckley      25 May 2010, 17:49

Hi Villamor,
There's quite a range of interpretations when it comes to the Resurrection of the Dead. Some believe that the original flesh body will be changed into a spiritual body, and others believe that the flesh body itself will be raised up. Alot of it depends on whether a group believes that people are only flesh bodies, or that we have spiritual souls within our flesh bodies.

The idea that people's original flesh bodies will be resurrected probably comes from a literal reading of passages such as Isaiah 26.19, Daniel 12.2, and John 5.28-29. I think its fairly easy to show that these verses are deeply symbolic, given other passages such as Revelation 20.4-14 and 1st Corinthians 15.13-58 (see also ch.18 Second Resurrection). God bless.

William      06 Jan 2011, 14:17

The free web page at http://www.robertwr.com/resurrection.pdf is one of the most complete on both immortality and the resurrection

mick zito      23 Jun 2012, 18:31

doug, a month ago i wrote u a personal msg from my heart and i wondered if u ever read it and gave me ur feelings, cause i trust ur feelings very much

Mickey

Doug Buckley      27 Jun 2012, 04:53

Hi Mick, I got back to you, it's in the strongholds of sin article.

Bill Clark      21 Apr 2013, 08:47

I agree with most of what is said here in your chapter 15 except I do think that there is a connection between the old body which is the weak flesh and the new one which is spiritual and incorruptible.
The reason I think this is that when our Lord's tomb was opened His body was not there, it was gone. If the resurrection was only the transformation of the soul into a new body our Lord's flesh body would have still been there rotting away. Also it would nullify the scriptures (Acts 2:22-31, Acts 13:34-37, Psalm 16:10) where He says His flesh body would not see decay (rot). Our soul does not rot. Our Lord was risen on the third day before decay set it, unlike Lazarus whose body "stinkith" because it was the fourth day (John 11:39).

The point Paul is making in 1st Corinthians 15.37 is that the flesh body is sown dead like the seed of a plant and is raised up in glory. The soul does not die, at the time of death, and would not fit the likeness of a dead seed. Only the flesh body is sown into the ground like a seed would be when planted, the soul is not sown into the ground.

Doug Buckley      23 Apr 2013, 09:01

Hi Bill, let me say that there is certainly a case to be made for the new spiritual body coming from the old body in the resurrection. That being said, its a mistake to think that the resurrection of the dead will be like Jesus' literal resurrection from the tomb. Unlike our bodies, Jesus' blood and body were a sacrament to take away sin.

Jesus enters heaven in his resurrected flesh as the fulfillment of many OT prophecies. He presents his body as a sacrifice unto God, as explained in Hebrews 9. His body fulfills the law and cleanses the temple and opens the way for reconciliation.

"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Heb 9:23 KJV bible).

This is why he doesn't let Mary touch him until he ascends, and then he returns he goes to the apostles. The OT sacrifices always were offered to God and then went out from the temple to the people and not back in. Jesus ascends in his eternal form (Acts 1.11) to the throne.

As far as the seed being the flesh body, this may be the case. The most natural reading of the passage is that the seed sown is the flesh body. However a seed is only a small part of a body, and it doesn't literally die, but instead it is consumed by itself to bring forth a new body. The seed is the lasting living part until it sprouts (resurrects), and then what grows is a reflection of the seed.

The things we do in the body don't stay with the flesh when we die, but are connected to our souls (Rev 14.13). So for the dead (not those who are alive at that time), the new body sprouts from the soul which is the remnant of the old body. In 41-44 Paul just continues the imagery of a literal resurrection with the old body being sown. I wouldn't be surprised if the more traditional view is correct. What I know for sure is that its a spiritual not a flesh body, and so we can't over-literalize the reality of the resurrection of the dead.

Bill Clark      23 Apr 2013, 14:39

Thanks for the reply Doug, good to meet you. I agree that our Lord's resurrection was a special case regarding His being presented as an acceptable sacrifice to God on our behalf. It's exciting to think that between the time He spoke to Mary and the time He appeared to the disciples, that day, He ascended as an offering on the very day that God told the Jews in the law to present the wave offering for the Feast of First Fruits. God's fingerprints are all over this. Also, and this is conjecture on my part, it's exciting that the wave offering was the first fruits of the spring barley harvest (seeds).

When it comes to what happened to His flesh body, we are left to reason what parts of our Lord's resurrection will apply to us as well. It is the only example we have.

I agree that an actual seed does not die and it's interesting that there may be a parallel in that we have good reason to say the soul is awake and the flesh body sleeps, so we might reason that the seed is not dead but that it sleeps also. Sleeps in the soil waiting for the Water, the Light, and the will of God to give it life (Job 38:26-27). Perhaps the soul, the spark of life from God, reunited with the sleeping body will determine the type of plant coming from the seed, whether it is good or bad, the good soul, through grace, becoming a new everlasting spiritual body, which is more than the soul alone could be without the seed which sleeps. The seed being used up, given life, becoming a new plant that is good and varies in glory according to rewards (we are told there are different types of bodies as to various glories). And the bad soul and seed producing a plant which is fit for nothing but to be cast into the fire. Just something to ponder.

I have a question I wrestle with and would like to know your opinion to discuss.

Matthew 27:52 and 53 says that;
the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose, and having come forth out of the tombs after His rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.

I read once there are some first century writings, possibly Jewish Rabbinical, that mention these people but I have not confirmed it.

You and I would agree that the first resurrection is not a single event. Do you think this resurrection mentioned here is one similar to Lazarus or one similar to the everlasting resurrection we are longing for? We know this event happens "after His rising". So with Him being the first fruits, and having already risen, I can find nothing in the scriptures that would restrict their rising to merely a Lazarus type event. From a so called technical point of view there is nothing to prevent their rising from being either Lazaristic :) or everlasting. A part of me feels that the answer is somewhere in the Old Testament.

I wonder about things like there are 24 Elders in The throne room (Rev 4:4), representing a larger group, and at lest 12 of them are the Apostles (Matthew 19:28), maybe some of these risen ones are the house of Israel (Jacob) with his 12 sons, or the 12 Prophets, making up the remaining 12 Elders. So maybe there is a group of OT saints that are risen earlier that the rest of the OT saints. Or possibly these risen ones came back to life in the old body only to die again like Lazarus, I assume. Without scriptures it's hard to know for sure but we should prayerfully seek to know. The Holy Spirit would not mention this event without a reason.

What do you think this is all about and who are these people, Old Testament saints, New Testament saints, or both, risen like Lazarus or eternal?

Doug Buckley      25 Apr 2013, 12:17

Hi Bill, I agree that God's fingerprints are on Jesus' resurrection and the whole NT. As far as the seed, it dies in a sense because it contains energy and calories that it uses up to become a plant. It has to wait until this happens. Unlike a seed, a body dies first and then completely decays into nothing over time. Another thing to notice is that wherever the bible speaks of the saints as being asleep, it always says that they sleep in Christ (see 1st Cor 15.18, 1st Thess 4.14), not the dust or ground (see ch.13 for more on this).

I also think that the new body will be a reflection of the seed, and this is something Paul seems to be saying. Also that in the resurrection there is no collective body, but its a unique replacement for every individual according to what was sown, and there are differences between people.

The resurrection of the dead is basically two parts, a first and a second. It really has more to do with having a place in the eternal world and Kingdom. Matthew 27.52 was a Lazarus type of resurrection, and is in no way connected to the resurrection of the dead.
"And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some" (2 Timothy 2:17-18 KJV).

Alot of the actual miracles Jesus does have deeper spiritual meanings, and Matthew 27.52-53 probably speaks to lost people being spiritually brought to life through his resurrection.

I don't know who the 24 elders are but i do know that they are un-resurrected souls in heaven, see ch.19 for the timing of the first resurrection. The OT and NT saints are in heaven waiting for the time when they "come to life" and reign with Christ.

Its confusing because 1st Cor 15.12-20 makes it sound like the resurrection of the dead is a Lazarus type of resurrection. But if this is what he means, then Lazarus and others would have been first, not Christ. I think Paul is refuting certain people who were denying the resurrection of the dead on philosophical or scientific grounds, and so Paul is saying that the whole basis of Christianity is in the miracles and power of God.

Bill Clark      26 Apr 2013, 12:00

First, I agree that 1st Corinthians 15:12 is a philosophical look at the resurrection based on some Christians saying there was no such thing, much like the Jewish Sadducees. I hope you don’t mind my being somewhat sidetracked today by some very interesting things pertaining to 1st Corinthians 15. I hope you find it interesting concerning the Mormon practice of baptizing for the dead and the number of resurrections, one or two.
Mormons
In verses 9-12 Paul makes the argument that if Christ is not risen, all this that we do is for nothing. Based on the entire text you would also say that if Christ is not risen then He is dead as well. Later in verse 29-30 Paul says
“1 Corinthians 15:29-30 (YLT)
29 Seeing what shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? why also are they baptized for the dead? 30 why also do we stand in peril every hour?
Here Paul uses the words “baptized for the dead” twice and I believe this is a reference to the Christ in his arguments from v 9-12 who if not risen is dead.
I think v29-30 looks like this, paraphrasing in my own words only to make a point
“Seeing, what shall they do who are baptized for a dead Christ, if the dead do not rise at all even He is dead? Why also are they baptized for a dead Christ if they themselves are not going to rise? Why do we even bother to stand in peril every hour if there is no hope of a resurrection of the dead?
A misunderstanding of this scripture has the Mormons baptizing live people today in the name of, or in place of dead people of the past. This is why they are so focused on genealogies. They believe they are moving the souls of dead people from Hades/Seoul to Paradise, or in essence saving dead people by being baptized in their place. While I admire the great amount of effort they expend in this endeavor and their desire to do something good, it is all based on a misunderstanding of v29-30 and all for nothing. Nowhere is scripture is there any allusion to baptizing live people for the souls of dead people. This almost mimics the Catholic’s praying for people in a non-scriptural place called purgatory.
Number of resurrections (one or two)
You might like this next one Doug. You and I agree that there are two resurrections. We differ on the timing and if the first resurrection is a single event or comprised of multiple events. We will talk more about this later. You and I debate with people that believe the resurrection of everyone to be one single event at the end of the age. When we debate them they often cite the following scripture to make their point.
1 Corinthians 15:20-24 (YLT)
20 And now, Christ hath risen out of the dead--the first-fruits of those sleeping he became,
21 for since through man is the death, also through man is a rising again of the dead,
22 for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,
23 and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,
24 then--the end, when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power--
They see the proper order in this scripture as a single resurrection like this:
1. Christ, a first fruit (singular)
2. everyone in a single resurrection
a. This does not make sense because he is talking about “those who are the Christ’s”, that means only those who belong to Christ and does not cover “everyone”.
3. then the end, when he may deliver up the reign to God (the end of that age)
Go to Thayer’s Lexicon and look up the Greek word translated “end” in verse 24, it’s Strong’s number G5056. The word has several meanings. One meaning is “end” as it is commonly translated here by translators who believe in a single resurrection. Another meaning is listed in Thayer’s under (section 1.b.) and that is “the last in any succession or series”.
According to the possible meanings in Thayer’s Lexicon and many other scriptures that clearly point to two resurrections, an absolutely valid translation that makes much more sense would go like this.
23 and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,
24 then--the rest, when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power--
A breakdown would look like this:
1. Christ, a first fruit (singular)
2. those who are the Christ’s (only those that belong to Christ)
a. at His presence (when He comes to get us)
3. then the rest, (then the remaining people “the last in any succession or series”)
a. (depicted in the Great White Throne judgment)
4. ,when he may deliver up the reign to God
I believe the confusion sets in because the second resurrection in step 3 above of “the rest” also coincides with step 4 “the end” of that age that Paul goes on to talk about in the rest of v24 -28.
Ponder it for awhile and tell me what you think. My next post will be more on track to our main topic of discussion concerning resurrection bodies. Thank you for your time and debate.

Bill Clark      28 Apr 2013, 10:06

Concerning the risen dead of Matt 27:52, that we talked about in an earlier post, whether it is a flesh type like Lazarus or the eternal rising.

Matthew 27:50-53 (YLT)
50 And Jesus having again cried with a great voice, yielded the spirit;
51 and lo, the vail of the sanctuary was rent in two from top unto bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent,
52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose,
53 and having come forth out of the tombs after his rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.

I still wonder about it. When I read it I begin to ponder. From the text, it seems that at our Lord’s death an earthquake caused the tombs to be opened. However, the bodies of these saints, who had fallen asleep, did not rise and come forth until after His rising, which would be at least about three and a half days later (almost a quarter of a day from His death to His burial, then three days and nights in the heart of the earth, and the time it took to present Himself before God after He talked to Mary). If this was a flesh body resurrection why wait until our Lord had risen? If this was an eternal rising they would have to come after Him because He is the first fruit.

You see one single event making up the first resurrection, so to you they would have to have flesh bodies. I see several events comprising the first resurrection so the nature of the event we are debating is not conclusive for me.

This is why we will differ on the meaning of 2 Timothy 2:17-18

2 Timothy 2:17-18 (YLT)
17 and their word as a gangrene will have pasture, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus,
18 who concerning the truth did swerve, saying the rising again to have already been, and do overthrow the faith of some;

To you this proves your point about the risen in Matt 27:50-53, they would have to be flesh bodies. For me Paul is stating that Hymenaeus and Philetus are saying that all the events of the first resurrection, especially the event spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, have already been. In either case I think these two guys are the first Preterists. Of all the various views Christians have on the end times, Preterism is the most baffling to me, especially the views of the full Preterits. I just can’t get my head around it.

So let’s take a look at another resurrection. What do you think is going on in Rev 11:11-13?

Revelation 11:11-13 (YLT)
11 And after the three days and a half, a spirit of life from God did enter into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those beholding them,
12 and they heard a great voice out of the heaven saying to them, `Come up hither;' and they went up to the heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them;
13 and in that hour came a great earthquake, and the tenth of the city did fall, and killed in the earthquake were names of men--seven thousands, and the rest became affrighted, and they gave glory to the God of the heaven.

We have the two witnesses, who are similar to the risen in Matt 27 who from the time the tombs are open to their rising is three and a half days, they are dead for three and a half days, a spirit of life from God enters into them, then at the command from heaven saying `Come up hither;' (just like our Lord’s command to John in Rev 4, and similar to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), and these two guys ascend to the heaven in the cloud (just like our Lord does in Acts 1).

What do you think, flesh like Lazarus, or eternal?
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